I do love the sound of birds singing out in the garden. One bird that has a particularly loud and beautiful song, especially for a bird of its size, is the Carolina Wren.
I woke up to hear the beautiful notes of his song and as I looked out the window I saw him approach the patio with a mouth full of nesting materials. I later managed to catch this photo of him in the pine tree (and check out that pollen!!)
Unfortunately, last weekend, I thought I'd offer them some more nesting material by hanging a suet feeder filled with horse hair on the rack and as I did so, I accidentally bumped the rack and a bird flew out of the watering can. To my knowledge they never returned :-(
I took a peek today after ensuring it wasn't occupied. There's a perfectly complete nest in there. All it needs is a bird family.
I do know though, that the male wren will build a selection of nests and then the female will choose which one to lay her eggs in. I guess when I bumped the shelf she decided to pick a nest in a less trafficked spot.
Oh well, maybe next year....
I've been reading good news about the Monarch butterflies leaving their wintering grounds in Mexico and heading north so I wanted to be prepared for them.
A lot of our milkweed was damaged in the winter freezes and some of it never returned, so I got proactive and headed to Plants for all Seasons, where they had just received a shipment in.
I'm also going to get some more which will be kept in containers to go in the new Monarch nursery I just purchased. The new on is taller than the one I had last year (which I will use also). The taller height will allow me to keep container plants in it, instead of having to snip cuttings every day and keep them in water picks, transferring the caterpillars to the fresh cuttings as necessary.
When we first moved in here I planted a Vitex tree and since then we haven't really touched it. It was a total mess with lots of suckers and criss-crossing branches. Today we had our arborist out to take care of it. He did a good job and carted off all the trimmings. However the tree was such a mess, I still think it needs tidying up some more. (No pics today)
While he was here, he also gave one of the Live Oak trees in the front yard a much needed trim. Now my husband Eric doesn't have to do the limbo every time he wants to mow the grass underneath it.
The cosmos I planted last year has reseeded prolifically and is putting on a beautiful display.
We had been wondering what to do with the peach tree. It had never really put its roots down into the soil and we could move it back and forth quite easily. It suffered from the freezes over the winter too and when my husband asked the arborist about it, he literally lifted it out of the ground with no resistance at all. Question answered!
I seized the opportunity, since there was room in the island bed now, to relocate the Angel Trumpets, that was in a half barrel and was getting root bound. It too had frozen back in the winter, but I was happy to see some new growth, so I'm hopefully it will do well where the peach tree failed.
Around the corner in the veggie garden, the runner type beans I put in beneath a new bean tower have all sprouted (well a couple didn't but most did) I'm looking forward to seeing these grow up the bean tower, which reaches above my head.
Also in the veggie garden, the "Sir Crunch-a-lot" cucumbers have sprouted. I hope these do well this year, we've had mixed luck with cucumbers in the past including one year when we had precisely zero -- all the flowers dropped off. I'll let these establish a little and then probably thin them out
It was so lovely being able to work in the garden when I got home from work today. First of all, the weather was perfect, something we don't often get here, and second - now I'm working locally I no longer have the grueling two-hour commute I used to have.
Life is good!
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.