For two gloriously sunny days I spent every possible minute outside. Gardener’s ribs settled down and so did my heart, fingers crossed! Many of you must have done just that, so thank you, it worked. For most of you away from the UK summer is when there is this golden ball high in the sky which distributes warmth and light to all, sinners and saints alike, for months on end. Not here. You all know how Brits like to whinge about the weather, well, there is plenty to whinge about.
An annual spring task is trying to eradicate Welsh poppies. They’re very pretty, popping up all over the place. Unfortunately, they tend to seed themselves everywhere, even into the centre of other plants, which then have to be dug up, divided and freed from the invader.
Gardener is a sensible chap, he stopped after three hours on Saturday and went home. He still managed to make me large quantities of potting compost for tubs and pots, clean out a gutter and repair it, dig up and move a small Japanese acer which was in the wrong place and dig over a couple of small vegetable plots. (The zucchini I planted have already shrivelled a bit. Perhaps the night time temperatures are still too low).
Beloved and I had bought a few plants; I potted some up and planted the rest in the borders. This morning I got going on tender geraniums and fuchsias; as it’s raining again today, and the forecast remains gloomy - naturally - I’m hoping that the temperature will stay above frost from now on.
As I said, it’s raining again, the day has turned miserably grey and Millie and I got wet; our walk was short, no further than down to the river and round the castle. She’s a good dog, she takes herself for little outings in the garden, there’s plenty for her to explore. She’ll get fat though; every time she comes back in she wants - and often gets - a coming-home-biscuits.
The difference between today and yesterday is huge. We sat over our breakfast in the conservatory, doors and windows open, listening to the church bells being rung. First there was the usual test drive of two bells; perhaps the bellringers arrive in an uneven procession and everybody who turns up grabs hold of their rope and starts pulling. Eventually they sort themselves out and the noise begins to make sense; sometimes they even manage a proper peal. Or could that be a recording?
As soon as they stopped, somebody rang a coloured dove. At least, that’s what it sounded like, two notes, one repeated. I was woken by bird song at 4am. On first becoming aware of the noise I thought it was some high pitched electrical hum in the house, but when I’d roused myself sufficiently, the hum turned into a thousand battle cries being flung into the glorious dawn. Why are birds so belligerent? If they don’t have enough room to live why do they have so many babies? You should see the huge sparrow families fighting over the seed tray. Benefit Scroungers!