Sunday, 14 June 2015


Today is Wednesday 12th and for the first time the temperature reachees 70F. The garden is full of birdsong and you can almost hear the plants growing. Sun hat on and old shoes not rubber boots.

I am watering - the veg, the rhubarb, etc. Why do hose pipes always get knotted up and kink?
Mowed the woodland paths.

House Martins nest building under the west gable end, chaffinches nesting in the beech hedge.

So much purple it must be the in colour. It does contest well with other colours as long as it is intense - not so in favour of wishy-washy purples.

R is still up in the wood (ready to cut down my last few willows). The hawthorn up there is coated in may blossom - well it is June.
I have taken the supermarket basil and put it in a bed within the rabbit proof area. It may grow - probably not.

Email from Go Wild about their free seeds I sowed above the pond - nothing showing yet. (The pigeons have eaten them all?)

Bats flying outside at dusk for the first time - well, the first time we have seen them.

"Oh! The cuckoo is a pretty bird," so goes the song but not as far as other birds are concerned - today saw a cuckoo being chased all over the place by small birds. It makes one wonder how they know that the cuckoo is bad news.
First willow warbler heard in the garden with its characteristic descending song.

Just been finishing off the removal of stones from the new drainage areas and reseeding with grass. Watered it and then it almost rained - few drops then nothing.
It is strange but watering the garden often causes it to rain!
I also dug a new drain by the pond to try and dry out a boggy area and raked mud out of the small pond. A lot gets washed down every time it rains heavily.

And we thought that the ducks and herons and such had eaten everything in the pond but we have seen tadpoles. And a dytiscus water beetle larva - predator supreme, also known as the water tiger.
Purple in the pond also with the water lily leaves. Note the spirogyra alga - probably due to rich inflow water (soakaway from the septic tank). I spend time removing it with a rake and dumping it at the edge so creepy crawlies can return to the water.

Found a dead young pheasant by the pond - its head missing so probably a fox. The parents frequent the feeders (underneath) and had another young with them so not all lost.

The geraniums are coming into their own - in fact this one had self sown itself.

Sometimes it is the hidden corners that delight - the poppies self sown by the shed, 

 The shrubs on the banking by the path to the lawns,

Or even a small collection of items on the paving.

Thursday - it is grim up north so the reaper has been out.
Now, some of you will have laughed when I bought an Austrian scythe and went to Sprint Mill for lessons with Steve Tomlin - but - I have been cutting the long grass that the mower cannot get at by the stream this afternoon after mowing the lawns.

Also noticed we have a dead hawthorn in the wood and another looking on its last legs. I was removing any new shoots on the trees below head height. 
I checked the ties on the new white birches to see that they are not too tight and then pruned off any lower branches, again to shoulder height. Now all the growth energy will be concentrated in the top of the trees and without lower foliage I can see through the trunks to a young copper beech. The area under the birches has been left and is a sea of buttercups.

End of week - still eating asparagus as sprouting well and have had first strawberry. Much promise to come with red and black currants, 



we have Victoria plums coming, damsons, Bramley apples and greengages on the tree I and A gave us - the first time we have had fruit, something not always guaranteed this far north.

The plums
and Conference pears.

So much going on and I am trying to restrict myself to one blog a week (but failing).

Friday and suddenly the temperature is 24C and humid - I have put on my cheap shorts from ASDA in Hereford to get my legs brown before the summer holiday. However rain is forecast for tomorrow. That should signal time to write a blog - another one!

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