It made me smile today to hear a radio presenter saying how warm and dry it was! It does show just how blinkered you can be if you live in the south of the country. The above pic was taken yesterday morning. The forecast warned of 'showers'. I was outside and it suddenly got dark, very dark. I made it inside, just, before Skip was battered by the worst hailstorm I've experienced in years.
It had been very windy the day before. Fortunately no serious damage around the garden that I could see - except that one of the bird tables was blown over. Lots of trees down through Dumfries and Galloway though. And the West Coast main line was shut after a tree came down near Gretna.
I'm sure the containers will survive the hail. A few minutes later the sun was out and it had all disappeared.
The garden is looking really nice, despite the cold, wet weather. It's amazing how much growth there is at this time of year! The white shrub, colour co-ordinated with the hailstones, is a little azalea which went went in some four years ago and seems to like its situation.
Here's another pic of the narrow strip on the south side of the house. The yellow shrub next to the white azalea is Sumbucus Canadensis 'Aurea' which I bought in a small pot in a sale for next to nothing when I was trying to populate the garden without spending much money several years back. I lucked out with this purchase, as it's a lovely feature, but is really too big for the spot it's in. I've already had to prune it right back. Getting things in the right place is a continuing problem for me!
My three troughs came through the cold winter. The one in the foreground is made from a polystyrene fish box. It's in the 'old curling stone sanctuary'. These old stones have found a loving place to spend their retirement! I'll always find a place at Skip for any old, unloved, stones. Let me know if you find any in need of rescue!
Clematis Broughton Star is so reliable. I added a later flowering clematis one a week or so ago. We'll soon see if I've got it in the right place.
More photos of the garden if/when it gets warmer and sunnier!
What about the birds? I can confirm that the blackbird eggs hatched and the parents are working hard to feed the four (or it might be five) chicks.
This is a favourite visitor to Skip Cottage garden, a great spotted woodpecker. Very timid though, and difficult to get its photo. I was lucky to get a couple of pics the other day.
"Who's a pretty boy then?" You can just see that it has a red patch on the back of its head, which tells me it's a male.
Springwatch is back next week!
Photos © Skip Cottage