The neighbours across the river have peacocks. For most of the year we don’t notice them but as the days lengthen, Mr P can be heard shouting across the valley. From a range of about half a mile away, his call is part of the early spring soundscape, a modern reminder that the medieval lords of this part of borderland England almost certainly kept them as well.
The sound is a sharp reminder of how the house and garden sits in its site, both in place and time. It’s a very rural spot and sound is an important element in the garden. I notice that in such a quiet place, occasional noise has a greater impact. The winter song of robins accompanies the cutting back of borders, and the new song of thrushes can be heard accompanying the improving light. The song will develop in richness and power over the next few weeks and before long, there will be nests in the hedge.
Winter blooms continue to open ahead of the great spring flush. It’s been cold and foggy for a week now and breaks in the cloud few, but some plants seem careless of frost and fog. Beside the back door Garrya James Roof is in full catkin and here performing as backdrop to Hammamelis Pallida.