Not just dry weather but actually warm and sunny with no need for coats or jackets - well not until later. Even the temporary moat by the new wall had dried up! For the first time in weeks, the ground was dry enough to allow us to get some real border work done - as long as it was on tip toe! It was out with the wheelbarrow loaded with tools and to work dead heading, weeding and tidying the lower border. This is quite a long border with a service path at the back. It has little Euonymous shrubs for winter colour between perennial plants with Acers and a big old Prunus at the back. The Sarcococca is all in full bloom and the fragrance from such tiny insignificant flowers was absolutely outstanding as it wafted around in the warm sunshine.
As soon as the wheelbarrow was emptied of tools, along came Mr. Robin who sat on the side watching closely. As the barrow was filled with debris, he kept returning and at one point hopped down beneath the pile of cuttings and didn't fly out when the next handful was gently placed on top! Little wonder he's called The Gardeners' Friend.
|Newly topped grass on a high cut.|
|Rudolph meets Clarissa!|
Some of our song birds seem to be enjoying this mild spell. A charm (yes, isn't that a perfect collective noun? Full marks to the person who came up with that one! ) of 8 Goldfinches, 2 Redpolls and 1 Greenfinch were all squabbling on the bird feeders. Sadly, we have a resident hawk who has been spotted picking off our much loved and defenceless little songbirds and thanks to the do-gooders of this world, we are helpless to protect them.
Talking of vermin, we are surrounded by numerous Buzzards mewling over the surrounding apple orchards: one of which carries a conviction for an assassination attempt on one of our chickens; namely Amelia. Luckily, Amelia was too heavy and was dropped before Mr. Big Bad Buzzard gained too much height. Apart from the claw wounds in her back, and the loss of both dignity and a few feathers, she was none the worse for her near death experience. Nonetheless the protectors of these flying predators who try to convince us they eat nothing but carrion leave us all totally unable to defend the defenceless.