The tree as shelter; the branches of the tree weep down instead of rising up, reaching down to the water, down to the ground. You can pass through into this sheltered space, behind the green curtain. Then you feel like you are in a room enclosed but not entrapped. The veil of leaves is dense… Continue reading Shelter

Sun baking

Since I first spotted it I notice that the tortoise is up sunning itself every morning on the corner of the platform around the duck house. When I first saw it a few days ago I thought it was fake, that, as a prank, a young adult had swum or waded out and put it… Continue reading Sun baking

Big bonsai?

The strange out of proportions of these two olive trees grabbed my attention. Everything about them seemed wrong. The thick, rough trunks spoke of older mature trees— how old I was not sure, 40-50 years? They have the truncated size of a full tree cut down and cut up, a chunk of the trunk taken… Continue reading Big bonsai?

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