A silent band, a weekend away, big plans, fruitlets and getting back on the wagon

Recently, hubs and I went to see Bob Dylan at the Echo Arena. It really was an odd experience. There were no big screens, just simple, cosy, intimate lights and throughout the performance, not a single word was spoken by any of them, not one word, at all. They came on, played brilliantly and left! Different, certainly!

Last weekend, Daughter and I decided to play out in York. A wonderful place, shame it’s so expensive though.

Daughter pretending to be a fairy, or maybe a butterfly.

The world could certainly do with this bell being rung.

On the garden front, we finally have some much needed rain and the swifts have returned.

Fruitlets are swelling, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a good year for the cherries….

the plums…

and the pears, along with apples…

and strawberries.

Broad beans are flowering and the greenhouse seedlings are finally thriving, despite the mouse.

I sowed the courgettes for the second time and they are now romping away.

The mouse is still in there though, along with the frog!

This clematis is excelling itself, to think it was chewed to the ground just two years ago. Now it’s running the length of the fence and has even escaped into the old stump in the courtyard.

The montana engulfing the stump in the back garden is now the perfect home for the wrens, blue tits and blackbirds.

This blue columbine has self-seeded in the flags by the patio doors, it’s one of the prettiest flowering right now. I haven’t seen it in the garden before, so I shall certainly save some seed for next year.

I have also made a decision about the lawn/lack of lawn in the back garden. Currently, it’s a dustbath/dog race-track, and clearly, despite my best attempts, grass will never grow there.

As there will always be dogs here I’ve decided to flag the lawn area, while leaving lots of large islands for plants. I hate flagging as I think it contributesย to flooding and ruins wildlife habitats, but I really have no choice…..so, I’m digging out all the rockery and pond plants and am hoping that they all survive. Eventually they will all be re-planted when the pond is reconstructed. It’s going to be a huge job, and messy as the front drive will be replaced at the same time….Oh Lordy! It all begins in July and will take six weeks.

And Finally……

homework last week was caring for four cages of starling chicks. I was a little nervous after my experience with the last chicks, but bit the bullet and got on with it.

I even felt it may be tempting fate taking a picture, so only took this one. Happily, all my charges survived. I even managed to get one feeding itself. Result!!!

  32 comments for “A silent band, a weekend away, big plans, fruitlets and getting back on the wagon

  1. May 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    We have some pretty self seeded aquilegias too. Well done on rearing the baby birds. It must be terrifically satisfying.

    • Snow Bird
      May 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      It is so rewarding when all my charges advance a little, I love having them, it’s not often you get that close to wildlife. I was thrilled to see all the chicks survive! xxx

  2. Jo
    May 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

    That photo in The Shambles must have been taken either very early or very late, you can never usually walk down that street without being shoulder to shoulder with someone else. I hope you enjoyed your time in York, there’s always lots to see and do there. Aww, those starling chicks are so cute. I’ve got one of those feeders which attach to the window and I get loads of starlings on it. Yesterday I was watching a mum starling feeding her baby on there. It’s lovely to see them so close up.

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      I think that photo was taken about 5pm on a Sunday, it was certainly busier during the day. We really enjoyed York, first visit for us but a place we would definitely go back too.
      How lovely that you got to see mummy starling feeding her chick, it’s always so much better seeing chicks in the wild. Starlings at the rescue take ages learning to feed themselves. Thanks Jo.xxx

  3. May 16, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Super post….Love the ‘fairy’….๐Ÿค— Yes, adorable/fascinating/not-cheap York! Instantly recognised the little street…… Hugs!

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks Bushka, I loved the fairy too, and York!xxx

  4. May 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures.
    It looks and sounds like you’re going to have plenty of fruit this year. xx

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks Flighty, fruit is coming along nicely, even the blueberries, for once.xxx

  5. veggiemummy
    May 16, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    What a lovely post – a jaunt with your daughter to York, baby starlings and such a beautiful garden. I’ve been thinking about getting a Montana for a while now – your photo has decided me; garden centre here I come! xx

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Playing out with daughter is always fun, York was just lovely….oh, do get a Montana, they are prolific growers and have such a lovely vanilla scent.xxx

  6. May 16, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Oh, congratulations on doing so well with the babies. I know you were nervous, but see there? It all worked out! It is hard to start up again after unhappy results, but if we didn’t, most of us would be stuck in the mud after about age two!

    What is flagging? I finally decided it must be adding flagstone and using that as a surface instead of grass. It’s always such fun to come across a new word, and try to figure out what someone who also speaks English means by it all.

    Here’s another interesting tidbit: our strawberries, which started bearing fruit in February, are nearly done now. The blackberries and blueberries are bearing like crazy, and it’s almost time for peaches!

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks Linda, yes, we do have to dust ourselves down and get on with it for sure! Laughing at your confusion re flagging, I often have similar problems reading America blogs, some words puzzle me for ages!
      You seem ahead of us, my strawberries are far from ripe….oh, to be able to grow peaches!!!xxx

  7. Kitty
    May 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Oh, what fun to visit York with your dear daughter! She looks so beautiful! Mother-daughter play dates sound heavenly.

    The Dylan concert sounds odd, but glad you had a chance to see/hear him and his musicians.

    The gardens, as always, look lovely. The columbine is gorgeous; I’ll have to look for that one in catalogues; how pretty. The clematis has made such a glorious comeback! Yay! Beautiful!

    I know the work will be messy, but just think: it’ll all be done by late summer. I don’t even remember the hassle we went though for months waiting to get our roof replaced. I mean, I do remember, but the memories are pain-free, so it doesn’t last. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m so glad you jumped back in to your healing gift and helped those baby starlings. We have an old gas grill that Phillip was about to cart off to the resale shop when we opened the hood and discovered a starling nest. There are five eggs and a very watchful Papa. I think it was a brilliant move because this is the time of year we get heavy thunderstorms, and they were creative enough to find a covered grill, drag dried garden grasses through a little hole on the side, and build a deluxe, covered nest. Mama always looks quite pleased. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for another lovely post. Cheers!

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Oh…playing out with daughter is always great, we do have a laugh and York was just lovely, a place we’d go back to. I would definitely get some columbine, it self-seeds everywhere and so many different versions pop up, it needs little care and tolerates most conditions.
      How true, we rarely remember the hassle of workmen once jobs are completed, I do think flagging will resolve the endless dust bath, I have tried everything else and I will leave lots of islands, it will be lovely when done, hopefully!
      I loved hearing about your starlings, what clever wee birds! We had robins do the same, we, no doubt like you, couldn’t use the BBQ all summer. It’s lovely catching up with your antics at Full Moon, your garden is looking just lovely!!! Thanks Kitty.xxx

  8. May 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Goodness! I can’t get that gorgeous columbine out of my mind — what a beauty! Is it really as navy colored as your photos look? So pleased to see how well your clems are doing. Mine has done better since our rain, but not thriving like yours seem to be. Congrats on the plants surviving the mouse! And the starlings and you successfully navigating your time together.

    I do not envy your job of putting down flagstones. Perhaps you can get some help on this one.

    Love seeing your daughter flitting about making the gardens even more enchanting. Looks like you both had a lovely time in York.

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      That columbine really is that colour, it’s a lovely shape too, I shall certainly collect the seed from that!
      I have booked big strong guys to lay the flags, I think that would be beyond me, all in all, it will take six weeks, but at least it’s outdoors! xxx

  9. May 17, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Love your story of Bob Dylan not saying a word, I can just imagine that, he seems a man of few words at the best of times!! Your garden is looking amazing, everything grows so well in Britain…..I think you are right not worry about lawn, it just doesn’t go with dogs. One of our dogs (years ago) couldn’t handle it when I went back to work, and he spent the whole day digging up the garden in protest, poor wee doggie and poor garden!
    Great to see you are still looking after little chicks, I’m sure they will all do well.

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      How true, Dylan has never been a chatty guy! He saves his words for his songs!
      I have to concede defeat where that lawn is concerned….raised beds amongst the flags should stop the dogs racing through the borders. Ahhh…bless that dog, they know how to protest for sure! xxx

  10. May 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Getting to see Bob Dylan must have been amazing. The Shambles look empty so you chose a good time to visit and avoid the crowds. The garden is looking lush and I envy you the clematis as a lovely one I bought a few years ago grew, flowered and then died perhaps because it was planted under the fig tree and it didn’t like it there. I like your self-seeding aquilegia as a good way to have more plants in the garden! Even though the mouse is still around your seedlings are doing well. The mouse must have feasted on the food you put out instead. The flagging project sounds like a bit of an upheaval. Glad the chicks survived – satisfying to get one feeding itself.

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Dylan and his band certainly put on a good show! I think his lack of interaction is some sort of protest, in his mind, it’s about the music. The Shambles was packed on Saturday but was almost deserted by 5pm Sunday, far more relaxing though. What a shame about your clematis, mine seem to thrive in full sun or shade, I think they like our sandy, well-drained soil.xxx

  11. May 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Your garden looks wonderful. I had to laugh at your giving up on the dog-track lawn. Our pups have a short cut through the perennial garden that I have given up on. I’m putting down flagstones! I’m happy to hear that the starlings survived. Happy spring!

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks Brenda. I have tried everything re getting that lawn to grow, I think Sam is just to heavy for it, he churns it up as he runs. I’m laughing hearing that you are resorting to similar meaures, dogs will be dogs! xxx

  12. May 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Dear Dina….I do enjoy your posts….and as always this one didn’t disappoint. Strange concert indeed….and your daughter/fairy is so adorable ๐Ÿ™‚
    yes, best not to fight it and go with the doggy way of being….I don’t think a few flags will do too much damage.
    Hope you are having some decent weather….ours has been very odd….but – what the heck..we just keep on trucking.
    Love the picture of all the cages…you are fabulous…sending love Janet ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Janet, lovely to hear you enjoy my posts! I don’t think a few flags will do too much damage, I can create gardens on top of them with pots and rocks, and I plan of having lots of islands. Our weather is very up and down, one minute roasting hot, the next, wet and chilly, it has been a warm spring though. All my love right back attcha!!xxx

  13. May 18, 2017 at 2:16 am

    That clematis is a beauty and of course those chicks are thriving under your care! A singer who just sings? Who knew?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks Casa, indeedy, a singer who just sings, a rare thing these in days of hype!xxx

  14. May 18, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    That white Clematis is magnificent! Thinking of your fruitlets turning into ripe fruit (and then being turned into jam and pies) is making my mouth water.

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      When a clematis takes off it sure does go for it as you know well with yours! I grow lots of fruit but rarely eat it, the dogs love it though! Shame I can’t pass it all on to you.xxx

  15. May 22, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Had friends that went to a Dylan concert and the same thing happened – not a word!

    I visited York several years ago and loved it, but The Shambles was a little busier than your photo shows. It is a great place to visit, I’d love t go back at sometime.

    I think that is a good decision with your garden, needs must!

    All the best Jan

    • Snow Bird
      June 1, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Oh, so it must be Dylan’s thing! It certainly was different!
      The Shambles was packed on the Saturday but emptied out by 5pm Sunday, it it a lovely place, I’d visit again too. Thanks Jan.xxx

  16. June 7, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Your posts haven’t been appearing in my reader so I have got very behind. I’ve got behind with blogging generally as sometimes life gets in the way. It’s nice to catch up. You have been having fun. I always wanted to go to a Dylan concert. And it’s years since I went to York. There’s nothing nicer than spending time with your daughter.

  17. Snow Bird
    June 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I suddenly get glitches like that too, blog posts go into junk…why??? Dylan was fabulous, strange, but fabulous! It’s always great playing out with daughter’s for sure!xxx

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