Thursday, 13 July 2017


Dead and dropped on the tarmac by the car, this mole or mouldywarp had been taken, probably by a hawk, possibly by a cat and left as I disturbed the predator. It must have taken a lot of animals to make a moleskin waistcoat.

And then the guided missile that is a sparrow hawk takes a fledgling blue tit in front of my eyes (well, it wouldn't be behind them). This is not much of a photo but it was a snapshot through the window - only had a few seconds.
The big whites are staring to go over,
the Rambling Rector Roses and the Philadelphus. The deutzia is done and even the white willow herb starting to seed. I think I shall have to cut that one down as it self seeds a bit too freely. It is bad enough having its runners spreading through the banking grass. On the other hand it is lovely.

Sometimes plants exceed expectations - tall plants, the eight feet tall lovage, nine feet tall rue growing up through a cherry tree, (even the foxgloves are tall) cardoons and stipa gigantea, even one broad-leaved willowherb (yes a weed) at six feet - normally smaller and widespread. Then there are the Lilium regale, stuck in a pot for four years, this year they should have been small and in need of moving - but!

So bad back, R tells me to go easy - so what do I do - weed the whole place, trim box and sarcococcus etc etc (and take paracetamol) - but cannot moan - self inflicted problem. And now - a bonfire, some heavy mowing followed by a shower and some alcoholic analgesia (just a small Peroni.)

I will, soon, have to attack the lower banking as the grass is getting too long and I cannot use the excuse of letting daffodils build up their bulbs for next year.

 The anthemis and self sown feverfew here light top a dark corner whilst Crocosmia Lucifer is blasting out its red. I put some in a vase in the church porch for the weekend - I wonder if anyone realised they had Lucifer in the church?

And then there are the ducks - by the pond. As we walk around one way the duck waddles ahead of us, just keeping out of range. Today I saw a cock reed bunting in the vegetation at the side of the water.   

We have two nests of house martins though sadly no swallows this year. Sitting out is interesting as the feeding parents zoom past our heads.

Still eating raspberries - and finally bought some cream.

Friday, 7 July 2017


The battle with the blackbirds goes on - I wish I had put in a fruit cage now - the redcurrants are decimated, blackcurrants going the same way and raspberries half eaten. Yesterday I caught a blackbird caught within the netting I had put around the fruit.The plums and apples look ok but the pears, greengages and to some extent damsons have fallen foul of the late spring frost.

R's saga with the mallard goes on and then I caught them on the camera walking up the garden top the field, presumably on their way to the Mill Dam a third of a kilometre away.


Bad back! Its is not the scything that does it but the raking of the cut grass.

Bees have been mentioned - my daughter and her family have a guest hive in their field in Herefordshire. It would help with pollination? We seem to have mainly bumble bees.

It is the season of Oxeye daisies - albeit wild they give a dazzling display.

Just caught a jay in the squirrel trap again. In the local paper their was an offer to take away (and cull) grey squirrels but if someone else is going to kill them is that much different from me doing it - I'd have still done 'em in.

Having to take a break as bad back - more pressure to get help in the garden - can still pick raspberries though (when I am not eating them).

 And so to birdlife in the garden - the greater spotted woodpecker feeding its offspring thought the latter is as bias the adult.

Under the feeders the hen pheasant collects the cast off bits of peanuts and seeds.

And she is guarded by her male half as she wandered through the roses.

 On the edge of the shed roof birds queue up for the feeders - a place I think might be very vulnerable to a passing sparrowhawk. Here a cock tree sparrow and a greenfinch.

Meanwhile there are fledgelings everywhere, waiting in shrubs and on fences to be fed.

One joy of a garden is having flowers in the house especially pinks with their wonderful scent.