St Ethelwold’s Garden – January 2024

Rather than visit a nature reserve every month, as in previous years, I have decided to pay a monthly visit to St. Ethelwold’s Garden. A dedicated team of volunteers keep this garden thriving! Some are gardening experts. Others are newer. Since December, there has been a notice about Simon, one of the gardening experts, who died. There is a book of remembrance for him inside the house.

This is the view from one of the many seats in the garden and the view back to St Ethelwold’s House, which serves as a spiritual retreat and community centre, as does the garden.

Last week was cold, and there was thick ice on the water butt.

After two windy storms (Isha and Jocelyn), today was sunny and breezy.

There are not a lot of flowers in January. But some of the flower heads from last year have been left and still give a good display.

The first flower of the year was probably the Winter Aconite. They are balled up in the morning or when it is cold but open up to reveal six petals within a frill of leaves by afternoon.

Clumps of snow drops are also flowering. I also saw pink primroses and dutch irises, protected close to a wall. Hose pipes are laid about and help irrigate the garden.

A robin was on the highest spur of leaves above an evergreen, singing away.

A great tit and blue tit were on a tight rope near a peanut holder. They could be the same birds that visit our feeder in West St Helen Street. Our garden is about 80 meters from St Ethelwold’s as birds fly.

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