Wednesday 18 July 2012

It is official, summer arrives next week :)

 Dull days, wet days, cool days.......the wait for summer has seemed endless.
 The weather forecast says that next week high pressure arrives, bringing sunshine and warmer temperatures.
This summer season, has felt strange.    My mind tells me it is summer, and yet it has felt like autumn for the last two months.    
 I have decided to take a blogging break for the rest of the summer.    I intend to enjoy the warmer weather in the garden and with my family.
 A garden party Saturday week, trips to the seaside, picnics in the wood etc etc.

 I am also hoping to landscape the treehouse with the children.   It has been put on hold because of bad weather, now is the time to put plans into action.
See you all in September.......

Saturday 14 July 2012

Sunday safari on Saturday.

 Thursday morning was sunny and I most certainly was not going to waste it working.     I decided to take Nella on our favourite walk, Bedlam Lane.    I love this area mainly for the verges.  
 This is the reason, they are left as nature intended.
My most favourite wildflower of the countryside is Meadowsweet,  Queen of the Meadow.    As I walk along the lane the fragrance is amazing.
 Nella also loves this walk......there are rabbit runs dotted all along the lane.
And Nella has to check every one out :)     You have probably noticed Nella has a docked tail (something I do not personally agree with )    This was obviously done by her previous owner.
You are allowed to dock a working dogs tail.   If Nella went too deep into a rabbit hole, the theory is you could grab her tail, and hopefully pull her out.   I do so hope I never have to put this to the test.
 Sheep are enjoying the sunny weather, as you can see by the above image the meadow reaches the sheeps legs to be seen.
 Insects were busy but I was in search of the Meadow Butterflies.     They thrive along Bedlam Lane.    The farmer seems to be aware of their plight and leaves his verges overgrown.     He will cut them back sometime in the winter.    He also leaves some of his hay meadow standing right through until next Spring. 
 I was not disappointed.    I literally saw dozens and dozens of Meadow Butterflies dancing along the hedgerow.
Wildflowers were covered in them............
The Meadow Browns are here and plenty of them.    They often fly on dull days and will even fly in drizzle.     How the 'monsoon type' showers  will affect their breeding I do not know.
We will find out next year but hopefully this farmer has given them a fighting chance and I for one feel that he deserves some recognition.   Three cheers for the Bedlam Lane farmer :)

Happy safari.......may you all dance with the butterflies :)

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Bees, Trees and Trains.......

 My jumper keeps my body warm but my hands are cold.    Temperatures have dropped and a chilly wind is blowing.
Some of the willows are looking sickly......I must remember to clear the leaves and burn them.   If it is a virus, I do not want it to spread through the garden.
 Bees are dying.......
Late, each evening, I walk the garden and collect stranded bees.    I put them in the shelter of the shed, leave them with honey.   Many have gone back to the garden, looking much happier :)
 Queen of the Prairie is looking beautiful.   The wet conditions do not seem to bother her.    She is slowly creeping through the border.    She is one of my favourite  plants.
A few weeks ago the Golden Arrow went by.   I ran to the end of the garden and managed to get a photograph, you can just see the golden arrow on the front.   People were in carriages having lunch........I was surprised how many waved to me :)   I love old steam trains.   They take me back to a bygone age, they make me smile.     I love the smell of  smoke that remains in the garden long after the train has gone.

The forecast for the next five days is more rain.    I have at last managed to clear the copse.    Overgrown, and full of stinging nettles (as tall as me ), it was not easy, it has taken three days.    I came in yesterday, wet, tired, and with lots of bites and stings.....but the job is done and that makes me feel better.    I am having a quiet day, and taking my parents out to lunch.

I do so hope that those that need rain, it comes soon.   For those in the UK, whose homes have been flooded for the second time in a month, my heart is with you.    

Sunday 8 July 2012

Sunday safari

 When I drive home, I feel the same happiness,  the day we moved to the Farmhouse
The gates close, and once again I am in my own little world.
I find peace, through observation of nature.
I use the garden, as a place to forget the stresses and pressure of life.
Nature looks after itself.    To be a gardener is to work with the seasons, and the natural cycles of life, not to try to fool or fight them.
Each garden has a secret life of its own.
 Heart beats, wing beats, new life.    We only see a tiny part of what goes on.    We are able to act the part of silent watchers :)
 This summer is a busy one for me,   I shall be running here and there.   The garden is overgrown, little people will  be with me for much of the six week school break, and
our son and partner expect their first child in August.    Along with the care of my elderly parents, life is full.    
 I will take time to smell the flowers.......
and try to enjoy the garden, no matter what Mother Nature throws at me.....

Happy Sunday safari.......

Thursday 5 July 2012

Daughter of the Field.......

 I have Poppies in the house.
 Poppies in the garden, that sway gently in the breeze
I wish I had Poppies on my summer clothes.
This is the Poppi that I love most of all :)

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Flowers......we all love flowers.

 Enchanters Nightshade glowing in the is bewitching when allowed to spread through woodland.
 I thought I would show you some of the new plantings.     Alchemilla Mollis with Allium Caervleum.
 Echinops, Marsh Mallow, and Maltese Cross.     Cannot wait for everything to come into bloom.     This combination is situated either side of the pond.
 Uknown Clematis winding her way through nepeta and scabious.
This small bed was planted in memory of Peggy.      The two rusty poles will eventually support double hollyhocks, that is if the rabbits stop cropping them.   I have used the colours she enjoyed.

Raining once again, so I am cleaning the house :(

Sunday 1 July 2012

Sunday safari

Enchanters Nightshade is planted beneath the Hawthorn tree.   She is a food source of the Elephant Hawk moth.   I have seen her feeding on the honeysuckle at dusk. Perhaps one day she will lay her eggs here.
 Rosa 'Wedding Day' has reached the top of the Hawthorn.     Her highly scented, single blooms will make many a bee happy.
 As I small child I had an affinity with the bumble bee.   I believe it was the drone and the sweet nature of the creature that captivated me.     Our bees are in decline and need us to give them a helping hand.      When I moved to the farmhouse I rarely saw a bee.    
 Over the years, adding more pollen and nectar rich plants, I have seen the changes.    The humble bumble does well here.    They nest in the garden,  I always mark them, to remind me where 'the place they call home' is.
 Last year a leaf cutter bee made her nest in a half buried pot, amongst creeping thyme.   How clever was mother bee.    Despite the weeks of heavy rain, her babies survived.   Protected by the pot, they have left their nest and are doing well in the garden.
 Bless the bees :)
 There is much beauty in a garden, even snails have their place here.    Yesterday a solitary bee was I have not seen before.   I did not manage to get an image, as she rushed from flower to flower.    I did some research, she lays her eggs in empty snail shells and seals them with rabbits droppings.    Hmmmm, can't believe I am going to say this but I am now seeing rabbits in a different light :)
And finally, to end on a sweet note....a butterfly, one butterfly.    I beamed from ear to ear yesterday when the Small Skipper arrived in the garden.   She lays her eggs on grasses.......
This has been a difficult year for butterflies.   Hopefully July and August will be warm months and give them a fighting chance.   I do hope so.

Happy Sunday safari