A Surprise To Come

Beginning with the cherry trees at the front, I focussed on the garden this morning.

A crafty sparrow uses this holly tree as a diversionary tactic en route to its nest around the corner.

Despite the efforts of cumbersome pigeons and pelting hailstones, the pale pink winter flowering example has bloomed constantly since September;

a smaller tree has added the tones of a deeper pink blossom;

and the soaring amanogawa is now attracting bees. Can you spot the seeker after nectar homing in on the first picture and having landed in the second?

Some of the camellia petals are taking on the brown hues of weathered old age.

Like this tulip they have reacted to the recent heavy rainfall. The tulip just curled up its nose;

others, such as these standing proud in the Palm Bed, remain unperturbed.

A yellow Japanese maple stretches towards the Gazebo Path.

The first deep red rhododendron buds are opening in the Dragon Bed,

which carries clusters of yellow lamiums.

Snake’s head fritillaries are proliferating in the West Bed;

others, beside the stepping stones crossing the Cryptomeria Bed, we thought had failed. In fact they were just a little later than their neighbours.

Daffodils and hellebores dance to the right of the stones.

While I photographed the fruits of her labours, Jackie puzzled over a surprise to come. Normally she labels her greenhouse seedlings and bulbs. Sometimes she forgets to do this.

Elizabeth visited this afternoon and stayed to dinner, which consisted of Jackie’s classic cottage pie; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and tender green beans. Ian had brought a rather delicious bottle of Aguilla Chillando Garnacha 2017. I started on that, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Elizabeth drank Becks Blue.


  1. The garden is off to a roaring start!
    I have a few pots that lost their labeling, so I’m going to be as surprised as Jackie when and IF they bloom!

  2. Always love a surprise! I found the bee 🙂 That is an amazing photo, landing gear at the ready, it must have backed down to it’s chosen bloom as it didn’t land where I expected to find it. Your camera does amazing work to get that first shot especially.

  3. My neighbour deposited some lily rhizomes in a pot barely covered with soil last fall and left it in her garage all winter long . She’d completely forgotten about it until green shoots started poking through the soil. A lot of places are still well covered with snow here – it has been a spectacularly snowy winter – and when she showed me her shoots I almost burst into tears. She placed the pot in a her living room and will give it a home in spring when the earth defrosts. We are a good month away from crocuses, I’m sure. My husband was still x-country skiing this morning, for Pete’s sake. Anyway, this is a very long-winded reply to your post which gives me hope that spring is eternal and will one day return, even in the Vladivostok of North America.

  4. I think I see the little buzzer in flight in that photo…surrounded by blue sky.
    Your sparrow photo is so lovely!
    All beautiful photos, Derrick! 🙂
    Hey, Jackie! How are you doing? Please have Derrick let us know what your surprise is! Whatever it be…it looks green and healthy!
    HUGS to both of you!!! 🙂

    1. I will try and remember to get him to let you know the outcome of the mystery growth, I remember as I planted them , thinking I needed to label them (there are two mystery pots), but got distracted of course! Fatal.

  5. Some species of birds will land in a different place every single time they return to their nests but always finish up at their nests. Goldcrests do this, but I just don’t know about house sparrows.

  6. Sights to warm the hearts of any gardner, or garden admirer! 🙂 Thanks Derrick!

    I spotted your buzzy friend! I have three pots of plants that have grown out of ‘nowhere’ and i have no clue as to what they might turn out to be. They are very healthy, green and are obviously climbers, that i have presumably planted as seeds, but completely forgotten anything about them?? Will wait for developments, as is Jackie!

    Love the shot of Jackie with her 2 pairs of glasses on! – Reminds me of my Mum – she has 6 pairs and counting!

  7. Such beautiful photos, Derrick. Spring is singing a sweet song–even if the tulips are curling up their noses. They are so haughty. I like the photo of Jackie. I hope she’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  8. Rarely do I see a garden as lovely as this one. Lots of hard work and love went there I am sure! thank you for sharing these lovely photographs Derrick.

  9. Wonderful photos, Derrick. When I forget to label seeds, it makes the waiting so much more interesting. Everyone loves a good mystery! I also love Jackie’s sweater. It’s so vibrant!

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