More about birds

Because the young bird had flown and the new nest was not complete we decided to block the access to their nesting place. We broke clay pots and fitted them around the pipe. The first lot the blackbirds managed to dislodge. Our second attempt also failed. Then with bigger pieces I jammed the hole so… Continue reading More about birds

Water nymphs

As I cross the bridge over the ‘Stadtgraben’ (the city moat) I stop to look down into the water. There are small fish, a hundred hovering dashes, and there are water lilies—the water is that still. I am intrigued by the submerged world of these plants. There are leaves reaching up for the air, to… Continue reading Water nymphs


Never have I seen so many Rhododendrons! They are in flower— pink, red, white—in front gardens they are trimmed into shape, ‘buns’ of green and bright colour. At the city end entrance to the Bürger Park is the Hollersee, which is more like a large pond, the Park Hotel behind. The Rhododendrons border the path… Continue reading Rhododendrons


Between the trees in the street garden beds which is thick with a low spreading plant I don’t recognise smaller bushes have been planted, chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia. Below me there are two. I notice one has flowers, the other not. Days later tiny dots of white are sprinkled over the one not flowering, like confetti.… Continue reading Chokeberry

International citizens

The much maligned dandelion must come from somewhere… Taraxacum officinale is the most international citizen, the greatest transgressor of borders, (which we know are abstract and arbitrary) and so I seek them in the thick uncut grass on the street verges and in the unkempt front gardens and parks. When I see the bright yellow… Continue reading International citizens


Field flowers allowed to grow! Oh, for the death of the ‘prefect’ monoculture lawn. Who indoctrinated us to think that a single species grass lawn was a high point of gardening prowess? I could be suspicious of all the companies that benefit from the sale of tools, chemicals etc. that aid the avid lawn lover… Continue reading Biodiversity

Castanea sativa

The chestnut trees grab my attention. They are flowering and have the most striking spikes of flowers— like ice creams held aloft. The white variety is most common. But there is a pink one too. They have been planted as street trees. The chestnut is native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Are we too… Continue reading Castanea sativa

Up with the birds

In Bremen, Germany staying in an apartment on the 5th floor I look out at trees. There is a strip of parkland which runs both sides of a ‘moat’ built by Napoleon. The park is called the Wallanlagen. Oaks, chestnuts, linden and birches line the banks and street. The water, which seems still but is… Continue reading Up with the birds

Monster me

The Pittosporum revolutum (also known as Wild Yellow Jasmine, Rough fruit Pittosporum) is fruiting. The warty, yellow pods have opened like a wide jaw displaying a mouthful of swollen shiny bright red seeds. I think how these “mouths” look so much like a sci-fi monster, perhaps aliens from a planet far, far away. I feel… Continue reading Monster me

Categorised as ZONE 1