Sunday, 23 April 2017


Usual - that is what R's grandmother wrote almost every day in her diary! Mowing, weeding, dead heading etc.
I have been up by the wall at the far end of the garden digging out the soil under the trees where they hang over from next door, The soil/leaf mould mixture is over a foot deep and will be a great asset to the garden.

Meanwhile back at the bird feeders - it is no wonder I catch squirrels only infrequently as I have just watched great tits entering the trap and leaving with whole peanuts! To other birds -


Greater spotted woodpecker


and best of all? Cock bullfinch. On my way out this morning came across the cock pheasant, well a cock pheasant, hopping along on one leg, the other injured - cat? They are definitely the main predator on the garden and at some time or another all of these birds have been victims. One problem is that the cats have no natural predator controlling their numbers. (Sorry Scottie.)
Of course grey squirrels and stoats take eggs and chicks as will other birds - woodpeckers, sparrow hawk etc. 
There has been a minor flap over sickly osprey chicks that the naturalists left to their fate - big outcry - poor little chicks - need to be rescued. But that is the whole point - the natural order of things, predators at the top of the food chain, seeds and insects at the bottom. 
Unfortunately we have got rid of wolves and lynxes and bears and instead of replacing them as natural predators we have distorted the ecosystem - too many people - perhaps a good cull of mankind might be the answer - whoops - dangerous territory.

To move on - (and about time too) - R showed me tadpoles in the pond - they must have been hiding in the weed - I have hoicked a load of crowfoot out to give some clear water, leaving at the side sonny creepies can slither back into the water.

Walking the garden with friends today we put a a small jack snipe - have seen the odd one before in the stream bottom - still a nice surprise.
At the rhubarb patch I was suddenly assailed by a strong sweet gingery scent and realised it was coming from the rhododendron on the banking thirty yards away.

R and I went to Abi and Tom's nursery at Halecat, Witherslack and they have done an amazing job. The trouble is one never leaves without spending something - bought a blue geranium and this unusual white primula.

This morning I have read that there may be a water shortage in the UK after a dry winter - where? Lawn still boggy in places etc etc though the stream has partly dried up. Anyway we have borehole of our own. 

Got up this morning and looked out of the bedroom window up the garden and a swallow zoomed down in front of me from the nest at the top of the gable. I know one swallow doesn't make a summer - but a spring?

The sun on the front of the house this morning was a treat but we have been warned winter is coming back in the next few days - blossom beware.

Watching M. Don on Gardeners' World there was a bit on Charles Dowding and his Natural No-dig way he uses in his market garden. He wrote a very interesting book - Organic Gardening which my son C gave me in 2007 - ISBN 978 1 903998 91 5. (If you have a garden or are into that sort of thing (or have a bad back)).

Went to Muncaster Castle today to see the bluebells - 2 weeks early and stunning.

More Muncaster pics in next blog.

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