Friday, 14 June 2019

Rain & Raids


We've had so much rain this week that I brought the hardening off plants inside lest they drown.

The sunny back garden dries out quickly if we go too long without rain, so it was welcomed.  And, being confined to quarters myself, I did get the downstairs curtains made.  The upstairs bedroom window is still a scandal, however.

And now it's #SixOnSaturday time, where gardeners post six things happening in their garden during the week.  If that sounds tempting to you, then drop by Mr Propagator who's kindly provided us with a participant's guide.

What's been happening in our garden . . .

1.  Bird feeding station.

Our garden birds aren't deterred by rain.  This week, I moved the bird cafe to the lawn, hoping to save the flowerbeds from careless avian diners.  We got this suet cage last year & though the birds fed from it, they seemed to consider it more the after dinner mint than the main course.  In the 4 months at our new place, I've just now replaced the six pack.

Yesterday morning during garden rounds, I noted a genteel pecking at the new suet.  Over my coffee, a pair of adult starlings arrived for their first ever visit, dividing their attention between suet & seed.  They were soon chased away by 3 of what I assume were their own fledglings.

When I returned from the BigNoseWalk about an hour later, the younger starlings were still going to town & this is what the suet looked like.

Starling raid.

By the end of the day . . .

Cupboard is bare.

Both corvids & squirrels've lifted the roof off this cage & taken whole sticks out before, but that doesn't look like what's happened here.

Mini product review => the suet cage doesn't start at an angle, but the design of the handle is such that the motion of the birds unseats it from its little holder.  I wouldn't recommend this feeder, which I think I bought from Haith's.

2.  Viola

This viola marks the final resting spot of a magpie my son rescued.  Up til now, it's been low maintenance (the viola, I mean, although the magpie hasn't given us much trouble recently, to be honest).  In the new garden, however, there's simply too much sun for the viola.  I moved it all over the place, stuck its pot in the (not so) shady bed, snuggled it next to the fence, & still it sulks.  Currently, it's behind one of the patio chairs where it seems to fare best.

Hidden & happy.

It's quite pleased with all the rain.  Here's a look at its pot, which my son had specially made by his local potter for his late corvid friend.  The rim isn't a perfect circle as you can see above, but rather curves in & out into 3 gentle lobes.  It's a shame the pot's tucked away because it's quite the work of art.

Bespoke beauty.

The potter doesn't typically make outdoor pots, but was amenable to a special order.  The benefits of buying locally.

3.  Mad parsley.

This is last year's parsley that remarkably didn't die over the winter.  Previously, the herbs lived in a trough but this year are growing in an old linen basket.  Once the Mad Parsley moved in, it started to express itself.

Beginning to bloom.

As you can see, sometimes this expression of self necessitates the use of restraints.

4.  Hosta bud.

The rain brought worries about Big Daddy hosta falling prey to S&S.  The latter're definitely chomping other plants, but the hosta is fine.  While all my delectables've been surrounded by wool pellets, I suspect the younger ones are so delicious, the S&S brave the crossing to get to a good meal.

Big Daddy in bud.

I thought I had Big Daddy centred when I took this shot, but it would seem the actaea distracted me.

5.  Celosia.

Last week I learned that my new plug plants need to spend a little time in pots before releasing them into the wild.  The potting shed is currently rocking w/them.

Celosia Dracula

Here's the celosia's nearly translucent foliage, one of their really bizarre flowers just beginning to show in the left pot, too blurred to discern.  To the far right is an uncooperative artichoke whose mates've all gone outside to play.

6.  Spinach bucket.

Spinach is one of my favourite vegs, so when another SoSer shared her idea of growing it by the bucket, I had to do that myself.  It sits in front of the herb basket outside the kitchen door for easy access to quick nibbling.

Plenty to share w/the S&S.

I'm so sorry I don't remember whom I stole this idea from, but I have reached the crone stage of life, so hopefully my memory lapse will be forgiven.  Identify yourself & we'll do the spinach bucket dance.

Served w/kedgeree

Maybe a spinach & fish lunch'll boost the old grey cells.

There's my Six for the week.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  God willing & the creeks don't rise, we'll see each other again real soon.



  1. That's one impressive pot. We've had starlings visit for the first time this year - they've been devouring the fat filled coconut halves, as has a squirrel. My parsley (a survivor from last year) must be an introvert that doesn't like to express itself at all - I think I'm going to need to replace it.

    1. The starlings were back today but when they saw there was no suet, they left for richer food sources. I've never had a parsley survive winter - do they usually? This one certainly wasn't as mad last year, but maybe being in a huge basket has helped.

  2. That's a beautiful pot, I am most envious? I like spinach but so do the beasts in the garden! A bucket or pot is an excellent idea. Lovely Six.

    1. The S&S still nibble, as you can see, but there's so much spinach jammed into the pot, I don't mind sharing. Whoever's idea this was, I really love both higher plant survival rate & the accessibility to a fav veg. As to the pot, the potter himself is a lovely eccentric who's certainly running a business but loves what he does & conveys that to his customers. I'd stop in when visiting my son a few times a year & the owner always remembered me. I have several pieces around the house.

  3. My bird feeder fell last weekend because of the wind. It was empty and useless, but in the summer your solution for feeding them with suet is good.
    Did you sow your celosia? is it easy to grow from seeds?

    1. After the starling invasion, I've not refilled the suet cage & will probably only put a few sticks in when I do rather than a six pack. The celosia was on sale as plant plugs - an impulse buy totally not planned for. They're fascinating little guys, to be sure.

  4. The celosias' leaves are astounding. I've never seen such a vivid variety. Your friendly potter did create a real beauty there with that pot, Lora.

    1. As I said to Fred, I bought the plugs on sale, never having grown them before. The larger leaves look like the red will fade some, but not entirely. As to the pot, I forget how nice it is & should really find a pedestal to put in a shady corner. If I could find a shady corner in this garden.

  5. I had several smiles whilst reading your posts, Lora. I love the idea of the parsley expressing itself, which indeed it does in my garden too. I have a strong suspicion that some plants in my cutting garden which I hope are going to be something nice and floriferous are really parsley seedlings expressing themselves.

    1. O, it's good to know parsley is easily propagated from seed. It's never bloomed for me before, always dying off at the end of summer. I think the huge planter has helped it tremendously, but just in case it dies, I'll save some seed. Thanks for that info, Jane.

  6. I think I have that same viola
    Heartthrob, I think it was called.mine is doing ok in the ground in a fairly sunny spot.

    1. Might be time for mine to be repotted, then.

  7. My parsley is very good at expressing itself, self-seeds all over, in pots and between cracks in my paving stones, but I bet it doesn't grow in the pots I have sown it in!

    1. Jane's behaves similarly. Seems I've been spared the wonders of Mad Parsley until now!