Something a little different today, playing around with a few images just for a change.
Green dress in the sunshine. Yellow flowers in my hair and plenty of them. Bracelets to wrists and little brown ankle boots.
Has there ever been a better time to whirl around in childish delight, pick buttercups in the sunshine and revel in the delights of spring. That's what I thought last night but after hearing the news this morning with the tragedy unfolding in Manchester it sounds a bit off. Maybe take a quiet moment to find some peace instead.
A whole post dedicated to one of my favourite wildflowers. Meadow saxifrage is a beautifully neat white flower, it's not ragged or untidy like so many of it's counterparts in the field. Snow white with a yellow centre and a long sturdy stem uncluttered with leaves. Since I saw it in one particular place a couple of years ago I've kept my eyes peeled for any more sightings but no joy. It's just in the once spot but that gives me an excellent reason to return.
Isn't it a delight? Also in existence is purple saxifrage and yellow but neither grow in this part of Europe.
Today is the last day if you want to give me your vote for the Country Style Blog Awards, you can vote for me here, your support has been amazing and I want to say a heartfelt thank you. Sophie
Common comfrey, above. I'm gradually making inroads into learning new names of plants and birds. My butterfly book has yet to see much thumbing but hopefully a good summer will provoke a bit of research.
The distinctive leaves of 'lords and ladies' above. Some are green with possibly black blobs and others are variegated.
Above, garlic mustard and below white dead nettle. I think the white and pink dead nettles have a bit of a hard lot in life with that sting in their name, it's not their fault. The wildlife loves them regardless.
I'll have to wait until the above blooms to figure out what it is. No spoilers! The first bloom of common vetch below. Vetch is such a great name.
The poplar leaves are now out which gives a swooshing background noise wherever the trees grow; the large surface area and numerous leaves along with the sheer incredible height these trees get to means that they catch the wind and create more noise than most other species. The glossy leaves themselves are quite beautiful in their own right with a satin sheen finish.
Oooooh! *dusts off the butterfly and moth book* it's a speckled wood butterfly.
Below: the last of the lesser celandine. It's all gone from spots it usually grows.
Elder will be in flower before we know it. Ground ivy is everywhere, it's pretty colour is lovely.
The hawthorne are now in flower everywhere, this shot dates these images back two or three weeks. Time flies while you're having fun. It flies anyway, so make time for plenty of fun regardless. Sophie
Our allotmenting year started very early this year, if it started at all. It felt like we never made a distinction between finishing last year and starting afresh this spring. It's taken up so many hours each week, we're there most days pottering, checking or watering. At the weekends it's been more like a few hours each day, which when you add up all the hours it really comes to an awful lot.
Anyway, the recent late and hard frosts were a total pain and wrecked some of the beans, gave the potatoes and sunflowers a bashing and may well have scuppered the apples and cherries. We tried our best with insulating horticultural fleece on the potatoes, amongst other things. Our first earlies went in mid February so Monday evening was our first harvest of our 'rocket' tatties. They were absolutely delicious but tiny. We'll give them another week to grow a little more before taking another batch.
We have six varieties of potato in total (yes, that does sound like too many, doesn't it). They're all in various stages of growing. There's something beautiful about growing potatoes, it's quite unfathomable.
This year there are more beans than previous years as they're so easy to use and freeze as well. Broad beans for me! And borlotti beans for the first time.
The last of the winter leeks were dug up a fortnight ago and already the summer leeks have been planted out and the new winter ones re-potted in the greenhouse. The most exciting harvest over the last couple of weeks has been asparagus, which is such a luxury - a few more crowns were added last year. The rhubarb has also been fabulous, best eaten in a crumble though I'm yearning to make rhubarb and ginger compote/jam for myself.
This post is by no means exhaustive when it comes to listing all things going on at the plot, frankly I'd be racking my brains and writing all day. Our strawberry patch has been netted in preparation for the most exciting arrival of soft fruit, the flowers are everywhere now.
There was so much blossom on the trees in early spring, but who knows if we actually get any fruit. There is nothing to do but wait and see, though the plum and apricot trees need to be pruned in summer (the rest had their butchering in winter, though we now know better and will try for a more sympathetic trim this coming winter).
The onions, garlic and shallots are doing far better than usual (phew), the artichokes have surfaced bushier than ever, some brassicas have gone into the ground, carrots and parsnips have been sown... Pots in the greenhouse are yet to be planted out include pumpkins, courgettes and butternut squashes.
I want to talk about all things floral in a separate post as my enthusiasm for that tends to spill everywhere like shaking a bottle of pop before taking off the cap.
It's been a lot of hard work but we're getting there. Sophie
Easter weekend delivered so many treats. My head insisted that bluebells would be out at the end of April but lo and behold they were blo...
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