Monday, April 22, 2024

A New Pot

Our pink azalea -- which we got for free when our local garden center gave away all its plants at the start of our first pandemic lockdown in 2020 -- is bursting into bloom. As you can see, there are lots of buds still coming.

And this little bluebell is growing in a precarious place, out in the lawn. We have a few that have re-seeded over the years into the grass, and I always try to mow around them but I'm sure I sometimes fail and run them over. So far I've managed to preserve this one.

A quiet day yesterday. I had vague plans of perhaps doing the second leg of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk, but that didn't happen. I'm always reluctant to go away and leave Olga when I could be walking her, and also, I just wasn't feeling up to it. As it turns out, Olga wasn't either -- I tried to take her to the cemetery in the afternoon and we got as far as the corner before she decided it was time to come home.

Instead she spent most of the day being annoying, begging to be let in or out depending on whether the sun was shining. In this maritime climate, the sun goes behind a cloud and comes out again about 3,000 times a day, so that's a lot of back and forth to the patio door.

We did get our somewhat bedraggled avocado tree into its new pot, so that was an achievement. That's a 90-liter pot, about 50 centimeters across. Next to it on the left is the pot the avocado has been living in for the last ten years or so. It was root-bound, to say the least.

The new pot arrived Saturday, and it came with no drainage holes. Why this is true, I have no idea. I borrowed a drill from the Russians (God knows they have plenty of tools) and drilled 24 drainage holes in the bottom before moving the tree. Handyman Steve!

I hope it's happier in its new home. It's too big to bring inside now, so we're committed to keeping it under cover outdoors in winter. Fingers crossed!

Finally, here's my second compilation of footage from our Garden Cam. We see that same black cat, some nest-building magpies, a flock of pigeons, a squirrel digging something up and eating it, another cat (which hightails it away at top speed, for some reason), a fox trotting past, and some pigeons and starlings grazing among the teasels. I'm experimenting with the best place to put the camera, so it moves around a bit -- it got knocked askew by a squirrel before that last shot.

I promise I won't routinely subject you to every pigeon and squirrel. The camera is still a new "toy" for me, but as it ages I'll probably get more selective about what I blog!


Yael said...

I really like watching the hidden life of the garden, I do hope there will be more.

Frances said...

Your bluebells look like the proper wild ones! We only have lots of blue and white Spanish ones!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Don't worry. I won't let Volodymyr Zelenskyy know that you borrowed a drill from The Russians! I hope you remembered to return it or there could be a serious international incident,

Andrew said...

You may have covered this before but is the avocado seed grown or grafted?
The tree fern looks very Australian.
What a brazen fox, and please save us from the pigeon footage. Who knows what the camera will capture?

gz said...

Nice to see your garden so busy! I wonder what the squirrel found to eat?
All those birds..and the Great Tit singing at the end 🙂

Bob said...

You're getting quite a few, and different, visitors to you garden each day; it's kinda cool seeing them.

Our azaleas went wild this year, blooming like mad with vibrant color. Lovely.

Debby said...

I wonder what startled the cat. He came zipping back in a hurry, didn't he? I think it is very nice that even though Olga did not want to take a walk, she made sure her owner got his steps in, letting her in and out 3000 times.

Ms. Moon said...

I love the way the fox strides through, sure of his place in the universe. And in your garden.

Ed said...

Well I already blame you. I recently dug up my game camera and have one post in the works about what it saw.

Wilma said...

The avocado should be happy now in its big pot - what a monster! Keep on with the wildlife footage. Does Olga ever show up?

Susan said...

Your garden attracts lots of wildlife. Being a regular visitor, the fox must have a home nearby. The avocado should thrive outside in the new large pot.

Red said...

Blue bells spread rapidly. I have to cut the bed back every year or they would take the place over.

Ellen D. said...

I love seeing the video from your garden. It's also amazing to remember you live in a big city but have so much nature in your yard.
Great job, Steve (and Dave).

Sharon said...

There is a lot of activity in your garden. It seems to draw a wildlife crowd. I hope the avocado tree likes its new pot. It must have been a job to repot it.

ellen abbott said...

that big pot looks like the big ones I have that originally held molasses that gets fed to cattle. they don't have holes either and we also had to drill holes in them. still love all the forget-me-nots.

Margaret said...

No drainage holes? That's crazy. You have a richness of wildlife that I don't have. There are probably possums and an occasional raccoon. Lots of cats. The bluebells are blooming around here too!

Kelly said...

Such diversity in your little patch of nature! Don't be too hard on Olga. Playing the "in and out" game is part of her job. Did the Russians question you on why you wanted to borrow the drill?

Jim Davis said...

One of the things humans learn from pet ownership is the fine art of being a doorperson for a cat or dog. I will never cease to be amazed by the wildlife in your urban back garden, especially the foxes. Cheers.

Tasker Dunham said...

That is a super clear garden cam, especially the night shots. I must get ours out again, if it still works, although is nothing like as clear as that one.

Allison said...

Really nice garden cam. Your footage is really clear.

Mike O'Brien said...

Wonderful footage, Steve. I'm still amazed at your foxes. The second-to-last (pre-squirrel) vantage point is my favorite. Our trail cam is the previous Browning version. It's aimed at a screech owl nest box, with a female about ready to start incubating and a male who's going to be very busy bringing prey. More city wildlife!

I can't top Debby's comment about Olga!

Chris from Boise

Steve Reed said...

Yael: It's always interesting (to us) to see what's going on out there when our backs are turned! I'm glad it's interesting for you too.

Frances: I think we have a mix, or maybe some hybrids. But yeah, the ones in the picture are the native variety, I believe.

YP: I returned it as quickly as was humanly possible!

Andrew: It was grown from seed. And the tree fern IS Australian. It was sustainably harvested from somewhere in the state of Victoria.

GZ: Yeah, I too wondered what that squirrel was eating!

Bob: This azalea didn't bloom at all in its first year, but then we put it in a sunnier spot and it seems happier.

Debby: Yeah, I had to laugh at that cat! He really flew out of there! Maybe he encountered the fox?

Ms Moon: He doesn't seem at all fazed, even though he must smell Olga.

Ed: Oh, good! I can't wait to see it!

Wilma: Oh yeah, Olga is on there a lot. I just delete most of that footage. (Don't tell her.)

Susan: I've often wondered where those foxes have their den. I don't think it's in our garden, but yes, it must be nearby.

Red: It's a nice problem to have!

Ellen D: We are so lucky to have this natural space.

Sharon: It was surprisingly easy. It came right out of the old pot, its root ball was so tight and somewhat dry. (It sucked up water at a ridiculous rate.)

Ellen: I think they're meant for big plantings with multiple plants, but they work for trees too! (And need holes in any case.)

Margaret: Possums and raccoons would be fun too! We don't have either of those. If I lived out in the country maybe we'd have badgers and hedgehogs, but not here.

Kelly: I explained to them what I wanted it for, just to let them know. And Mr. Russia seemed to choose the drill bit based on the fact that it was going to be used on plastic, so maybe my explanation served a purpose!

Jim: It would be great to get a pet door for Olga, but I'm not sure how it would work without also being a door for potential thieves. She's a pretty big dog.

Tasker: It was reviewed online as a good-quality cam and that seems to be the case.

Allison: We're happy with it!

Chris: The only problem with that vantage point is that we don't see the length of the garden, so many animals are crossing and they pass quickly. If we had a longer view we'd get a lengthier shot of the critters, I think.

Jeanie said...

I love the fox! And that had to be one monster project, repotting the tree. Well done!