Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bad hair day.........

 It has been so windy today,
even the robin had a bad hair day............

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Auricula

 We moved to the farmhouse on a cold wet January day.    I remember looking at the field, that was supposed to be a garden and thinking 'what on earth have I done'
In the corner of the field (garden) was a huge poly tunnel.    Tattered and torn, sheets of plastic blowing in the wind, my first thought was 'It has got to go.'    After a few days I decided to go take a look.    Inside were pots full of soil..........I decided to wait until Spring, to see what emerged.    In the corner were pots of Auricula.   I kept them.    13 years later I have quite a collection.   
 Initially I was not keen but I must say they have grown on me.
 The scent is lovely and the flowers very pretty.    
I can hear you ask 'What was in the other pots'
Plants to numerous to mention.......many have been planted in the garden.   I had an open day in that Spring, family and friends came and helped themselves to the plants I did not need. 

A local farmer was kind enough to remove the poly tunnel........it is but a distant memory :)  

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The soft smell of Spring...........

 It rained yesterday, soft rain, that penetrates the earth.   As I walked the garden, I took in the fragrance of rain hitting dry earth...........
 One of my favourite books is the Moorville Hours by Katherine Swift.     Lets take a brief stroll around the garden, along with an extract from the book.
 Even the rain smells different.   April is the month of sunshine and showers, rainbows and reflections, of small, puffy white fair-weather cumuli which bubble up into cauliflower-headed cumuli congesti behind your back and take you by surprise.
 Intent upon some late pruning, I hear the rain before I see it, rattling on the leaves in a rising wind.   'Only a shower', we say sniffing the air.    And it is gone, as quickly as it came, with ragged fragments of sky left in the puddles on the drive and a glaze of silver on the rose leaves.
 Falling from high altitude, short and sharp and heavy, the rain brings a whiff of ozone from the upper air, a hint of the sea; soon over, unlike the steady downpour of February.
 Indoors a shaft of sunlight is reflected from the bevelled edge of a mirror and shatters into pieces on the floor: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
A rainbow spans the valley, one foot on Shirlett, and other on Meadowley: Iris, messenger of the gods.   She bore a child of the rainbow, fathered by Zebhyrus, the West wind.

For it is - of course - a love affair, this passion for one's garden, and the very smell of it intoxicates, like the smell of a lover.


I leave you with that thought.....happy gardening :)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Bees and blossom........

 The bees were out early this morning.   Blossom and sunshine is all they need.    We had an overnight ground frost, and there is cold wind today but that does not seem to deter them.
 Large garden, or small.....town or country, small fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any  garden.    Not only for the gardener but for the creatures that live alongside us.
 The ancient medlar looks amazing.     I often wonder who planted it...........I spend many a moment gazing at it, thinking of those that came before me.
 Pretty in pink, ornamental cherry is a firm favourite...........
along with crab apple.

Have you a favourite blossom ?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Yaffle........

 I was looking at the pear blossom from Poppi's bedroom window this morning, when I spied the Green woodpecker.
 The yaffle  is a regular visitor to the garden and I have tried many times to get an image.
Its favourite food source  is ants.    Our grass is full of them.............an open invitation to dine :)

Happy Sunday safari................

Friday, 24 April 2015

To bee or not to bee ............

 I have kept mason bees for ten years.    I started with one unit and now have eight.    Mason bees are passive, so ideal if children or pets frequent the garden.
 The bees start to leave the unit at this time of year.    The males first, they stay in close proximity waiting for the females.
 After the female has been served the male will spend the rest of his days, sunning himself on foliage and feeding amongst the flowers and blossom.    The female will spend her whole life laying grubs in the units, filling them with pollen, and sealing each with damp soil.      At the end of her life she is tattered and worn, and more often than not  senile.
If there is such a thing as re-incarnation I do not want to come back as a female mason bee :)

Have a lovely weekend............BEE HAPPY :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Back to to the woods....

 Many years ago I was fortunate to take our children to visit the Redwood forests in California.     It is something I will never forget.    When we moved to the farmhouse I decided to plant one of these beautiful trees.   I chose a spot far away from the house, for these are the giants of the forest.    A deciduous conifer with yew like foliage, and wonderful autumnal colour.
She now stands at a mere 3 metres...........I will be long gone when she reaches full height but by planting her I leave something for future generations.
 Walk along the pathway to find the trout lily.....her leaves have been nibbled.    A pretty plant that refuses to self seed in this garden.    Oh well, you can't win them all.
 Alongside her is Lesser Celandine 'Brazen Hussy'.    A vigorous plant that I allow to have her own way (for now)
 Primrose Balarina Valentine is a good contrast to all the yellow.    
Ferns are a favourite of mine, and the woodland area is full of them.    The fronds of this fern always remind me of Medusa..........
I am enjoying this Spring.     It is taking its time, there has been no rush.    Each day something new arrives.
 Bleeding hearts edge the pathway.    They seem to grow as I look at them.
I notice the little bee fly as I walked back to the house.    Fascinating little creature.   Its proboscis is very long to allow it to take nectar from deep flowers.   It hovers in the air above plants.    I spent far too long watching the insect and quite forgot that I had muffins baking in the oven...........oh dear, they are a bit too brown for my liking :)

Happy days ................