Sharing A Meal

Unidentified plant 1Unidentified plant 2Unidentified plant 3

When we arrived in Downton on 31st March last year, clumps of large leaves were present in the front garden. Following our policy of giving unrecognised plants time to make themselves known, we refrained from disturbing them. These produced nothing more until now. We don’t know what they are. Does anyone? The holly leaf in the first picture gives the scale of the small blue flowers that have poked their heads out. The next two offer enlargements as an aid to identification. The fresh foliage is much smaller than it will be in the summer.

PrimulasPrimulas 2Allium

Today I took a slightly longer and more gainly hobble around the garden than yesterday. Other new arrivals are different varieties of primula, and the first of the numerous alliums which will crop up everywhere as the year goes on. These latter are very welcome in the beds, but far too many of them pierce the gravel and brick paths. As the weather warms up their heady aroma is nowhere near as appetising as that of the frying onions that tempt you to stop at a hot dog stall. Indeed, when we first savoured it we thought there must be a problem with our septic tank.

Tete-a-tete daffodils

Among the new daffodils are tiny tete-a-tetes.

Brick barrier

A single layer of bricks that, last week, Aaron placed at the end of the back drive in order to deter offending vehicles, has survived unscathed.

During our lunch we watched others enjoying theirs. Through the kitchen window I was able to photograph the avian diners.Greenfinches 1

First, a pair of greenfinches sat opposite each other, as did Jackie and I.Greenfinch

When I reached the window, one flew off, leaving its less timid mate in sole possession.Greenfinch and blue tit 1

It is not usual at the moment for different species to share a meal, but our then unaccompanied visitor seemed content to accommodate a blue tit.Greenfinch and blue tit 2

Once this little creature hopped down to a lower perch,Greenfinches and blue tit

The more cautious greenfinch joined the party, the couple remaining on the alert to repel any more boarders, but allowing their companion to continue lunching.Greenfinches 2

Finally, the smaller bird having had its fill and flown off, the braver greenfinch took its place on the lower berth, whilst its mate emulated the cow in the hedge.

My egg and bacon wasn’t too congealed by the end of this little interlude.

This evening, for our dinner, Jackie produced her classic cottage pie, cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts, followed by a juicy raspberry crumble. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Heritage de Calvet Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013.

P.S. Jackie thought the plant was possibly borage, and Vicki Haynes confirmed it. This enabled my lady to do further internet research, establishing it as a perennial borage, boraginaceae trachystemon orientalis. In UK it is termed Oriental Borage. In Turkey the plant is eaten as a vegetable.


  1. I have no idea what your flower is. The bird shots are remarkable, especially considered they are taken through a window! I would have let my lunch go cold for that display too 🙂

  2. Lovely sequence. We are still in winter.
    See Dark Pines Photo blog for “Ice Fishing Lines out on Elliot Lake”.

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