Sunday, 22 February 2009

Snowdrops in Nonsuch Park

Just returned from a wander round the snowdrops in Nonsuch Park, which are in full flush today, possibly after the sunshine and warmth yesterday. Gloriously prolific in both the copse next to Mansion House and under trees in the sunken area of the garden. Must take the camera over tomorrow and share some photos with you.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

First afternoon in the garden today

Hoorah, it's that dirty nails time of year again! The sun was out so I spent three hours working the bright side of the back garden this afternoon. It's still too wet to dig deep (and in any case, I did that last year, so not really necessary again now), but I got some satisfaction from turning over the top couple of inches and weeding the border. I've divided and moved the red Potentilla to the far end of the bed near the pond, as it was overwhelmed by honeysuckle and roses last summer. I hope it will settle in OK, I hadn't realised how deep the tap roots would be.
Amazing how early the weeds start growing (actually I'm not convinced they've stopped over the winter). Also some crocus peeping through, mostly yellow, a few purple and white and some deep purple mini irises by the pond. The joys of spring already!
Now I must look out that nailbrush and remind myself how to use it again...

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Round here almost everyone's off work, it seems...

Our second snowy day and although there's a lot of thawing going on, still plenty of snow to entertain the kids - and all their mums and dads, it seems. There is a real holiday atmosphere down our road, around a quarter of the householders were out clearing their drives and paths this morning in the bright sunshine. And nearly everyone said hello or good morning when we headed down to the shops this morning, it was better than Christmas!
The roads are alive with everyone walking instead of the usual car journey. Though it was notable as we headed out that the hum of motors from the main road half a mile away had resumed after yesterday's peace everywhere. I expect all will be back to normal by the end of the week, but for myself I plan to make more short to medium journeys by foot and bicycle this year.
If you're thinking the photo looks a bit grey it's only partly because it was a cloudy day yesterday when it was taken. I didn't get the exposure right, so I've had a bit of a play with the colours on this and some of those that follow. I quite like the old fashioned mono effect here.

Snowy oaks

Alas, only the largest branches still have their snowy covering today. I'm glad I captured this yesterday.

Hamamelis - more spiders than stars in the snow...

Witch hazel peeping like stars from the snow? Well, they looked like stars from the kitchen window, but close up I have to confess, more like spiders. Is it my eyes? And I thought I was growing more far sighted with age...

Apples of my eyes...

My snowy wintry garden...

Monday, 2 February 2009

Everything stops for snow...

Wow! Snow was drifted over our front doorstep this morning. Will (oldest son) set out at 8.00 with unusual enthusiasm for a Monday, confidently - and correctly - anticipating that school would be closed and he'd be able to spend the morning snowballing with mates!
Twenty minutes later he reported that Kingston bypass had very little traffic and all heading south, towards Epsom. Curious...were the cars were following a gritter? But no, no evidence of any road clearance or overnight gritting. Good ole Surrey council, can't plan for adverse weather on a Sunday night.
Yes folks, here in the South East of England everything stops for a few inches of snow. We're five minutes' walk from the local train station, and the few brave souls outside who had tried to get to work could be heard telling one another that there were no trains and no buses. Very few cars making their way past - most people have decided to stay at home, it seems.
The garden (of course) looks fabulous, the piano and pink shed picturesque and the oak trees which line the railway cutting behind all light and shade, their naked branches sharply delineated against the grey sky. Hamamelis (witch hazel) flowers like small orange stars peep through the snow, while next door's leylandii provides welcome shelter, as always, for the smaller birds. I'll post some photos later when youngest gets back from his music lesson, as I can't find the little card to transfer them.
Paul and Stevie cleared the doorstep and front path ready for my patients this morning, then walked down to the local shops for milk. There were snowball fights across Stoneleigh Broadway for an hour or two, some of the shopkeepers coming out to join in with local teenagers and families. A very traditional small town, community scene!