First of all before it is too late, I would like to thank Steve at Mr Tomato King who recently gave me a Sunshine Award! That makes two I've received although you miserable lot who I passed it on to the first time didn't join in! Steve is a very knowlegeable tomato grower who has grown them professionally for decades in many different climates, so if you have any tomato queries I suggest you pootle over and have a look at his very informative blog.
It all seems rather fitting as here we are basking in beautiful warm sunshine at last. All the trees finally have their leaves and everything looks lush and green. Although overall it's been a dry month, we did have a good amount of rain last weekend so the grass is still green and the stream is still flowing into the pond. Swallows are zooming around over the garden and stopping to perch on my veg patch fence which is so delightful. Pipistrelle bats are out at dusk and one is roosting behind a shutter during the day and the crickets are making their racket again - one of those sounds of summer which you never notice when it starts - just suddenly there it is, like it was never gone. There's even green stuff in the chicken runs again although it's 90% weed rather than grass, but anything is better than bare earth!
The only sad thing is that the moorhens seem to have moved on to pastures new. Both their early attempts at nest building were swamped by the April rains and it seems that they don't want to try again, at least not here, so looks like we'll be baby moorhenless this year, which is a real shame. But I'm quite sure they, or another couple, will be back at some point. That's just the way it goes.
So, I've been pondering about something. Wondering whether if you write a gardening type of blog whether you'd cover it all in one year and then after that it would all be rather samey. A bit like my Christmas letter to my relatives when I think, what have I done all year? There's only so much one can write about chickens and vegetables without boring the pants off people and they do tend to do rather the same sort of thing year in year out. But then I think, I've been taking so many photos and meaning to write about this that and the other, and especially in spring when everything is changing so much, that I really don't have the time to keep blogging about it all. So I think that yes, I can easily keep this up for at least two years and cover some of the things I've missed next year!
Back to my wandering (as opposed to wondering!), you see I never finished off showing the photos I took when I was out looking at the horses and that's over a week ago!
At the edge of our hamlet up a cart track is this old ruin. It's in a lovely secluded spot with an orchard next to it. I'm surprised it has not been snapped up as a renovation job, but who knows, maybe it's not for sale. The sign on the boarded up window made me laugh. It says "Danger: Asbestos". Oh never mind that the gable end has crumbled and the roof is in imminent danger of collapse!
The hawthorn is out too and looking pretty.
There are so many wildflowers at the moment, all looking especially good as the grass on the roadside verges is still green. Here is red clover, one of my favourite wild flowers.
Common fumitory and newly emerging bracken fronds beside a field of barley. Barley seems to be the 'in crop' this year which is unusual. EU subsidies for barley this year, anyone know? Normally it's wheat and maize everywhere with just the occasional field of barley, so this year it is very noticeable.
Pignut or not pignut? That is the question. I suspect the following is a pignut (Conopodium majus) as I've been studying them at home compared to another plant which has very similar flowers but different leaves, and the pignut's leaves are barely noticeable and already going yellow and dying back. I don't know what the other plant is yet and I still haven't tried digging up a pignut - I'll leave that for next year!
Close by to home there are a lot of old walls around some of the manor houses which are home to many species of plant life (and very probably insects too). I wish I had a wall, but on the other hand this wall has crumbled in places and the poor guy who owns it had it repaired, no doubt at vast expense, only for another bit to collapse soon after. So maybe a hedge is cheaper to maintain!
There are ox-eye daisies here which caught my eye and a sedum which I have in a pot; also I've seen poppies and even a wild rose growing out of it as well as all sorts of other wild plants, mosses and lichens.
So now I've caught up (sort of) I can get back to my veg patch, which needs tending, and also updating on this blog! Happy sunny Saturday everyone :-)