The Week of the Baby Birds

Last week’s starlings have found their wings, and now they are all over the garden like joy-riders, scaring the wits out of the magpies, who are behaving more like grumpy old men than the ruthless predators they are reputed to be. Their own babies, however, hatched last week and they’ll go after anything. I saw one trying to crawl into a roofspace after a sparrow’s nest.

Bluetits, blackbirds, sparrows and dunnocks seem to have hatched too. There are fluffy exuberant birds everywhere, trying to eat anything that will sit still long enough, knocking each other over, squawking and jeering at each other from the telephone line or the hedge. It’s like being on playground duty again.

Here is my Vincent border. For about a fortnight it looks fabulous.

This is sweet rocket. When I first planted it, it was this lovely violet colour. The next year, it came up white, which looks and smells fantastic in the evenings. And for the last two years, we have had one recurrence of the violet.

Grey June
Grey June twilight now.
Rocket scents the still garden –
cinnamon and dew.

Now it is raining, and cooler again. The garden came on a lot in the sunny weather, but the courgettes and pumpkins I planted and the french beans I sowed will be glad of the wet weather – if it doesn’t go on too long.

Summer Rain
When the long drought ends,
rain kisses dusty windows,
whispers on the roof.

All the aquilegias came out – they are a weird and wonderful mix. Every year I think I will save seed of the prettiest, but they just do what they like anyway.

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