The Clematis Angelique is in bloom now. I loved the soft violet coloured petals of the flower, and the ornate centre where the seed head will form later on. I wanted to grow this is a tub up a frame. Cats idea is to grow it from a pot up the brick wall behind the kitchen door. An arched trellis would support its climbing habit and covered the brick work with pretty flowers in the Spring.
I covered the soil with my bark chippings. I read that Clematis like Sun on their flowers and leaves, but cool, damp root systems. There is even a pruning guide on the plant label. I thought if I can get a winter flowering Clematis to grow alongside Angelique then we could have flowers most of the year round. This Clematis flowers from June to October. The greenhouse it grew in obviously forced it to flower in May.
Tonight sees the return of Springwatch on BBC 2. It is a live wildlife program being broadcast from Pensthorpe in Norfolk, with reporters in several other locations around the UK. It follows animals and birds that are living in Britain. It encourages people to get out and actively search for wildlife to observe. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/uk/ The average British garden has a vast array of wildlife in it and around it. Sometimes things are so common that they become invisible. Springwatch makes the spectacle of nature exhilirating and exciting following the life stories of various species of birds and animals. For example a family of Blue Tits, a Wren family, and a nesting Avocet are being broadcast live on Webcam. It is on Tv in the evening for 3 weeks. In the garden today this Blackbird was posing on our fence. He had his eye on some Suet feed on the bird table. I love the golden beak contrasting to the black body feathers.
When I bought the suet/seed mix in a plastic tub nothing went near it for a few days. I noticed then that it has a few peck marks in it. Now after two weeks the tub is nearly empty. Song Thrushes, and Blackbirds are flocking to eat the fatty snack, and to take it away to feed hungry fledglings. The garden is full of birds now that are attracted to the new feeders. They are displaying their natural behaviour. I have seen aggression, courtship, and even mating (Cat blushed at the antics of the Collared Doves on our fence. I always thought they were quite virginal, not exhibitionists!). Fledgling House Sparrows sit on the feeders beating their little wings, chirping at their parents to feed them. I have seen Blue Tits on my Monkey Puzzle Tree, Woodpigeons fighting on the path, House Sparrows drinking from the water bowls, Starlings bathing in the birdbath, Bee's pollinating my Raspberry and Strawberry flowers, and just now typing this House Sparrows rolling around my Strawberry bed having a dust bath! All this activity has happened within the confines of our garden, in the middle of an urban estate. The bird song is frenetic from early morning starting with the Dawn Chorus, until the Dusk makes the birds go to roost. As the sun sets it triggers the release of the Bats into the still twilight air. The first night we stayed in this house we heard Owls twit-a-wooing in some nearby trees somewhere.I have not heard them since. I heard a Cuckoo when I went to work one morning in the deciduous woodland across the road from our house. A new mystery from today is that something has been digging my planter boxes out, on the concrete path. Soil has been dug and thrown onto the concrete that the planters are on. leaving holes in the soil!I will try to observe it to see who has been digging. They have not eaten the plants. I think they were interested in insects beneath the bark chippings in the compost. The garden is slowly attracting all manner of wildlife. Making the garden attractive to wildlife is one of the priorities on my list of what I want from the garden. I think i have started off well on that road. Springwatch is always one of the highlights of the year for me. As a post Chelsea RHS flower show Tonic Kate Humble and Chris Packham are brilliant.