Thursday, 17 March 2016


From our bedroom window, this morning, the light and reflected sky in the pond was like a cross between burnished metal and an oil slick, shimmering colours.
So, later, out by the pond extending the drain near the shed, collecting mole hills and putting the soil on the garden, picking up the interminable sticks and pruning the autumn fruiting raspberries that R does not like as they are golden and so have been banished to the far corner amongst the wild garlic.

The gang of new lambs is here, scrabbling under the field gate onto the track then not being able to work out how to get back into the field. At least they have not learned how to cross our cattle grid. 

R has begun to divide the snowdrops and replant in the green to spread them. I have been clearing more mole hills, trying again and failing to light the bonfire for more than a few minutes and begun to clear the overgrown rhododendrons and brambles from the top of the garden. I pruned the lace cap  hydrangea and found one low branch had rooted itself so a free shrub. As I cut back the growth it revealed daffodils underneath that had been hidden for years. 
I have taken new ivy off three of the big trees - there is some on three others to give cover and nesting places for the birds.

Sunday morning and the rain of yesterday has gone, the birds are singing and there is a mildness in the air - spring.
Mucking about again - don't tell R. Grandchildren pushed in the willow sticks for this thing so feel obliged to give it a go.

All sorts of shrubs and clematis are stirring.
I have assassinated the lemon scented geranium that comes into the kitchen through the winter - it gets too big. It has been in the family for years. My mother had it, I had it and lost it but had given my daughter a cutting so she gave it back to us. Each time we brush past it the leaves give us a strong waft of lemon.

Up at the top of the top banking the rhododendrons and ivy have encroached. So I began to hack back and increased the garden by a ten foot swathe!

The bonfire is now ten feet high and twelve feet across but as to whether it will light - read on. Add to that the discovery of a huge rabbit hole under a fallen elder, fallen from the weight of ivy growing on it, and daffodils hidden from view - well?
Meanwhile R was steadily lifting, dividing and replanting snowdrops all over the place.

Monday and I have cleared the whole banking, raked it off and had a bonfire what caught fire this time - and it is still burning and will be tomorrow. Lots of good ash to put on the blackcurrants (potash).

Tuesday is a day of rest, lunch out with two dogs and my sister-in-law (and R) and a rest.
Well I did stir up the fire again and burn a bit more leaf litter, some more sticks.
Hollyhocks have come from Sarah Raven and will need planting, a packet of Ammi seed as well - R says good for flower arranging but does create a mist of small white flowers in the garden.

I think that spring is not the only thing that has sprung - my back for one.
And over the pond the march hare is strutting his stuff - sigh!


  1. It seems you and R. have your work cut out but no doubt the result will be very well worth all the effort. Harry and I tried very hard to clear a matted mass of Euphorbia (Caracias I think)but I am sure we have only taken off the top and a small amount of root. In the process we had to clip a lot of branches of cotoneaster and some Vinca Major in order to get at the E. The result is very good for now at least. Our decision has been to replace the Cotoneaster hedge with red and gold dogwoods which should be easier to control.Twigs, twigs and more twigs. Removed a tall grasss which had irretrievably become entwined with Partidge berry so the lot went into the bin. A fresh start is needed. I hope we get the weather to make something of our little plot.

    1. If you get or borrow a shredder you could shred the dogwood twigs when you prune them hard back and used that as a mulch to prevent weeds?