The Bark Path

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Monday, 7th April, 2008

Evening primroseperiwinkle5.10 pm, 13°C

BY THE POND, the periwinkle (right) is scrambling alongside the composted bark path that I laid down last autumn. Its pointed buds are so sharp that its runners can pierce the weed suppression fabric I use, popping in and out every few inches like a botanical sewing machine.

The twiggy exploded seed-pods of evening primrose (left) are on a plant that I bought at the church plant sale last May. If it has scattered as many seeds as it appears to have I might end up with plenty of seedlings this summer.

hostaHosta shoots are springing up like asapargus tips (right). I think I like them better at this stage, when they look like an alien life-form than later when the lush foliage arrives.

These three sketches were drawn with my new brown Pilot Drawing Pen and coloured using my sketchers' watercolour box; the selection of earth colours proved useful for the dry seed-pods of the evening primrose.

5.55 pm; temperature down to a chillier 9°C.

When we sit down to eat, at our dining table by the patio doors, at 6.30 there's a period when 16 species of birds use the garden, including great-spotted woodpecker, mallard and blue, great, willow and long-tailed tits. When we finish our meal it's all gone quiet again. The drake mallard flies in to join his mate and they stand preening beside the pond.