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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

A November Catch Up

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds – November!” —Thomas Hood

I found this quote about November and thought how wrong this Thomas Hood was. Just look round the garden. I’ve seen the odd butterfly and bee there still feeding on nectar. Lots of birds looking for seeds and the insects that hide there. Trees still have leaves, albeit in autumn colours, or their all year round green. Many of our shrubs are still flowering. Our yellow chrysanthemums, which I look forward to seeing each autumn, have only just started to explode into bloom. Anyway it seems that Thomas Hood wrote a poem called "The Song of the Shirt". Think he should have stuck to writing about clothes.

It’s the time of year when we see murmurations of starlings swirling in the skies over the river. In the winter they spend their days roosting up high, so they can keep an eye out for predators. Their nights are spent gathered together where there is plenty of food. Before they settle down for the night they fly around in ever increasing waves of birds. Apparently the individual bird copies the movements of the 7 birds round them. This is why we see a ripple effect as they fly. It’s a spectacular sight and very common to see from the garden in the evening.

We had a volunteers meet up in the Bloomers garden at the end of October. It was really good to get together again. A lot of clearing up was done. To add to our garden colours we planted a few pansies and violas. We also moved and re-potted plants to bigger containers. This meant we could get rid of some of the smaller and damaged containers and finish spreading the last of the chipped bark.

One of the main reasons for the meet up was a new display. The activities we did for the Queens Jubilee in June were put up in the garden. Our washing line of lovely Bloomers was blowing in the wind. And our mini bloomers and colourful ribbons hanging from the railings. It was the latest in the displays we have had over the years. We became known as the ‘Rabbit Garden’ after the Alice in Wonderland theme. Then the theme of Children’s Books. Who knew so many books had rabbits in them.

I hope you all had a safe Guy Fawkes Night? Runcorn Old Town had it’s grand fireworks display on the 5th. I know of some people who sat in the garden to watch at a distance and keep away from the crowds. Personally, I keep even further away and watch it from my bedroom window. I’ve done that most years. Sitting on a chair whilst eating sweets left over from Halloween. A lot of families have firework traditions. My mum’s was making treacle toffee and us kids wrapping it up in greaseproof paper while sitting in from of our lounge fire. We would eat it on Bonfire Night with our neighbours, as a warming treat. Not sure that my teeth, or those that I have left anyway, could cope with it now.

Some strange lines have been appearing round the garden. Its been suggested that it’s aliens landing. But judging from the workmen I’ve seen there, I think the reason is probably more boring.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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