Our Suffolk Cottage Garden 2019
Our Suffolk Cottage Garden 2019

       This would be quite a disrupted start to the new year in our cottage garden.  Our cottage is many centuries old and we had found evidence of Death Watch Beetle.  That led to the layers of the external walls having to be removed and renovated.  In fact, although the whole process was a source of disruption, it was fascinating to watch the renovations take place.  The team of builders had to use traditional methods, common to the fifteenth century, to restore the timbers which form the frame of the house.  Centuries of tradition being maintained and put into practice due to the protective ‘listing’ on the cottage.

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      The year progressed into what would be one of beautiful colours.  The plants seemed to flourish in vibrant splendour and each season saw the flowers, shrubs and trees offer a stunning pallette.  This was a year rich in the abundance of bees and wasps; so much needed by our ever burdoned environment.  It felt like the plan of planting for wildlife was a success and this was immensely satisfying.

      There were many creatures in the garden but a daily visitor was the pheasant, who would wait until I had brought our dogs indoors before he would leap over the fence and find his way onto the bird table.  He would scratch around for some of the scraps left by the smaller birds, earlier on.  I wondered how soon it would be before this increasingly podgy pheasant might end up wedged in the bird table!

      Another regular visitor to the bird table was this beautiful grey squirriel.  He would sometimes leap onto the table umbrella and hop from there down to the bird table.  He would absolutely stuff himself full with as many seeds as he could hold, before heading home.  My dogs never appreciated his presence and, if he ever appeared in the garden while they were outside, he would face our two naughty terriers hurling themselves at him.  In spite of Oscar and Digby’s best efforts, the agile little acrobat would never be around long enough for them to catch him.  He was fast and he would shoot off into the trees within an instant.

      One evening, a Billywitch flew into our window.  It made a loud thud.  Then, it flew in through the back door, into our kitchen.  These are pretty big beasties, when you consider that they fly around, but they seem to have little that is graceful about them, as they repeatedly head-butt the back door or kitchen window for access.

One of my facourite additions to the garden, from early on, was a tree called a Japanese Shirota.  The blossom is so abundant, in springtime, that it looks as if there has been snowfall, at first sight.  The bees cannot get enough of this stunning blossom.

Here are some shots of flowers from our cottage garden in 2019:

       One of the things that I am most proud of, in terms of our cottage garden, is the simplicity and beauty of it as a place to entertain friends and family.  From the vantage point of a seat at the table on our patio, it’s possible to watch the birds busying themselves, the insects buzz around the flowers, the joy in the dogs as they get plenty of attention while outside and, of course, the way that so many of the things we planted have grown to maturity and are now alive with life. This is what bringing nature back into the garden is all about.

      One evening, I saw a moth land on the kitchen window.  It was outside, I was within.  I had the kitchen light on.  This little creature was just beautiful.  I took a close up photo of it, which you will see below.  As the night sky had turned dark, my camera had picked up sight of other air-borne particles; this time simply dust.  With the kitchen light on, outside apeared as black as space and I noticed that the dust around the little creture was lit up by my camera.  It looked like a little alien against the backdrop of space. 

What do you think? Alien? 😉

(C) Deano Parsons. 2020.

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