Monday, 6 January 2014


So it is freezing across the pond whilst over here storms traipse across the garden. In fact the weather is so mild (if wet  and windy) that we have not had any Bramblings, Siskins, Waxwings or any other  -ings as winter visitors. I lie - we had a brief flurry of redwings and fieldfares but they too seem to have been blown away.

Today is gym day but it has also been manure day - just a couple of barrow loads in the continuing mulch. It has also been clear out the stream day and now there are no blockages, just a lot of muddy water.

Whilst doing the stream and spreading molehills, of which we now have a Andean range, I discovered a new tree on a bank. This is a willow and has been put there by someone - just a twig shoved in. I have missed it and it has rooted. I can only think it might have been someone small and mischievous - Mmm!

In the lower boggy garden I stuck in a few willow wands myself a few years ago - side by side and then twisted then around one another. It will be interesting to see what they look like when grown - reminds me of the Trees on Arnside Knot. It is said a couple tied two trees together as a lovers' knot. The remains were still there the last time I walked past but a bit worse for wear.
When the den was made for the grandchildren we failed to stick the wands into the ground and this will be remedied in the spring. However, it may look a bit strange - willows grown up through a rhododendron.

The area around the Wendy House needs clearing. I have cheated with the photo below as this is how it looked after winter tidying two years ago. The garden is so wet I have stayed off it as much as possible. Anyway there are other things that have to be done like taking down Christmas decorations, visiting my sister-in-law, her daughter and son-in-law and their daughter, my great niece. It was a bit of an anti-climax as she was not even sick on me! The highlight of the visit was really when one of the dogs stole half a bun of the kitchen worktop.

So to the Plague - the small flies are everywhere - the ones that came as a gift with the pot of basil from the supermarket. Almost all the houseplants have infestations in the soil and when I took the Christmas crib off the windowsill it revealed hundreds of dead and living beasties. The surface of the water in a vase of alstromerias (don't they last well) was carpeted with them. 

We have removed all plants from the living room - some can go outside as no frost, others into the porch or shed. If one looks closely you can see little tiny white maggoty thingys wriggling about.
The amaryllis seem not too badly affected but the never flowering hyacinths are riddled. I suppose they can go outside but one lot are in a rather nice Chinese bowl (that I say is Famille Vert but R says that is wishful thinking and anyway it is just a bowl) so they can not be exposed to adverse weather.
If all else fails I will remove them and plant them in the garden.

At least we are not sub zero, snowy and icy like in the North of America. Apparently the papers say they are suffering from a vortex. Makes one wonder if you can get something for that?

Anyway, to those over there who mistakenly read this blog, do take care and keep warm. Frostbite can strike so quickly. 
Now it is said that the weather you have today will soon be ours. It is very kind of you to send it to us but, in this instance, please do not bother - really, we will not mind if you keep it all for yourselves.

We will just settle for our own weather.
It is raining again.


  1. Well Dunc, it is -26 outside right now, with windchill factor at -40 which is -40 no matter if it is C. or F. - No fret of rain today, but forecast has possible showers on Saturday as we warm up to +2

  2. As I told my cousin Scott Darbishire, it all sounds a bit Star Trek - The Attack of the Vortex. Put on your heating and woolly onesies - make it so! Hope nothing drops off!