Before departing I chopped back a lot of the old dead grass on the upper banking and in the "natural" "wild" area by the stream. I placed hoops of the totally unbiodegradeable blue alkathene piping, left from the build, over the new strawberries in readiness for the netting. This will be to keep the avian fruit fanciers away. I know they are unsightly (not the birds) but they function well. I dug over any remaining veg bed undone, not really because I needed it done, though I did, but because we were being inspected by an eminent garden designer at the behest of R - who thinks, correctly, that I have run out of inspiration and run away to play golf. He was excellent and made me realise that I am a mean and lazy gardener.
He wants to enlarge the pond, I think, and do mass planting - I have been out calculating how many Betula Utilis jacquemontii I need to make the stand of trees decent. I came up with the figure of 15 more to add to our six! So with that and the pond my new car is on hold. (It was anyway). And the copper beech hedge is to be transplanted to extend the existing hedge and hide the veg beds from the house. Though the beech are not evergreen they do carry their leaves through the winter and look splendid in the sun when wet.
Now I have to admit that I do not have the final suggestions from Mr Gary Primrose and he may change everything but I wish I had the eye he has, the knowledge he has and sometimes it is a pleasure to meet someone who is genuinely nice. (20% off the bill for that I hope.)
We have lambs in the back field and they are already ganging up and sneaking under the gate into the track up to the house where the grass is greener. They are like a pack of crazy children, up to no good and in search of mischief.
Then there is the grey thing eating my peanuts and now stealing the sunflower seeds from the feeders - I should say things as there are two. And, just when I think the little birds can feed undisturbed, Megatron, the local black cat stalks the garden or the woodpecker arrives and scatters all. And the frogs, well taddies, are vulnerable to predators so I have replaced the steel mesh - a bit of concrete reinforcing stuff - over a corner of the pond. This makes it difficult for the mallard and the heron does not like stepping into it.
Time for some inertia before the mowers come back from service - no, they are still away - so here is a photograph of stones on a windowsill corner.
The house is full of flowers - daffodils, primroses, the first forget-me-nots, wallflowers from the cutting garden.
On of the joys of the garden is bringing it into the house and filling the rooms with colour and scent. In fact, even the Christmas hyacinths have final flowered and are on the sill under the Westmorland Window on the stairs. (This window is about ten feet high and narrow lighting the hall stairs and landing.)
Last night in the hotel I ended the day with a Talisker Whisky - very nice but hotel measures are so small (and pricey). I am not a big whisky (or any other alcohol) drinker but I did sleep well last night.
In fact I think I will just nip into the kitchen and have a big . . . cup of tea.