I’ve spent a happy couple of hours pottering in the garden, this afternoon.
The lawn needed mowing and I continued with the task of cutting back shrubs which are too big for their allocated space, or just need a prune to encourage growth for this year. I was a bit worried about the fuschia which had been blasted by frost, but managed to find some new growth appearing.

I bought a dicentra spectabilis Alba ( see icon pic) last weekend and a bit of clearing was also needed to give it the right spot to show it off. I’ve positioned it opposite my classic dicentra, otherwise known as the “Bleeding Heart” They are really “good value” in a garden. They come up in April with a reddsih tint to the foliage of the pink variety and a strong lime-green for the “Alba”, have spectacular arching flower stems, die down in the autumn and come back year after year.

It was pretty peaceful: Ted, the old boy two gardens away, was forking over a bed and whistling to himself, sparrows were having a row in and out of the garryia and disturbing the collar doves and the starlings were practising their whistling.

I tend to leave leaf litter until late in the spring as it protects new growth from unexpected frosts, so there is still quite a bit around. I was amazed at the number of ladybirds amongst it.

The biggest surprise was a couple of peacock butterflies encouraged out by the warm sun.

The only disturbance was the sound of mechanical diggers and construction vehicles in the distance. On the ring-road yet another housing estate is being built. We are the fastest growing district in the UK. Luckily I live on a small in-fill estate which can’t get any bigger . The peace and tranquility comes at a slight cost – behind my garden are the local Community College playing fields and a stand of protected oak trees. If the price of peace is a few noisy sports days in the summer and a bit of noise form the Sunday football teams then I’m prepared to pay it