Friday, 28 February 2020


It is snowing, no it is not, yes it is, no it is raining, the sun is shining, it is hailing . . .
Well the snow fell and then melted giving us floods which tried to wash away the track to the house.
And it its cold with a brisk wind but enough of the weather - yes definitely enough.

We have a new woodshed courtesy of Dawid who has done all sorts of jobs about the place (and I do not have to do them.)

We have frogspawn, the signs on the way into town to beware of toads crossing are up and we met an Ent at Lowick on a walk.

The ducks are resting on the shed roof and Mr Pheasant is prowling the lawns - no sign of his other half.

The Gardeners wife has had her baby but no sign of him yet. My youngest son has moved house and I attacked a holly tree he did not want. At this year we have a plethora of birthdays so happy birthday everyone.

You have had pics of all sorts of flowers so here are some lesser celandines. The mahonia and flowering currant are already out and the buds on the cherries are fattening up. The spring is here earlier again, I can only assume that good old awful climate change is responsible.

It could be possible that Corvid-19, China's latest export, will get the blogger one day but hopes that it will wipe out the human race and save the planet seem unlikely. (It might cancel the Olympic Games - R is in hope, or even football - even bigger hope.)

Daffs are sprouting everywhere - even unexpected places like this box ball in a post - I had forgotten they were there.
Last year the temperature was in the twenties, now just a biting north west wind.

The rhubarb is coming on nicely -

Nearly four o'clock and time to make R a cup of tea, and light the fire. 
Must get some more logs now I have a nearly empty shed (then have the joy of stacking them).

I suppose an absent Prime Minister is better than one always in one's face?
It seems a sad comment on US politics that the Democrats are struggling to find a good contender for the Presidency. 

I have a snuffly nose. I wonder if I could get myself quarantined in a nice 5 star hotel for a fortnight?

Thursday, 20 February 2020


Well, not quite but we have our first wild primrose out and it seems very early.

But they are not the only signs off spring, albeit in mid February.

Various crocus are now appearing, some we are trying to naturalise and get to self seed, others I had forgotten were there and are a surprise.

 Of course we have a few early daffodils and catkins on the hazel, both up in the wood where the hazel have seeded, presumably from jays or squirrels burying nuts and in the hedge at the bottom of the garden. 

And the snowdrops are splendid.

If one looks more closely at the small things on the garden there are such as the fruiting bodies on the moss - this is on the sundial.

R saw a flowering viburnum in a pot so now we have a Viburnum tinus Eve Prince potted and done - late winter scent.
I have moved the rudbeckia from the cutting bed as it is out of control amongst the raspberries, to a mass planting near the apple tree.
Still spreading muck.
The Clematis armandii that I thought had succumbed to wilt last year is showing vigorous growth but will it last?

Despite the flooding it does not seem to deter the birds and animals. A snap of a fat rabbit just outside the living-room window (actually two, there is another behind the rosemary on the left, and lower in the garden the pheasants and mallard.

The sun struggles to come through the endless cloud but we have not had the disastrous flooding that has occurred elsewhere in the country.

Do I speak too soon - rain, rain, go away . . . Thursday and it pours, nipped to shed for birdseed and got soaked, nipped to the pond and wheeee! slipped on the wet mossy path which did my new knee no good at all - so limped to house, changed damp muddy clothes and finished this blog.

Friday, 14 February 2020


Keeps raining all the time.

It is Sunday and storm Ciara is raging, lashing the windows with rain, whipping the eucalyptus into a frenzy. Hatches are battened, seats and pots moved to safety. Water foams out of the small wood at the far end of the garden and makes nonsense of the tining I did with a fork to parts of the lawn to try and reduce its bogginess. Its is duck weather and the mallard are on the pond. Nor does the rain deter the birds on the feeders - tits, finches and sparrows on the sunflower seed which they take aside and head for a bush where they can eat, safe from the sparrow hawk. 
The nyger is less visited and mainly by goldfinches. Then the peanuts where the birds sit and peck, sometimes up to six at a time and, just now, a greater-spotted woodpecker. On the ground apples halved are consumed by blackbirds and robins. Fallen seed is snapped up by the same plus dunnocks, thrushes and pheasants.

It is when the dark days are here that one notices the more subtle leaf colours, the greys. The brown here is a potentilla, not dead though it looks like it, just waiting for spring to put out new leaves. (At least I hope it is not dead.) There are signs of life  - rhubarb and chives, new leaves on the elder.

I look at the garden and its lack of straight lines, tidiness and then move to a wall and straighten a picture that is a few millimetres out of true - ? My mother used to do that after her cleaner had dusted them and they were all slightly wonky. Anyway nature abhors regimented rows - that is something we try to impose upon it.
The snowdrops are closer to a carpet than they have ever been - a little more division again later to enhance that effect.

The rain stopped and I walked up the garden, stepping over fallen ash twigs, as a mistle thrush sang from the old ash tree. The stream was in full flow. I stayed on the chipping paths as all else was either under water or at least saturated. 
Back in the house the roar of the wind in the trees was clearly audible. As they are to the west they do give us some shelter.

So to Thursday and Storm Denis - what silly names, at least it could be storm Thor or something. 
So sun on Wednesday afternoon - birds singing, first daffodils blooming and then wind and rain and gloom all over again. They say the jet stream is coming straight at us from America. I presume that means the bad weather is all Trump's fault.

Should be Storm Donald then?
Okay for ducks?

Friday, 7 February 2020


No ducks, no moorhen, just our plastic heron now became a great white egret.

Early February and the garden is full of flowers so here are some -

Quince, iris, rose, snowdrops, cyclamen, mahonia, crocuses and wallflower. 

 The dead grasses have been cut back and I have cleared the area under the damson tree where everything got dumped.

Having said all that we hear there are storms ahead - in fact we have already had some strong winds - this bench regularly is very laid back.

Plenty of water in the garden - standing in the grass near the pond. The new spring is running well - the old stream comes in on the left and is a trickle of itself. 

Lower down it cuts through the unsown luxurious grass and past the white  birches.

 There are at least four or five different species of euphorbia in the garden, here are two performing well.

Two shrubs with flowers - the winter flowering pink viburnum and the shrubby honeysuckle.

Enough for now, have found a new gardener via my son but he is a little delayed due to a baby due any minute. We look forward to his help.

Friday morning and a hard frost and the mallard are back on the pond. R is happy.