Meadow Update: Survival of the Fittest

Back in February I had the bright idea to plant a mini meadow around the four apple trees I ambitiously refer to as an ‘orchard’.  It was of course the wrong time to do this.  Autumn is the best time, as you can sow Yellow Rattle to weaken the grass and so give wildflowers a…

Coming in to land…

For a couple of weeks I have been wondering where the butterflies have gone.  But I think I wonder this every year.  It is not until the buddleia comes out that we really see them in great numbers. They are skittish creatures.  Not only do butterflies flutter by, but they also dip up and down…

Returning the egg boxes

I think it is fair to say that most of the UK got a wake-up call with David Attenborough’s BBC documentary series Blue Planet II.  The image of the pilot whale carrying her dead baby around will, I hope, stay with me forever. I am using that dead baby whale to remind our children not to…

Death-trap Corner

In my post on Sunday, After the Storm…, I christened a slightly wild and unkempt area of the garden ‘Death-trap Corner’.  It earned its name due to several toxic plant species, a few stingers, lots of spikes and spines, and some spring-loaded rose snares. Well reader, such is my dedication to this blog, I braved the…

Origins

As this week has been our children’s half-term holiday, we travelled Up North to spend time with family in Yorkshire. On the way, we stopped off in The Peak District. I have been exposed to hiking since I was little, but never particularly valued it until I was a student at University in Leeds. Every…

After the Storm…

“There is peace even in the storm.” Vincent van Gogh Last night we had the most brilliant electrical storm.  I woke up to torrents of rain cascading down the gutters and thundering on the roof.  The windows were open and so the curtains were billowing.  Then came the thunder and lightning. I love a good…

Boing, boing, boing!

I just thought I would share a moment with Zig.  This video expresses the essence of Ziggy. It also expresses how I feel at this time of year.  The hedgerows are effervescing with hawthorn and cow parsley.  The birds are burbling and chittering and pulling up great juicy worms.  There are beetles, bugs and butterflies…

Learning to play again

Can you remember when you were last really absorbed in a task? When you lost yourself in the pleasure of carrying out one step, and then another?  Worries floated away as you just focused on the job in hand. This is flow. Children generally achieve flow very easily. They will arrange buttons or stones just…

Six on Saturday: bits of fluff

At this time each year, our garden is visited by fluff. Hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of bits of fluff.  It is from dandelion clocks.  They all set sail across the fields and alight on our garden.  We are a popular destination. It can look like there has been a frost or a…

Peach Fuzz

Sssshhhh…  I have to say that very quietly because even the words p-e-a-c-h f-u-z-z give my daughter the icks. This is another installment in my bud fest.  If you want to catch up, here are the previous exciting episodes: Early Birds, The Dawn Chorus and Bursting Buds, The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Beautiful Swan and Cauliflorescence! We have a good…

Verdant

It is May Day today, and in celebration, the sky decided to dress itself in blue.  It goes rather well with the green of lush growth at this time of year. We agreed to say nothing more about the wind and rain yesterday.  Forgive and forget. It’s May! There was a light frost, and I…

The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Beautiful Swan

For the last couple of weeks I have been bud-watching.  You can see these posts here: first Early Birds, and then The Dawn Chorus and Bursting Buds. On Friday evening, this is how Stevie and I inspected the trees, accompanied by evening sun, a glass of wine each, and the smell of the barbecue.  It was the…