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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Spring Clean

Oh, frabjous day! The first absolutely beautiful Spring day this year and I have made the most of every moment of it. I know the seasons have really turned when I walk down the garden, past the Magnolia Stellata and see this:



There are still some straggly bits of hedge that a more conscientious gardener would attend to. I am not that gardener. Birds are clearly picking where they want to raise babies: I am sure a pair of thrush are making a nest in the laurel next to the fruit cage (which they did last year) and sadly I am having to move little piles of twig and dead grass as a blackbird, once again, thinks about making a nest in the log store. Every year they do this and the damn cats which our neighbour refuses to put collars on get either the chicks or the adult, and whilst in normal circumstances I would not dream of even going near a nest, let alone disturbing it, we have decided with much regret and sadness that if I move the beginnings of a nest before it gets started perhaps I can persuade these lovely birds to try and raise a family somewhere else. Of course there is no guarantee that anywhere else would be cat proof, but there IS a guarantee that a nest in the log store will get predated.

So in the absence of any hedge cutting, attention turned to the poor greenhouse, completely abandoned since about October. It did not look nice when I started:



Whilst I spent all day clearing up it really wasn't very hard work, although it did get a tad warm and I had to go and change into a much thinner top - at one point the temperature was recording at 93.2F. I tried to photograph the thermometer but there was too much glare.



By 4.30 "Phase One" was completed. Yes there is a bucket and spade in the orange bay. My Cunning Plan is to completely remove that bay (and only involves shifting the soil, half of which is done, and taking out the two orange boards at the front) and putting a bench in its place. I am not growing as much as I used to and I think the space will be better utilised with a nice seat.



But that will be Phase Three, tomorrow is Phase Two which involves cleaning a LOT of glass - I may be sometime! On the upside, the weather forecast for the rest of the week is similarly glorious, which is kind, and very, very welcome.

Mine was not the only cleaning activity - Brian came back as promised and has worked absolute magic on my van, and then on Management's car. I keep going out and looking at all the vehicles, I don't think they have ever been this clean, it's such a treat!
















15 comments:

  1. So if we don't hear from you for several weeks we know you're still cleaning the greenhouse glass :) Looks like Brian is doing an excellent job on the vehicles - I love the red one, it's my favourite colour.

    It's a shame to destroy any birds' nests in the making but hopefully it will encourage the birds to nest elsewhere and keep safe from the neighbour's cats.

    Today was the first day of the year I did a dog walk/went to work in t-shirt sleeves with no jacket, it started off frosty first thing so I couldn't believe how warm it got - long may it continue :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice. The red car is M's and he's delighted, like you he love red.

      I must stress I am not doing anything to a "proper" nest - what I am talking about is the "proto-pile" of small twigs and grasses that show me what is being planned. But you are right, so sad that I have to do even that, and my neighbour just shrugs about the number of birds her murderous little monsters catch and says "oh, but what can you do?". GRRR 🤬 😡 🤬

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  2. My greenhouse which is much smaller, is still full of tender plants, still a few weeks too early to put them out. I'm loving the warm sunshine.

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    1. Hi Marlene, you make much better use of your greenhouse than I do - yours seems to flourish all year, whilst mine is a wasteland in winter ☹️

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  3. Your vehicles are gleaming! I feel ashamed of my car now - it's filthy, both inside and out. Although, the amount of fell mud on the carpets has me thinking it might just qualify for World Heritage status :)

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    1. You are too hard on yourself :-) Mud inside a car, whether from boots or paws, is a sure sign of good walks and time spent outside.

      At least with Lily you do not also have to contend with "nose kisses" smeared all over the inside of the windows!

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  4. I love all the colours in your greenhouse and it will look smashing when you've done all that hard work cleaning the glass. Definitely the right weather for working outside, it feels like summer has arrived. Lovely to have your vehicles sparkling clean, Brian is a keeper :)

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    1. Thanks Eileen, I still have some paint left over from last year so when time (and inclination) allows I plan to have a little bit of a "freshen up".

      right - time to get off my bottom and start glass cleaning!

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  5. This season for me brings all kinds of bird worries. Our garden is very nature friendly, I do all I can to attract all sorts of creatures, however, we also have 2 new cats across the road who also use our garden to hunt!! Plus we have a sparrowhawk who visits regularly (I know they have young to feed too, but still!!). So far this spring it's had 3 blackbirds that I know of (and cleared up after him/her). We've got 2 definite blackbird nests in the hedgerow and I've seen the magpies lurking too. Spring is sending me into a frenzy trying to protect what I call "my birds". Your greenhouse looks very nice!

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  6. I'm glad you're having some good gardening weather. I am still so envious of Bill. We sold our RV when we moved here to the mountains and there are certainly times when I miss it. I've always thought a van like yours would be the ticket for birding trips, yet having the comforts of home along with me.

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  7. Those vehicles are sparkling clean! Nobody will want to park next to them for fear of them showing theirs up!
    Your greenhouse is massive and wonderfully colourful! xxx

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  8. The sight of your jolly greenhouse has lifted my sagging spirits today....so thank you for the dose of joy. And you know my feelings on roaming cats. grrr. It's turned cold again today which is probably something to do with my sagging spirits....I don't love this come-here-go-away game that spring plays in these parts. much love xo

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  9. There are so many irresponsible cat owners, and I am sure there are good ones too! The toll that unrestrained pets and feral cats take on songbirds is both a tragedy and a disgrace. It is a puzzle to me that to own a dog I need more permits that I did to get married, and I have to make sure they have shots and so on, yet I can own twenty cats if I wish and place no restrictions on them. I hope that your blackbirds finds a safe spot to rebuild and I applaud you for removing it from the harm's way that you know of.

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  10. Other people’s cats can be a real nuisance can’t they. If a dog caused similar problems you would be in trouble.

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  11. Oh it's nice to see your lovely colourful greenhouse again :-)

    I should go out and hoover the 'dog-mobile' ... I might do it tomorrow, or the day after that or sometime in the not too distant future. It looks quite clean on the outside though, since the last heavy rain shower, and Alan wiping off the bird poo with a wad of kitchen paper, so I won't bother washing it ;-)

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