Here we are well into April and at last Spring seems to be springing from the dry freezing easterly winds which kept in at bay until now. Everything is on fast forward now trying to play catch up. I suspect we will get some interesting combinations of plants flowering together this year which are usually separated by several weeks.
The daffodils are now daring to bloom and the Hellebores that did not get zapped by the wind continue to give pleasure. The wood anemones are coming into flower and the masses of primroses in our wild flower meadow are starting to show their gentle yellow. It will be a real picture in a day or two as they have multiplied considerably in the three years since we have been walking there.
It is almost exactly three years since we were informed that 13 acres of adjacent land may be available to purchase from our then, new neighbours. We climbed over the fence from our top field into a ‘new world’ of discovery. Within just a few steps we saw Early Purple Orchids in full flower in the wooded area at the top of what we now call our wild flower meadow. Neither Philip nor I had seen Orchids growing in the wild and even these relatively common ones have something about them that makes you realise that they are somehow special. We decided there and then to purchase the land if at all possible, which we did eventually with a little help from a bank. The meadow has continues to enthrall as other species of Orchid came into flower later in the year along with a great number of native wild flowers. This year the Early Purple Orchids are along way off flowering though their distinctive leaves have been visible for some weeks now.
One final plant related observation to confirm that summer is not so far off is that our long suffering peach tree is smothered in blossom in our collapsing greenhouse. Pollinating the flowers is on my ‘to do’ list for this week.
I should not have waxed lyrical about our chickens in the post for March. Just after I had published the news blog last month we had left the five hens out of their enclosure late on Sunday afternoon while we took Megan for a walk. When we returned dusk was falling so I went to shoo them off to bed in their run. I found a buzzard picking over the remains of one of the white chickens while two others were hiding under their hen house. No amount of calling brought the remaining two home as a few feathers were all that was left. So was the buzzard to blame for all three ex chickens, or was it capitalising on what the fox had left behind? We shall never know of course, and depending on who you talk to the culprit may be air born or not. We are much more careful now about letting the remaining two hens out only when we are in the garden. They are not that impressed by the new regime and try and get out at every opportunity.
The recent dry weather has meant that a few jobs have got done. We are fortunate to have a large log store at the back of the Dutch barn (which serves as our garage). It was full when we moved here over 7 years ago and eventually we have cut up the last of this old wood and it is now ready for burning on our log burner. With the log store empty, and cleared of the deep layer of sawdust (used as mulch in our front field round the newly planted trees and shrubs), the discoloured wall could be painted on a sunny Saturdaywhile the washing dried.
Justine and Huw have made a start on the next phase of hedge laying. opening up new views…This one is from the mill end of the’millstream’ looking up to the wild flower meadow which was obscured by trees until now.
The hedge laying is resulting in huge piles of wood to be cut into logs, piled up for seasoning and so much brash that we will have more wood chips than we will know what to do with. Only joking…it never seems to go as far as had been anticipated, as there are always good uses for it.
In past years the swallows that nest in our out buildings would have returned from southern Africa, but not this year so far. By my next news blog I’m sure they will be well ensconced in their summer residences. I will bring news too (hopefully) of work starting on the goat house to transform it into a ‘garden room’ for us and the visitors to Felin Fach to enjoy.