Saturday, February 27, 2016

Winter bonfire

click photo to enlarge
Many gardeners in England are obsessives, working all hours to maintain their garden to the highest of standards. When autumn borders are tidied before the onset of winter the dead and dying annuals and late flowering perennials are cut down and the resulting stems and dead heads composted or burned. Autumn garden bonfires are not unusual.

We, however, adopt a different strategy. We leave many of theses plants to over-winter so that their seed heads are available for the birds. Many shrubs, annuals and perennials, such as sedum or hydrangea, provide rich pickings for seed-eating birds and can look very attractive covered with a sprinkling of frost. This strategy means that though we enjoy the sight of foraging birds in winter, we have to dispose of the stems and heads at the end of winter as spring approaches. Much is composted but not all can be, so we have a bonfire or two.

Today's photograph shows my wife busy burning the woody materials that have been cut down. This winter has been very mild compared with what we usually experience. However, during the last week or two temperatures have dropped, skies have cleared and overnight frosts appeared.In those circumstances what can be better than wrapping up warm and feeding the fire?

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Garden Bonfire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On