Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset corespondent, Venetia. She has ‘lent’ her lawn to neighbours and they are making it very productive. She tells me that they have planted broad beans, perpetual spinach, chard, Jerusalem artichokes, and later today plan to plant potatoes, with runner beans to come. She is going to get a share of the produce as ‘rent’ and she has no mowing to do. Win, win.
We woke to a rather grey, rather windy and definitely chilly morning.
I have been dead heading a lot of the standard tulips that have been brightening the garden over the past few weeks but the lily flowered tulips are still in full swing.
After breakfast and the crossword, I went out to admire them.
While I was there, I enjoyed the ever expanding cow parsley…
…checked on a dogwood that Mrs Tootlepedal was a bit worried that she had over pruned…
..and noted the first flower on the big yellow azalea peeping up at the back of the bush.
I peered closely at the inner workings of the white rhododendron…
…and enjoyed the never ending curiosity show that is Euphorbia.
We had a rather chilly socially distanced street coffee morning but it didn’t go the full distance once again on account of freezing fingers.
Then we returned to the garden. I sieved another barrow load of compost and had a look in the vegetable garden. Salad leaves are coming on and the beetroot is looking promising, while chives and apples are thriving.
There didn’t seem to be many pollinators about in the cold conditions so I got busy with my pollinating bush on the apples. I don’t know if it actually helps at all but it makes me feel useful even if I am not.
The first ornamental strawberry flower has come out. There should be many to follow.
Three parcels arrived during the morning. Once again, our children are showering us with gifts. Alistair and Clare sent us both bacon and booze. This is a reward for us not visiting shops any more but getting food delivered.
The other parcel contained gold nuggets!
Honestly. It did.
Our daughter Annie had sent me these:
We had the bacon for lunch and then I was intending to go for a long walk but I suddenly remembered that I was due to pay attention to my latest venture into cookery and make some Garibaldi biscuits.
The baking went well, although the arithmetic required to get each biscuit exactly the same size was not quite so successful.
But the main thing was that they turned out to be absolutely delicious. The currants, from our corner shop, were just the right quality, and the biscuit mixture was crisp and sweet. They will definitely appear again. (Quite soon, judging by the speed that they are disappearing.)
After the biscuit making, I was intending to go for a medium walk but the sun had come out and Mrs Tootlepedal remarked that the soil was nice and warm so I took the opportunity to put my moss eating and fertiliser mixture on both the middle and front lawns while the going was good. I will have to water the lawns soon if it doesn’t rain.
Then I went for a short walk.
The Inuit somewhat apocryphally are supposed to have 85 words for snow. We could easily have 85 words for different shades of green at this time of year.
I passed the result of lockdown activity in the shape of a newly painted roof on John’s stable at the Stubholm…
…and any amount of delightful bluebells…
…as I walked though the woods, up the Hungry Burn and through the Kernigal.
From the gloom of the conifer plantation, I sought the sunlit lowlands.
…passing butterflies and larch trees on the way, sometimes simultaneously.
There were more shades of green at the bottom of the hill…
…and wild flowers to see at various times on my walk.
I was hoping to see herons at the herony but had to settle for yet another view of Skippers Bridge from the river bed…
…before nipping briskly home to be in time for my evening Zoom meeting.
I did pause for a few more wild flowers on the way.
At one point during the day, I loaded Zoom on to my laptop and had a meeting with our friend Sue from the recorder group. We wanted to see if it was possible to play recorder duets remotely. The technology is brilliant but not brilliant enough to allow for remote simultaneous music making which is a pity.
However, it did mean that I was able to have the evening Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters on my laptop and not using my mobile phone. This was much more relaxing than peering at a tiny screen.
We had a bottle of cider, courtesy of Al and Clare with our evening meal and thought kindly of all our children. They are looking after us very well, sending us gifts, videos and beautiful photographs to keep us happy.
The ever so nearly flying bird of the day is an evening chaffinch.