Saturday, 12 January 2019
Sometimes gardens provide more than one expects. It is Monday and I have been down the garden to check on the chard and the ground cress. The purple sprouting broccoli is ready to be picked. It will be excellent with our fish tonight. Come evening the broccoli is steamed and I sit down to enjoy our crop.
However there is a little extra protein on my plate - a small well cooked caterpillar! Ah! The joy of home produce.
Early next morning, just after dawn, there is one small shaft of sunlight over Morecambe twenty miles away across the bay. Hundreds of geese are flying south west in huge wedges, filling the air with their exotic calls. Moorhen scuttle from the pond. I top up the bird feeders. The scent from the sarcococcus by the back door is heady in the still air and more open snowdrops cluster in the wood.
Then I check the BBC weather forecast and the radar map - no rain till 8pm tonight, we try to dismantle the wreath from by the door and in the end bung it in the bin, I go out and fuel up the sit-on mower, back it out of the shed and hitch up the trailer ready to cart well rotted horse manure down the garden from the heap outside the cattle grid, get out the fork, put on my gloves and - it is raining, soft soaking mizzle. Time for another morning coffee.
Midweek and it is frosty and sunny. Reduced height of 1/3 of beech hedge to 4 feet - it was getting too tall to trim easily. Manure onto roses and 6" compost on one of main veg beds. Had to come in as bread proving on the Aga.
The new extension is nearly ready for a slate roof and the slates are stacked at the back of the house arranged by size, waiting for holes.
We still have ground cress - I sowed it early in the year but because of the heat and drought they did not germinate till august by which time I had put sweet peas in the same place. The latter may not have flowered but the cress has come and is thriving (though not very peppery to taste).
There are flowers here and there - the first of 2019 - quince, marigold,
and roses, even a small yellow "senecio" bloom. (Brachyglottis is too much of a mouthful)
The clematis armandii on the shed is in bud. It flowers early but this is a bit too early.
There is still tidying to do - more hedge cutting, bringing the shrubs (almost trees) at the back of the house down to a reasonable size - privet and flowering currant. The buddleia will need to be cut down in the next eight weeks and I must mulch the agapanthus - well, more than I have done so far.
Had tidied up the catmint and I have done the same to the cutting bed plus borrowing compost onto the blackcurrants and raspberries. I pruned the gooseberries (they have one more year to not get stricken by sawfly and mildew) and the yellow climbing rose on the other side of the fence.
It is Saturday, raining, spelt bread baked and preparing the oranges for the marmalade.
Perhaps next week we will go and see Stan and Ollie at the Roxy.