Sunday, 21 May 2017

Novelty value (and a new 'wildflower lawn')

Perhaps it is the novelty of knowing that in future, theoretically, we both are going to have the time we want to do the things we want?  Perhaps it's the relief of knowing that LP, wonderful though he is, won't be here much more and that if we tidy up things might actually stay tidy ...

Whatever the reason, no complaints from me because after lunch today Management joined me in the garden and we made a terrific start on clearing up the two massive and somewhat impenetrable piles of timber that are laying around, one behind the log store and one next to the greenhouse.

Many, many months ago this was "someone's" idea of tidying up spare wood for me ...



But the mess outside the greenhouse is mostly my fault 😕



We had the idea of using pallets to make "bays" to store different sized bits and I'm delighted that everything we used was recycled - the pallets, the horizontal battens were from a neighbour's roof, and even the screws & brackets all came from a messy tray of hardware that had been used at least once before.



This is how far we got before calling it for the day, fabulous progress!



All the time we were walking back and forth in front of the log store we had an audience - this blackbird dutifully sat on his nest nearly all afternoon.  At one point when he did move, however, Management had a quick peep and there are four eggs.  The nest is in the middle under the beam (red square) and no, I didn't get that close for the second picture - much zoom on a little compact camera.





And the 'wildflower lawn'?  At the end of the afternoon we sat in the arbour in the Cottage Garden with Daisy and a mug of tea.  I said I needed to look through the blog for a photo I took last year of an unmown strip of grass because there were two Orchids in it.  "Why don't you have a look now" suggested Management and to my surprise, within a few seconds I had found the first plant.  He came to join me and very quickly we found the second - so I rushed off to get a couple of canes to mark the spot.

By the time I returned he had found another, after which we spent goodness knows how long crawling around the lawn and ended up finding a total of THIRTEEN Dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid in the lawn.  Plans are now being formulated to allow this lawn to grow into a wildflower meadow, it's also full of yarrow, self-heal and clover and goodness knows what else so why fight nature?  This is clearly what this patch of green wants to be 😀









14 comments:

  1. Well done again, you two. What a team. Spotting both a bird's nest with eggs and the native orchids must have been a treat. Our grass (even if you can call it that), only has weeds amongst what tries to pass off as lawn & doesn't always look green in our hot summers, but isn't too bad at the moment. Hope to see photos of that area once all the "meadow" flowers are in bloom. Have a good week & take care.

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    1. Starting to sort the wood was very satisfying but not nearly as much fun as finding the orchids. I have a vague recollection of scatting some seed here a few years back. It takes a very long time for wild orchids to germinate and develop into new plants, so maybe that's what I am seeing the result of?

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  2. Very neat spare wood solution. We've just about used ours up now and J actually had to buy some the other day. I was more than a little disappointed. Don't forget to mow inroads through the meadow or you won't see any of the little beauties.

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    1. Thanks Amanda, yes, it's awful when you have to buy more timber - when we got a little last week Management was horrified - it was more expensive than the steel.

      There will be a mowing pattern once we know where the orchids aren't growing :)

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  3. A wildflower meadow sounds lovely. How wonderful that you found the orchids and the bird's nest with the eggs, I hope you see some young ones before long :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice. Whilst it is lovely to find the blackbird nest it is also a worry - many of our neighbours have cats and one in particular is a merciless hunter. Daisy often chases him out of the garden but the owner let him out all night and I know he roams around here in the dark.

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  4. The wood storage is quite something. It is reminiscent of an aisle in B&Q!
    The photograph of the Blackbird nesting is very sweet. I hope the eggs stay put and you get to see some little ones very soon. X

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    1. Thanks Jules. I will take some photos tomorrow but we've put some netting across the front of the log store which I hope will deter the neighbourhood murdering felines. Both the male and female blackbirds are still on the nest so fingers crossed.

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  5. How exciting to have wild orchids. A wildflower meadow sounds a wonderful project.

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    1. We've had orchids before Sue, but they seem to "come and go".

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  6. Oh, oh! She's back!!! No idea why I checked in again today but I'm so glad I did. I have been remiss with blogging, too, but I HAVE been busy as a bee. Hopefully I'll get y'all caught up on my doings shortly. Bummer that LP is moving cross country. Happy Retirement to Management. It's a grand thing, for sure. I haven't worked since mid April 1996 and haven't missed it one iota.

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    1. Hi FFG, lovely to have you visit again, J, xx

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  7. Hi Jayne,

    Yellow rattle is a great plant for establishing wildflower areas as it parasitizes on grasses, slowing down their growth and allowing the other plants (flowers) to get a head start. Good luck and I'm hugely envious of your orchids. Lucky you.

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    1. Hi K, thank you so much for that - eventually I might have remembered about yellow rattle but you've saved me the time! Brilliant suggestion and I shall do some research, somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to remember that it should be sown in the autumn so for once I have time to get things in place :)

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