It is wet, and cold, and windy, and it starts getting dark at 3.30pm, so there is not much going on in the garden. Besides, my mind has been on crime.
But today I was cleaning the garage doors when I remembered the countess who went to visit her slightly-less aristocratic friend and produced the ultimate in garden put-downs. Looking out of her friend’s window, she remarked: “I see you don’t bother to wash your birch trees, Betty.”
My betula jacquemonte grows a lot of algae on its bark, and it somewhat spoils the pure white of its trunk (note the slug trails where they have been browsing the algae)So, not wishing to suffer scorn from any visiting countesses, I heaved over the power-washer from where I had been using it.Since it was raining, a little more water made no difference to my morale. But the effect was most pleasing:I didn’t use a ladder (and don’t much fancy using one either) so I now have a tree that is nicely clean to about eight feet, but still green and mossy above that:Since the bark of b.jacquemonte peels very easily, and the loose bits were blasted off by the water, I now have grass covered in litter. At least it’s biodegradeable.
Being Scottish, and therefore mean, I don’t start feeding the wild birds until about now, as it’s a waste of good money while there is still plenty of stuff they can eat in the garden. Also, since my wild birds refuse point blank to eat wheat, barley, or niger seeds (not even the goldfinches), I am forced to buy ultra-expensive bird food, complete with mealworms and other unheard-of delicacies. If I give them the cheap stuff, they just throw it around, and I then have a crop of wheat growing in my herbaceous border the following summer.
I was pleased to receive a visit from a great spotted woodpecker today. As the winter deepens, I hope I’ll have more.