Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Random wildlife

(New 2017 blog post published in December 2019)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Random pond pictures

(New 2017 blog post published in December 2019)

Monday, 19 June 2017


When they're good . . . there is nothing in the world that can match the taste of a homegrown strawberry, still warm from the sun.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Keeping cool

(New 2017 blog post published in December 2019)

It was very hot, so resting our head on a lump of cool slate is a pretty smart thing to do.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Wildflower meadow

(New 2017 blog post published in December 2019)

A favourite late afternoon walk to a wildflower meadow next to the river.

Monday, 12 June 2017

The end of an era

(New 2017 blog post published in December 2019)

Five years, more hours than we could ever count, more mugs of tea than could ever be estimated, and after many false summits it was LP's last day at Bag End.

But with two large blokes running things today there was no room for sentiment.

There were occasions when having LP here was a complete pain in the ***.  Days when I really did not feel like working but we had made a commitment to him and had to honour it, days when he went "off piste" and did what he had been expressly asked NOT to, days when his over-enthusiasm resulted in physical harm to either himself or my tools.  But those days were a tiny proportion of the total.

Without the help of an acquaintance who became a true friend I would not have this garden.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Just knuckle down and get on with it

Despite appearances to the contrary, the last month or so I have been cruising along, and not really getting on with stuff which needs doing.  So with a bright weekend ahead of us and a couple of decent night's sleep behind, I decided that on Saturday and Sunday I would just "get on with it" and work through jobs which have been waiting for far too long.  Management took the opportunity to get out on one of his bikes, and after an energetic game of rugby in the garden with Daisy, I made a start.

Small willow fedge next to the pavement; first chop of the year and a bit of weeding now that the daffodils have died down.  Management wants to remove the black netting which was shielding the laurel hedge, a job we will probably leave until the autumn.  Once the laurel is free to grow towards the sun I expect it to do so with great enthusiasm, which means that the willow fedge might just be in the way ... I won't be sorry to see it go, like the one near the Top Pond it has probably outlived its usefulness, and having to keep cutting it back is a pain.

Although it never made it to the white board, one of the jobs on my mental list for weeks has been to give the bird food area a little makeover.   The willow screen should stop the sparrow hawk barrelling through from behind and the grow-bag tray is to catch all the seed which falls out of the hangers.

The birds took to the new breakfast bar instantly, although it was mildly disconcerting to be working away whilst an angry blackbird is sitting a couple of feet away swearing loudly at you because "things aren't where they should be"!   Whilst I am not fluent in blackbird it was clear there were many expletives being thrown in my direction.

Never gets on the whiteboard . . . cutting all the grass.

Daisy's skin is still a problem from Spring until Autumn.  We don't know exactly what she is allergic to but anti-histamines have never worked.  I hate using them but steroids have been effective until very recently, however they are no longer controlling the allergic reaction, so a trip to the vet is scheduled because the poor little girl is scratching herself so hard she's damaging the skin.  Until then, keeping the grass short does seem to help a bit.

It took a surprisingly short time to fit the fruit cage roof net (thank you Management!) and although I did a bit more weeding, I fear this is the year when I never really get those beds under control.

The last of the plants which have been waiting in the nursery area are now in the ground, which meant there was room for three of our cold frames (we're still waiting for number four to be delivered).  Management had a building session, bless him, it took me mere seconds to fill them all!

I wasted spent a lot of time hiding in the shed where I can watch both Mum and Dad blackbird take turns to sit on their newly hatched chicks who have voracious appetites.  The slack netting in front of the log store is my feeble attempt to keep local cats away from the nest.  Fingers crossed that it will continue to work.

Management also helped me to net half the roof and one side of the greenhouse to provide some very necessary shade,  when it was glorious over the Bank Holiday I recorded a temperature of 115F which is far too hot.  He worked out a very clever way of rigging the netting to keep birds out of the windows whilst not fouling the automatic vents.  Unfortunately we found a couple of panes of glass have slipped on the roof and whilst we fixed one, the others will have to wait until we can get to the other side.  New ladders may have to be purchased ...

After a tiring but thoroughly satisfying weekend, two wet days gave us the opportunity for some major freezer re-stocking.  Lamb curry on Monday

and Bolognaise sauce on Tuesday.  It is an awful lot of preparation and chopping but definitely worth it.

M. had a huge wardrobe clear out;  two bags of business shoes and loads of poly-cotton shirts made their way to a charity shop whilst all the pure cotton shirts found their way to the sewing room.  One day I am going to make a quilt with them all - but I have been collecting his shirts for 20 years and haven't started on the quilt yet, so don't expect to see anything sometime soon!

That was a heck of a few days, now I think I'll have a little rest :)