Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Tipped off by a local, I headed off to walk Nora in the best spot hereabouts for bluebells. They aren’t quite at their peak yet but are pretty impressive. Half the world’s bluebells are in the UK and, looking at this lot, you could well believe it.

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It was quite a magical walk in the drizzly rain surrounded by bird calls. I also saw two deer running past only a few feet away but was too slow to snap them. It’s the first time I’ve encountered them so close.

 

 

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I’ve always longed for a garden trug but new ones are really expensive and it’s something you can easily do without. After all, a cardboard box or a plastic basket of some kind work just as well for holding picked flowers until you bring them indoors. Also, until I came to Spring Cottage I didn’t really have any flowers to pick so a trug had to wait. P1010966 Now, however, Spring brings loads of daffodils and other narcissi, and I also plant all kinds of seeds in my cut flower beds specifically to grow things to bring inside. So I’m enjoying a clapped out old trug that I bought last summer at a car boot sale for three quid. It’s a bit brittle and won’t last for ever but I’ve waterproofed it a little by painting it with Danish oil and it now looks as thought it’s a family heirloom, which I much prefer to things being brand new. It kind of goes better with the ancient nature of the cottage, looks suitably rustic hanging in the woodshed, and I can spend the money saved on seeds instead.

The main flowerbeds here are in the front garden, which is at the side of the cottage, if that makes sense. Being at the side, at the gable end of the house, there is no window overlooking it. So I have to bring flowers in if I want to see them more than in passing on the way to the car. in hedge Many of the daffodils have also been planted under the various hedges. Well, they would have originally been under the hedges but now they are in the hedges, the hedges having grown widthways as well as in height over the years. So the daffs need rescuing before they are forced to bend over by the branches sprouting above them. daffodils on windowsill

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I do love this garden in the Spring.

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Today was a horrible day. Fretful and loathe to get up, I lurked inside for as long as possible before I faced the damp outside.

misty weather on the hills

But eventually my aim to counteract the worrying that is going on in my head with some productive activity did win through. So, as well as food shopping and mending the garage light (changing the bulb – sometimes things are not as bad as I fear), I drove over to Triscombe in the heavy mist (ok, maybe it was low cloud) and bought some narcissi and grape hyacinths, anemones and aubretia to brighten up my dreary garden that just will not come into flower.

If you’re within reach, I can highly recommend them. Time has slightly stood still there and very lovely it is to and chat to Stuart about this and that, while you’re thinking about what to buy – even if it’s just bird seed.

rock plants in an enamel bowl in the garden

The birds here seem very hungry, so I stocked up with so much that it came in a sack!

female chaffinchThen I went in search of lambs. Now, rather oddly, I saw the first lamb out in the fields when I was out riding on New Year’s Day. That lamb must be quite senior now that the countryside is full of actual spring lambs.

two lambs suckling

Things have been very tough for sheep farmers this last year (and not so hot for the sheep either). Wet all last summer, so lots of them (the sheep) are lame with foot rotty problems – they’re limping about all over the place, their fleeces sodden and muddy. This one is quite clean, although not pink as those that graze the red earthed land around here often are.

sheep with full fleeceThe horrible, long winter had temperatures that were well below freezing at night for long spells, followed by a very cold spring which led to sheep being buried in snowdrifts and lambs dying as they were being born. Luckily, it wasn’t that cold down here in the south west, but spring is still being held in abeyance by the cold and it’s windy as hell, or I should say, as usual.

two lambs gambolling across a field

So, anyway, here are some lambs. They brought a smile to my face with their silly antics – one of the lambs below is standing on its mother.

a ewe with two lambs

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Did you say allsorts?

I realised that I’d done this more than once last weekend: bluebells and tulips with fennel. Sounds more like a recipe.

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There’s something so lovely about a daffodil. They are so welcoming and so joyful, and so totally appropriate for Spring.

One of the lovely things about this garden is the sheer variety of daffodil-like flowers that appear at this time of year. I think there are about ten types of narcissi out there. I don’t know the names of any of them as I owe them all to my predecessor here.

different varieties of narcissi

As soon as one type has ‘gone over’ another pops up and so they continue for a few weeks. They grow in the flower beds in the front garden, on the lawn and the banks in the back garden as above, and at the back and front of the house.

daffodils

I’ve just had a good rummage about at Peter Nyssen and found that I have a pretty good cross section of the different types available. Had to log out of there quickly before I bought something…

more types of narcissi

The ones I find the least successful are those that are really fancy – double headed cream-coloured ones – in the picture below, with their second flower not yet open. They look a bit washed out compared to their brighter, more exuberant cousins but it could also be that they are planted where they look a little lost in the bare earth of a bed not yet colonised by alchemilla mollis and strawberries.

double headed narcissi

At this time of year, I buy a bunch of daffodils almost every time I leave the house if I’m not in the country. They are just so cheerful that I want to fill every room with them.

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3rd April 2010

2nd April 2011

30th March 2012

Well, so much for this year being so warm. It turns out that last year, the garden was far more advanced than it is this year, despite this year’s sunny spring. However, in 2010, there were barely any flowers out at this time. Interesting.

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