Friday, 24 February 2012


I have been contemplating a sit on mower for some time but as the cutting season draws ever nearer I realise that the garden is not made for one.
Paths are far too narrow in many places, the 'boardwark' by the ponds would be out of the question and there is much boggy ground, many steep slopes.

The snowy picture shows the
path up to the wood with the slope on the right. This path would have to be widened and, I think lose some of its character.

Edges of some lawned areas are impractical - I use the word lawned but really just mown field.

The banking to the right has daffodils - only three out there so far - and snowdrops, shown here as they should be - in the snow.

Trying to predict the weather at the moment is very difficult - it is freezing/it is abnormally mild, it is raining/no it is not/yes it is!

So garden work is pick up sticks, tidy beds, bit of pruning and shift muck.
The veg beds are ready for stuff and the rhubarb is just peeking through - the forcing pot is on.

Frogspawn has been moved from one pond to another - I do not know why they only ever put the spawn in the lower pond and not the upper but a bucket resolves the problem so we have taddies in both.

At the moment the world is a bit too much with us but we hope for escape soon.
Just thought I would stick a literary quote in to show how well read I am!

The Grandchildren are here and bananas in pyjamas are coming down the stairs so I will have to go.

As I extract a thorn from my finger I realise I was surprised how thorny young damson suckers can be - they are damsons, we had a few in the autumn.

So, with thoughts of suckers and bananas I leave you till the next time.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


Just a few days of ice and a little snow - hooray for the slugs - or rather not the slugs.

The sheep in the back field were fed by the farmer and shrugged it off.

One day we had black ice - over everything. As one drove the rain froze on the
windscreen - well not as I drove because I didn't - I lit the woodburner and settled down.

The pond froze, toes froze, nose froze and so it goes. Salt bin by the gate not filled by the council in the summer - this may be because of the coal tit nest in it?

Of course 3 oriental poppies I ordered arrived and so were popped into pots for now.

Then we saw that the heron had arrived in the field below the house and my son reported funny noises from down the garden in the dark.

So up I got and walked off to the pond (I had dug it out (a bit) two days earlier) and there was the first frogspawn - hence the heron, hence the croaking at dusk.

Windy last night - the weather - so picking up more sticks today.
The snowdrops are at their best and the first crocuses, daffs and even a blue anemone are out.

The wheelbarrow and horse manure await me - what a thrill. Must dig up the remaining leeks - one or two have bolted so will have that hard core in the middle of a flowering stem. Chicken wire needs stapling to posts - the rabbit has been seen!
I went to get a hammer but the ironmonger had run out.

I used to have hammers.
I used to have lots of tools.
I still have children though they are grown up - "Can I borrow this or that Dad?"

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I have moved a huge peanut feeder to the shed outside my study window and the coal tits love it.

The snow/ice is now going and it is foggy again this morning as the "warm" front comes in.

Adam Booth's birds have survived the cold after being forged in such heat at Piper's Forge in Kirkpatrick Durham in Scotland.

I was concerned that our wrens might have been taken by the cold spell but they are whizzing bout in the shrubbery.

I walked around the block yesterday (am paying for it today).
Birds are getting restless and starting to sing - even in the most dismal of weather, when a robin bursts into song, it is uplifting.

This blackbird just sat in the ash tree and watched me - obviously knew I could not fly!

Some of the snowdrops are beginning to go over and the marigolds (as mentioned before) are now looking decidedly droopy - but not yet dead

The robin on the barbed wire
- I like the contrast between the soft bird and the sharp wire - followed me along the lane.

Today it is foggy and sad. My brother-in-law died on Friday. He was climber, artist, miracle baby and raconteur - and tough.

So, time to go to the torture chamber upstairs and do my exercises and get on my static bicycle. I hope the investment will pay off later.

This seems such a bitty blog - cue for a song - "And a little bitty blog let me down" - Burl Ives for the younger reader, second line - "Spoiled my act as a clown" - well, there you are, I rest my leg.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


At first there was mist over the fields,
then it rose and a watery sun tried to pierce the clouds.
The lone holly left from the ledge-laying last year stood out against the greyness.
There was snow on the field in front of the house.

Out with the spade and clearing track and gate. The salt left in the bin on the road from last year (they have not topped it up this one) was sprinkled on the hill outside the gate. Already there are sledge runner tracks in the field behind the house.

There is ice underneath the covering of snow.

I go upstairs with the camera to take pictures of the garden under its thin blanket.

This is the view from the bedroom window.
The wood on the right, the veg beds and fruit ahead and the end of the willow tunnel on the left.
In the middle is the glory of the septic tank now plainly visible as I have cut back the tall grasses. I have more buddleias to plant around it and one day it will be hidden by bushes covered in butterflies.

So to the bluetit which flew into the living room window.
Though stunned it is trying to preen - note the curled up left foot.
It took about five minutes to recover after I had put it somewhere reasonably safe from predators, then flew up to the peanut feeder - the bird I mean.

Unfortunately this was not the only bird problem we had.
My flying duck had lost two of its bamboo chimes so I had to bring it into the kitchen for repairs.

Hence the inelegant sprawl on the kitchen island. A little resuscitation and string on a bodkin did the job and he/she is flying once more outside the kitchen doors.

The chiming mushrooms on sticks M gave me have also been victim of wind and cold, cracking and falling off their stems.

It is hobby-horse time again.

I see it is time again for the luvvies to slap each other in the wallet - BAFTAS, Golden Globes, OSCARS - the cult of the Celeb.
The problem is, if awards were given to those who truly deserved it - carers, charity workers and other unsung heroes, then they might become Celebs too.
It is nice to receive recognition of personal sacrifice but should anyone get an award for just doing their job?