Tuesday, 26 May 2009

More From My May Garden

My garden, like many others I suspect, is a busy place at the moment with plants bursting into growth and birds nurturing their young. I am replenishing the feeders and the bird tables daily and the bird bath shows regular evidence of some very grubby activity! The main culprits seem to be,


and their youngsters!

They are also eating voraciously, they storm into the garden in gangs announcing their presence with loud squawks and squabbling fiercely, with the juveniles loudly clamouring for attention from their attentive parents,

'I'd teach a starling how to speak and sing,
Till every word and note with truth should ring,
With all the skill my lips and tongue impart,
With all the warmth and passion of my heart.'
(Wilhelm Muller)

Of course the Starlings are not the only ones feeding their young at the moment, it is obvious from the frenzied activity, and sometimes unkempt appearance of so many adult birds, that they are busily engaged in bringing up their families.

The Coal-tit

Go, bird of no pretensions,
Fly aloft, treble-voiced tit,
Dear the one at one with me,
From the south to my sweetheart.

(Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hem , trans Joseph P. Clancy)

'So, Chaffinch, sing;
A happy piping pipe, the world to please;
For this is Spring.'
(Thomas Ashe)

Great Tit

You of the jet-black head with parting grey,
Grey feathered check, and unassuming coat.
Again I hear your quick continuous note
Of friendly invitation. Peck away!

(Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley)

'Blue tit, who could measure the power of your tiny spark of energy?'

(Norman McCaig)

These Cornflowers came originally from my mother's garden and spread readily around the flower beds.

'I dearly love this garland blue,
It ever speaks of thee;
And tells me, none could be so true
As thou art, love to me.'
(William Warner Caldwell)

This Greenfinch wasn't looking quite as grumpy as they usually do! Wordsworth called this bird the Green Linnet.

'Thou, Linnet! in thy green array,
Presiding spirit here today,
Dost lead the revels of the May;
And this is thy dominion.'
(William Wordsworth)

My Clematis, 'Nelly Moser' is in full flower now.

'It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.'
(William Carlos Williams)

I have been pleased to see the Robin more in evidence lately as I had wondered if it had been scared away by a cat or worse!

'A merry song, a cheery song!
In the boughs above, on the sward below,
Chirping and singing the live day long.'
(George Meredith)

'Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail,
Niddle, naddle went his head;
Wig, wag went his tail.'
(Mother Goose)

This Oriental Poppy is a real splash of cheerful colour in the flower bed at the moment.

'The strange bright dancers are in the garden
The wind of summer is a soft music
Scarlet and orange, flaming and golden
The strange bright dancers move to music.'
(P.A. Ropes)

Look who's up to mischief again! I slightly rearranged the feeders on the metal pole so the Wood pigeons can't reach, but not to be thwarted this one has turned his attention to a different feeder!

The Ceanothus is looking lovely at the moment, I do think all the rain last Summer has benefited the garden this year.

This Paeony which was originally from my mother and father in-law's garden has burst into flower this week after seeming to be in bud for some time.

'If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom'
(Audra Foveo)


  1. ...the baby Starlings are adorable, and how cool that you have flowers grown from seed from you mother's garden. The cornflowers are beautiful...such a nice shade of blue. Lovely poetry...

  2. A very uplifting post Songbird. It's grey and wet here at the moment, so it's nice to see your sunny, colourful photo's

  3. The poetry was beautiful, the pictures were gorgeous, and your post was a joy to read.

    The pictures of the baby starlings were so cute!
    I might be easier if I say I loved it all!

    Have a lovely week love Lou and Poppy xxx

  4. Another fascinating post Jan.

    I'm sitting here in the pouring rain (well - I'm indoors) feeling sorry for the young Blue Tits fluttering around the apple tree waiting for food!

    Your post really brought some colour into an otherwise very grey morning and I thoroughly enjoyed having a good read with a cup of coffee.

    And as for those Starlings - they have to be one of the messiest birds! Lol

    Thank you Jan :)

  5. love the starlings, I know a lot of people do not like them, but they are good entertainment.....

    Your bird photographs and quotes are beutiful and really touched my soul.......

    Have a good gardening weekend....

  6. Loved your post yet again Jan, what a joy it is to read your accompanying little quotes and poetry, makes one remember to be glad to be alive - thank you

  7. I love the baby Starlings, we seem to have a lot of fledglings at the moment - I think they all fledged over the weekend. Even the Goldies are here, well over a month earlier than last year!

    Your garden is looking lovely, I look forward to mine maturing more and I get such wonderful shots :)

  8. What a delightful post! Beautiful photos and I loved how you captured the baby birds! Am up very early this morning and this is such a wonderful way to start my day. Thanks!

  9. Your garden is looking blooming lovely! :)
    Top marks to the Woodpigeon for not giving up. He's a trier.
    I love Starlings; the noisy invaders. Getting a few here now with the youngsters. Great shots of the feeding.

  10. Another beautiful post, great shots of the Starlings. I have Cornflowers in my garden too and they are such a lovely colour.

  11. Great work with the camera! Your garden is awesome...we have a peoney that has never bloomed! Maybe one day it will.

  12. Hi Jan, thanks for brightening up a 'grey, damp day' back at work. I'm not sure where you find all the poetry but it fits very nicely within the post as always. Lol FAB

  13. What a wonderful garden, full of beautiful flowers and activity. Your photos are beautiful!! Love the poetry to go along with each bird! I know what you mean about the Starlings. I have a whole group that come down and eat all the nuts before the squirrels can get to them. The babies haven't shown up yet but when they do it is going to be very noisy. I don't care for them. They crap all over the place and on the building. The ladies that live on this side of the building complain sometimes and blame me because I'm the one feeding the critters. I sometimes wish I could stop feeding the squirrels but now I am afraid to. They might chew through my windows. Guess they will when I'm dead and gone huh? Ha! Ha! Then I won't care.
    Love this post Jan!!

  14. Shysonbird another beautiful set of photos.Your garden looks delightful and once again some lovely words to accompany wonderful pics

  15. A lovely set of pictures and poems again, Jan. Lots of Starling young ones. Thank goodness you didn't record the sound. :) They are driving me up the wall at the moment.

    Interesting feeder the dove is reaching for as the top section of seeds appears to be separate from the bottom lot. That way all four perches are in use all the time.

  16. Would I pull your leg!?!?

    No I wouldn’t,it really was a bus shelter, I thought the same as you.

  17. Kelly, Warren, Lou and Tricia: Thank you.

    Kelly, the baby Starlings are very entertaining to watch and very rowdy!
    I too think Cornflower blue is such a pretty colour. Thank you for your kind comments.

    Warren, thank you I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope the weather cheered up, it has been fine here but quite a cold wind.

    Lou, thank you for all your lovely comments and for coming back about the bus shelter, that made me smile! ;)
    I'm glad you enjoyed your break and will look forward to the next instalment! Lots of love and XXXX to you and Poppy.

    Tricia, thank you very much, the fleeting thought of you sitting at the computer in the pouring rain did make me laugh! ;)
    After heavy overnight rain it has been fine all day today, although windy, I hope it cleared up where you are eventually.
    The Starlings are very messy and so noisy too!

  18. Cheryl, Jayne, Liz and Nan: Thank you.

    Cheryl, thank you for your very kind comments, the Starlings are definitely good entertainment although I feel sorry for the smaller birds when they all come charging in and take over the bird tables!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the quotes, I really think some poetry and quotations can reach something very deep within us.
    I hope you have a lovely week.

    Jayne, thank you, you are very kind, I'm glad you found the poetry and quotes uplifting, they make me feel that way too. :)

    Liz, thank you, I think some of the fledglings seem earlier this year too, I saw juvenile Goldfinches in the garden today not relying on their parents at all, feeding quite independently.
    My garden has just evolved really, I have never made any drastic changes and I'm not one for the latest fads, I think a lot of the latest ideas don't sit well with Nature, I prefer simplicity.

    Nan, thank you for such lovely comments. I'm not very good with early starts unless I have to be, I'm much more of an Owl than a Lark, although I would prefer the other way! I'm very glad you enjoyed it. :)

  19. Keith, Pam, Dixxe and Frank: Thank you.

    Keith, thank you for your very kind comments. Yes, you really have to hand it to the Wood Pigeon, he's very persistent and very amusing to watch! I hasten to add I'm not really being mean as he is very well catered for elsewhere in the garden, but he just has to keep having a go!
    Invaders is a very good word for Starlings, it's like something out of Hitchcock's The Birds every time they charge in!!

    Pam, thank you very much, I love the colour of Cornflowers too and yes I spotted them in your garden, ;) it's nice that they are easy to grow I think and also spread well.

    Dixxe, thank you for your very kind comments. I also have a Paeony which has never flowered, I don't think it likes where I put it, equally they are not keen on being moved but I think I may have to risk it. I think some do sometimes take a while to flower so don't give up.

    Frank, thank you, if I managed to brighten your day a little I am very glad.
    I do enjoy finding the poems and quotes although it can be rather time consuming. I have a tremendous amount of books to fall back on.

  20. Ginnymo, Sheila and John: Thank you.

    Ginnymo, thank you for all your lovely comments, you are very kind. You definitely need to look out for those Starling babies! :) Oh my, they are rowdy and so very, very noisy!
    I had to smile at the prospect of the squirrels chewing their way into your home, not that I would want them to actually do so, ;) but it's just the picture it conjures up!
    Your lady neighbours should be pleased to have someone living by them who is so kind hearted, anyway it could be worse, it could be very loud music at all hours!

    Sheila, Thank you that is very kind. I'm really glad you enjoyed it all, it makes it worth the time it takes when I get such lovely comments.

    John, thank you very much. Yes the feeders come singly but can be slotted together as the two in the photo are, you can put as many together as you like. They are the small ones with small perches which I think I mentioned to you. I bought them to try to deter the larger birds. They were very cheap but are so versatile.
    The noise of the Starlings at the moment is ridiculous! I can hear them even when the doors and windows are shut!

  21. Dear Shy Songbird,

    Lovely photos. I can't help but laugh at the Starlings when they show up, most of the other birds leave, and they are oblivious to their unpopularity. The baby pictures you captured where precious!

    How special those Cornflower's are! I just love to look around the garden and see all the people that passed the different plants to me. I think that is what makes gardening so special.

    Lots of activity in your garden--thank you for sharing some of it with us.

  22. Morning Glories, thank you so much. I smiled at your comment on the Starlings, you are absolutely right they really are oblivious to everything other than themselves!

    Yes, I have so many plants in my garden which hold special memories of the family and friends who gave them to me, I suppose those people who influence ones life most, help to shape our gardens in the same way.

    We have very heavy rain today, which will prevent any gardening, there is still so much to do! I hope you and Bo are still recovering and enjoying your garden again.

  23. my favourite picture is the robin on the chair arms...really neat. you have so many things going on there but that is spring for you. all the mamas and papas taking care of their new borns.
    that is very cool that you have some blooms from your family's garden...i think it always keeps us mindful of what is important...family.
    thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.

  24. Another beautiful set of pictures and poetry shysongbird. Your garden looks beautiful, and the pics of the starlings are lovely, ive got loads of them here, and they are SO noisy!karen x

  25. Marmee, thank you for your lovely comments, I thought the Robin looked very natural perched there.

    Yes it is a busy time in the garden for the birds and the gardener! My brother has just today brought me some lovely trays of plants which my sister-in-law grew from seed in her greenhouse so I am hoping for some good weather in the next few days so I can get them planted.

    I hope you are having a wonderful time in your garden at Dash Home Farm.

  26. Karen, thank you for your very generous comments. Oh my goodness aren't those Starlings noisy? I can hear them wherever I am in the house! They all storm in together, frightening all the other birds, then fly off after devouring large amounts of food, and before long they are all back again!

  27. Our first visit to your blog and you have a lovely graden full of beautiful blooms and life.Great blog and will be following:)

  28. Dear Songbird,
    I loved every photograph and poem!
    Thank you so very much for this garden tour. Your gardens are full of beauty and story...my favorite kind of garden.
    I am listening to baby Starlings right now, begging for food. I also have been filling feeders twice a day keeping up with all the babies.
    Thank you again for a wonderful start to my day.

  29. ah the noisy young starlings. they are cool aren't they

  30. Thanks for visiting my blog. You have wonderful pictures here. I do like starlings but rarely see one in my garden. The babies are sweet. I think the culprits that make my bird bath a mess are the blue jays, lol. Some of the adult birds here are also looking rather ragged. Guess they are run off their feet caring for the young. Wonderful pictures of your flowers as well.

  31. NatureStop, Sherry, Pete and Oldcrow61: Thank you.

    NatureStop, welcome and thank you for your very kind comments. I will be glad to have you visit any time.

    Sherry, thank you so much for your lovely comments, they are very touching and much appreciated.
    It is certainly that time of year again! All the birds are feeding voraciously, it is a job to keep up with them! They are so busy catering for their families and it is such a joy to see.

    Pete, yes, they really are characters and very entertaining to watch.

    Oldcrow61, welcome and thank you for visiting and for your kind comments.
    I have a few more Starlings here than I need, ;) so I will try to send some your way and you are welcome to send me a Blue Jay or two! :)
    Some of the adult birds really do look tired at the moment, but that is parenthood I suppose!!

  32. Loving your gardening and your babies..
    How sweet they look as a family..Deena

  33. I loved your May bird photos shysongbird. Haven't seen any starling youngsters myself, but maybe I will soon

  34. Hi again ShySongbird :-)

    What a great record of your May garden. So many busy birds there with you at the moment… once again great choices of text to accompany your photos :-D

    After seeing lots of plants yesterday it’s the cornflower from your Mother’s garden and the clematis that caught my eye here today.

    Just heading out to feed the guinea pigs and to see if any hogs are about tonight. I saw one earlier. Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-D

  35. Deena, Joe and Shirl: Thank you.

    Deena, thank you for your kind comments. The Starling families are very entertaining to watch, the babies are so demanding and comical!

    Joe, thank you, I'm sure there will be some young Starlings in your garden before long and you will definitely know about it when they do arrive!!

    Shirl, thank you for your lovely comments. The birds certainly are busy in the garden! We have juvenile Goldfinches visiting regularly at the moment.
    The Clematis (Nelly Moser) has done particularly well this year, the sunshine with an occasional gentle shower suits her very nicely I think.
    I hope the Guinea Pigs are still doing well and I'm glad you are still seeing the Hedgehogs, I went out quite late last night to check some new plants weren't being decimated by snails and hoped I might see a Hedgehog, but there was no sign, although we do have them in the garden most years.
    I hope the weather is as lovely where you are as it is here and that you have a wonderful Sunday and a great new week.

  36. love all the birds....and your clematis is beautiful...

  37. Hi Jan. Love your pictures, love your poetic verses, love your blog.

  38. BumbleVee and Ken: Thank you.

    BumbleVee, welcome and thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. We have very warm sunny weather here at the moment and you have reminded me that the Clematis could do with a drink! I shall go and do that. I do hope you visit again!

    Ken,thank you very much for the comments, you are very kind.

  39. Amazing photos, Nelly moser is one of my favourite clematis ,takes some beating

  40. Geordie Magpie, thank you very much. Nelly Moser is a beauty and always flowers well, I have had her for some years now and she looks after herself really.


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