Sunday and I see the first swallow - at a farm nearby. Then I look out of my window and there are a pair of linnets on the paving - pretty little brown birds with a hint of pink. Tree sparrows are in the house martin nest again.
Rabbits - I came home to find a dead young kitten (name for a baby rabbit)(so not a cat) by my car and on the way to church on Saturday to fill the place with daffodils and flowering currant we came across a rabbit with myxomatosis.
It was introduced to Australia in about 1950, I think, as a way of controlling the rabbit population. The disease is nasty and they usually die within a couple of weeks.
It seems to go in cycles - population boom (like now), outbreak of disease, recovery and so on.R and I went to Sizergh Castle to look at the gardens and the berberis darwinii was spectacular - right. The fritillary meadow was good too though can hardly compete with Magdalen Meadows in Oxford.
R has just deadheaded the daffs whilst I messed about in threshed sowing sweet peas, courgettes, ammi and some beetroot. I use beetroot boltardy - the name suggests it is resistant to bolting so . .
The pond is consistently cloudy from the ducks feeding and I think we are getting a build up of algae again. For the moment there is no sign of the liner on the surface and the water lily-pads are beginning to show.
And so to tulips - here are some flowering at the moment. Most are not new plantings (well from the autumn) but plants that are left in the ground and come up year on year. I particularly like the red ones, R loves orange. Pink is not my favourite colour and we still have a few almost black ones - Queen of the Night - given to me by Puck.
The wallflowers in the old ceramic sink are flowering and pushing out their scent and, by the pot of lilies the small horse chestnut seedling I dug up last year is alive and sprouting.
And then their are the cherries - Shirotae and Tai-haku - covered in blossom - always spectacular at this time of year. This is the prunus Shirotae.
I have taken out the willows stuck in the far part of the garden. Many are fifteen feet high now but thin enough to cut with a pair of loppers.
Tuesday and when I got up (late) I could see the blue carpet up in the trees that are wild bluebells. These are at Muncaster Castle which we will visit in the next ten days. The show there is fantastic.