A pot of vigorous Petunia Surfinia taking over the garden table. The succulent portulaca will be covered in vivid multicoloured flowers. I used to have one that I adored but it died and I’ve only just found some more at Homebase. So I bought three. There’s a tiny aloe I bought with the intention of harvesting its healthy nutritious gel from its leaves when it gets bigger. Unfortunately, the small print reads: “Caution. These plants may be harmful if eaten.” There goes my big plan.
The local animals include a pair of blackbirds and one youngster; a pair of wood-pigeons plus a third interloper they keep seeing off; mother and child feral pigeons which are fairly fearless and bully the bigger wood-pigeons; a tiny hoppy field mouse; a cheeky robin; a wren; and assorted tits, chaffinches and martens. My favourite is a squirrel who is always pregnant or nursing, and her growing brood. She accosts me for nuts and is very entertaining.
The Big Bad is the magpie that has finished off numerous fledglings including, last week, the baby wood pigeon nesting in the Eriobotrya Japonica (loquat tree). My friend Phil came round for tea and cake, we had barely sat down at the table underneath the tree when something went “thunk!” next to Phil’s plate: it was the partially gnawed carcass of the baby bird. High in the tree sat the magpie. And, do you know, I could swear it laughed.
See also Garden Haven Pt II.
Anna’s food blog here: