Column: Nature notes from a Shawlands garden

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The recent storm Ali brought down several trees in Pollok Park, but here in my garden the rowan and yew trees survived.

The wild winds shook down many of the rowan tree berries and they now lie all over the path and lawn, like someone has spilled a box of bright red beads everywhere.

Not quite as bright, but still a beautiful red, are the hips of the enormous Rambling Rector rose which scrambles up the back wall of the house. It has to be chopped back by a professional gardener each year because it reaches the eaves and threatens to obscure windows.

It is on the verge of being out of control, but for three weeks in July it is smothered in honey scented white flowers which the bees love. You can sit out with a cup of tea on a sunny morning and the hum of bees is a delight.

The birds are hungrier now that the weather is getting colder.

The pigeons know that I scatter bird seed each morning and they line up on the garden wall and watch me moving about in the kitchen with expectant, beady eyes.

Their iridescent purple and green necks transform their plumage in the sunshine.

Other birds who flock to the food are sparrows, magpies and occasional jackdaws.

This morning I saw a robin and realised I had not seen one for ages. Many small birds desert gardens in summer and return as winter approaches.

The bird bath is always popular, particularly amongst sparrows. When one sparrow decides to bathe, onlookers find it irresistible and soon a whole gaggle of sparrows will be splashing enthusiastically, such a lovely sight.

The big brown spiders are coming indoors now as they do each Autumn.

They seem to fall into the sink regularly and one lives in a hole in the wall in my son’s bedroom.

We have named him Scott Gibson after the Queen’s Park captain.