Hats, mitts, snow boots and winter coats made the cold bearable for my husband and me as we finished the last of the garden work for this year. The hated job of tying up the barberry bushes, trying to avoid the long thorns which protect them, makes us put off this job every year.
The barberry bushes in better weather
Earlier this month, on a warmer day, I had trimmed these bushes and discovered a bird’s nest in the tallest of the four plants.
We knew there were nests among the plants in the front yard but it wasn’t until the leaves fell that this nest among the branches and long thorns was visible. We believe it’s the nest of an American goldfinch.
One day in late August, we observed a female goldfinch, coaching a fledgling, on a branch of a Potentilla in proximity of this nest. When she was aware of our presence, she flew to an overhead wire and sang her best melodies, in a effort to divert our attention away from the young one.
The chick looked nothing like a goldfinch, with its wispy head feathers and its dark colouration.
Later in the day, both birds were gone.
We also covered our male and female holly plants with burlap. I have nursed this pair for four years now and the female is growing beautifully. Despite my best efforts, the male is stunted and every winter, I lose a bit more of him. However, as small as that plant is, the female plant has berries, so he is doing his job, as tiny as he is.
Gardens are a wonderful way to interact with nature at your doorstep! How fortunate are we who can participate in the wonder!