The mulberry tree garden

The garden is a large urban garden. A very large garden. In the centre of it is a huge ancient mulberry tree, at the end a wild tangle of brambles. Parts of it are managed whilst other parts are left to run wild. Along one side is a tall brick wall over which people throw crisp packets and drink bottles and aerosol cans. At the end is a school and on the other side a GP’s surgery. Like all the best gardens it is a rectory garden.


July 31

The end of a very dry month and when we open our bedroom shutters we see wood pigeons dust bathing on the dust dry lawn. But a shower passes across and they fly off. The thistles are turning to seed and yesterday I saw goldfinches feeding on them -- the first time I have seen and heard them since spring

July 29

I opened our door and there was a great flurry of activity in the laurel bushes. They were full of scrawny looking blackbirds who continue to scrabble away in their depths along with blue tits and great tits. The blackbirds, presumably, were immature youngsters who become very common at this time of year in the garden. The blackberries are beginning to ripen and the lawn is littered with fallen mulberries.


July 27

The other center of activity is the large lavender bush which is always full of bees cruising from one flower head to the next. The Speckled Woods are also searching for nectar and today a Cabbage White was also fluttering around


July 26

The Mulberry tree is very much the center of attention in the garden at the moment. The berries are black and juicy and attracting the birds. The wood pigeons thump off at the slightest provocation and the blackbirds are enjoying the feast. I saw one very guilty looking bird today with a Mulberry in its mouth hopping off into the holly tree. But the most distinctive birds of this season are the starlings who are always making little rustling sounds in the tree and surrounding bushes, you hardly ever see them in the act but they are always there secretly gobbling up the harvest.

July 20

Butterflies are not profuse in the garden but they put in an appearance. One of the most common is the Speckled Wood and for the first time I was able to get some good pictures. Also there were two Gatekeepers, appropriately enough, fluttering around the gate into the garden


July 16

The berries and fruit are beginning to emerge. On the Mulberry tree leaves are streaked with dark red where the starlings and other birds have begun to feed on the ripe fruit on the top of the tree. Further down within reach green is turning to red and dark fruit peeps out between the leaves. Also dark green plums are swelling in the plum trees lost in the wilderness and the brambles are smothered with unripe fruit and just here and there a black berry emerges shining in the sun.


July 15  

I came home from three weeks away to a dry and parched garden. The early summer flowers have gone and although the lavender is flowering, and the hollyhocks, everything is dominated by the greens and browns of high summer. And overnight it rained. Leaving the garden still brown wet and smelling of them. Green Mulberry's poke out from under the big green, leathery leaves and the elderberries are beginning their journey to fruity blackness