Thursday, 19 April 2018

If You Go Down to the Woods

After a lovely family breakfast in the sunshine, Steve and I went for a walk in the nearby Guestling Woods. It is very close to the Freshwinds Campsite.
 The anemones (or windflowers) were at their snow-white best in the glorious sunshine. They tend to close up on dull days.
 Our twisty lane is awash with wild flowers.
We walked up to the third entrance.
From there we made our way to what we call the triangle area, closest to the farm....
 .....passing freshly dug badgers` setts.
This one even has footprints.
The bluebells were just starting to show.

Some tiny ferns had unfurled.

It was peaceful with only the sound of birdsong.
 The mosses were prolific after all the damp weather.
Maybe it is the excess water that has caused this huge oak to fall.

 The anemones were lovely but there were plenty of other wild flowers to enjoy.
 Celandines and violets.
When we were nearly home, I found a length of trimmed honeysuckle and formed it into a ring.
Perhaps it will be a summer wreath or a prop for the witch garden I`m planning.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Mossy Sticks and Blackbird Thieves

A little bit overcast today with some light showers, but it didn`t stop us doing a few jobs at the garden.
I added a few more plants to the little nursery and planted some mini-sedums in the fairy garden.
I noticed the fairy house roof has been raided, probably by a blackbird looking for nesting material.
This may be a bit fanciful but in this photo, it looks like there is smoke coming out of the chimney.
A lovely birdbath has appeared in the garden. It belonged to Tim`s mum who passed away last year. 
I used to do her gardening and I remember it in her lovely garden .... through the rose arch, dripping with "Compassion," following the brick path to a small circular area,  self-seeded with alyssum and the birdbath in the centre ..... always very pretty.
I think it is a nice memory and it will remind me of her.
I planted two more double rows of gladioli .... how can I resist them at £1.29 a pack, from Aldi.
I got six more huge dahlia tubers in. 
I think they are mostly yellow and orange. Ha ha.
Steve scattered some old bagged soil and found a nest inside. It is an old one luckily.
A row of garlic went in.
The asparagus is just showing.
I thought I noticed slug damage so they have had 
a sprinkling of pellets. 
I am trying to work out how to cover the gooseberries to protect them from birds. I don`t think this old bed frame will be 
satisfactory after all.
On a walk with my two young nephews this morning to admire the anemones, I found this fantastic mossy stick.
It`s honeysuckle that`s twisted round another tree.
I`ve also noticed the new cobbing layer is cracking up.
Time to get some more going.
A brave carnation.
Can`t wait for the first rhubarb crumble.
I have high hopes for the old rose I moved from home.
It is shooting well. I look forward to seeing its colour.
A pink forgetmenot.

The bent willow shooting red and pale green.
I am pleased to say that things are drying out, but just look at the path through the main gate.
I am still waiting to hear the first cuckoo.
Things are beginning to take shape. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Beetle Invasion

The ground in places, is still incredibly wet, which is holding up quite a few jobs, but the weather is set to change, for the better.
And thank goodness for that.
We are still catching up with March jobs, such as weeding the flowerbeds and sorting the compost heaps.
I am pleased to say the latter is well under way with the acquisition of two blue pallets. Though I have to say that sawing them was not easy for Steve, due to waterlogging.
The pond is suffering from a bad case of blanket weed which seems to get thicker every time we visit.
But the kingcups make up for it.
The first nine dahlias are in.
Just a few more to go.
They have survived the winter well under their carpet blankets.
I did find two nests ..... mice. I expect they thought there would be a good source of food for their babies.
The damson blossom is almost fully out .... always so early.
It was warm enough for two more scarecrows to come out.
The fairy garden is ready for its residents.
The small plants have fared well throughout winter and only needed a little tweaking.
I have taken literally hundreds of sedum cuttings and I shall use them to fill in gaps.

There should also be some left over for the little nursery.

 The daffodils have been a bright focal point.
They don`t always do so well.


The tortoises are venturing out.
Plug plants are arriving.

Interestingly, on a recent walk at the beach, I found it rather unpleasant to be assaulted by a barrage of flea beetles.
They were attracted by the fact that I was wearing a white jacket and my light hair colour.
We think they were coming across the Channel.
When I got home I found them everywhere, even in my underwear, and they were nipping!

I`ve only ever seen these on my sweetpeas occasionally.
It was quite a phenomenon.



Thursday, 5 April 2018

Yellow Stars and Green Grubs

The first thing that greeted me at the garden was a splash of sunshine yellow to match the glorious day.
There were lots of yurters around enjoying the fine weather and the animals.
Cream and yellow starred tulips in the old water trough,
soon to be joined by budding forgetmenots.
Anne helped me brush off the trolley in the Wool Barn and I set up the latest crafts.

Yesterday evening I sorted through it all, 
choosing what to bring first.
Steve, in the meantime put in the sweetpea posts 
and I erected the hazel poles. 
It seems to mark the start of the gardening year, 
just as dismantling marks the end. 
The first scarecrow came out to enjoy the very welcome sun.
Steve found this huge grub. I`m not sure what it is though.
We cleared the end vegetable bed of foxgloves, repositioning them around the garden.
The sun continued to shine and the bumblebees were out.
The damson blossom had just opened. 
The pond is full of blanket weed so we used the last of the barley straw, stuffed into the leg of an old pair of tights.
The straw gives off chemicals that discourage blanket weed.
It looks like a rather strange pond creature. 
It will take some time to go under.
I saw some indistinct movement in the water.
It`s warming up.
I planted two packs of rainbow gladioli where 
the soil has dried out nicely..
I uncovered the dahlia tubers. They seem to have fared well over the winter. Mice thought it was a good place to nest.
(Mice and I are not on good terms just lately.)
Tobacco plants have seeded themselves in the polytunnel again. What a fabulous show they make and the perfume is divine.

I enjoyed the shrubs and bulbs flowering at this time.
and grape hyacinths.

And I reviewed what needs doing next time.
I am waiting for it to dry out a little more.
It wasn,t until today that I fully appreciated how far behind we are ..... with seed sowing, tidying and preparation.
Even though it is April, we are still doing March jobs.
At some point we will catch up.
A truly lovely day.