Saturday, 12 April 2014


Could not sleep last night thinking about the changes to the garden. So out at 7 am and a walk around the garden in the chill morning sun. Blossom everywhere, mallard on the pond, chaffinch and blackbird belting out their songs, and the air so sharp it would cut with a knife.

This afternoon finished trying to weed the bed by the Wendy House but the sedges are a nightmare. I clipped the reeds by the pond and did a little tidying on the laths. R deadheaded the daffs - many nibbles. As I strolled around the garden I her Hallfound things I had forgotten - more fritillaries by the weeping pear - I suppose I must have put them in - and two big white honesty plants flowering by the compost heap.
The cutleaved elder I pruned and the prunings have been stuck in the top garden. I do not suppose they will root but - you never know.

The wood pigeons have gone barmy - three times in the last hour they have crashed into my window - males chasing males I think - typical laddish behaviour now the hormones are on.

 This is a collared dove - not a great image but they will not stay still and I have not got all day - t'other pic is a goldfinch. The doves coo away, the finch goes, "Coo-ee."

The other day I showed you pics of Holker Hall, today it is the turn of Muncaster Castle Gardens. We took our d-in-law's parents there and a good time was had by all.

 A little out of the way up the Cumbrian coast it is well worth a visit - the rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias are coming into flower and then again in early May come when the blubell wood is AMAZING!
There are tearooms, a walk up the terrace with views up Eskdale, the World Owl Centre, flying of birds and later in the day Heron feeding time.

If you want there are also tours of the castle itself. All in all a good day out and you can add on a train trip on Ratty (The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway) or just a walk through the village. This is where Reginald Hill the author lived.

All this takes me away from telling you about the weeding I have done, digging up of climbers from the willow tunnel and replanting, and cutting two big bunches of wallflowers from the plants in the cutting beds for the house.

So, this weekend is spend in trepidation - come on yer Scousers! Liverpool play Manchester City this weekend and, though I am not a football nutter like my son C I do have an interest in the game as occasional entertainment.

I have just found a box of old seed on top of a cupboard in my room and among the packets is one for Verbena bonariensis. However germinating is a hot business.
Instead I have rescued three blackened bananas from the bin and made a banana cake (they call it Banna Bread) - yes, me! And it is edible! Goes well with - you've guessed it - a cuppa tea.

You want the recipe - 8 oz plain flour, 6 oz caster sugar, 4 oz butter, 3 very ripe bananas, 3 level teasp baking powder, 1/2 level teasp salt, 2 eggs, perhaps a little milk.

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs (take out of shells first) and beat vigorously. Mash bananas and stir in well, sieve flour, b. powder and salt together and fold into mixture. This should now be of a soft dropping consistency whatever that is. If needed you can add a little milk here.
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours 350F or Gas Mark 4, test with a skewer and if nowt sticks to it then done. Leave to stand a while then pop onto one of those mesh cooling things.


Have indigestion.

Take some Gaviscon or Kolanticon.


Have a cuppa tea.

Be smug.

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