Turning Earth

February 2016 garden notes

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The end of February: the time I’ve always noticed the most the days lengthening out, the afternoon daylight encroaching into evening. Hurrah for that. I try to like winter, but I don’t. I loathe it. The cold, the dark, the struggling through, enduring.

By late February there’s a lightening of it all, literally and psychologically. Spring equinox soon.

During February I’ve been looking at a tired and dull garden and doing my best to maintain what’s there. There are thoughts of enhancing what’s there, but because of a complex mix of things I can’t write about but only vaguely allude to, enhancements are out of reach. But maintenance of existing assets is very important, and in an established and mature garden like this one it’s crucial. So this month I have been attending to, among other things …

Nestboxes

… of which there are several. Two have been used, with the using of one of them covered before on one of my ancient pages. The third never has been, so I relocated it. And within about fifteen minutes of doing so was pleased to see a pair of blue tits showing interest. One approached and then popped in, while the other was nearby, with much excited chirping going on throughout. A dunnock, perhaps one of the garden’s long-term residents, appeared from the foliage behind the nest box in what might have been a territorial kind of way, which may see off the interested parties.

So many generations of birds raised here, on this piece of land. Not just raised, but roosting, so many winters on its walls, in the ivy. Ivy which had thickened up around one of the nest boxes, by a thick branch of a well-established rose. Pruning the rose and the ivy away from the nest box revealed, in the amount of bird droppings, how many sparrows and perhaps other small birds too had sheltered here and roosted over the cold winter nights.

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