So the guinea pig thing failed. We had a lovely trip to the local small animal rescue place on Sunday, and the boys spent a happy half hour entranced by birds, lizards, ducks, rabbits and about a hundred lovely guinea pigs. We brought the oldest piggie home, as a potential cagemate for ours, who lost her friend two or three weeks ago.
She's the one on the left. She's Swiss(!) and about three or so. And as it transpired a bit dominant. Poor Mrs Armitage was bossed out of all of the sheltered areas of their housing. We stuck with it for twenty-four hours, but Mrs A looked thoroughly miserable and every time she headed inside Wendy terrified her until she ran out again.
They look quite sweet together here, but just after I took the shot Wendy had another go and moved Mrs A on again. When I took Mrs A out, her foot was bleeding quite badly. So unfortunately Wendy will go back to the rescue centre, where she was happily in a cage with several other piggies that all seemed to get on together.
Mrs A needs a break now I think, to reclaim her space and equilibrium. We may try again with another piggie, or maybe not. We're sad it didn't work out, and I feel a bit guilty at turning away this sweet little pig, but there's no realistic alternative. Of course the boys want to keep her a bit, and don't see why we can't have two cages of guinea pigs...
The lawn is a field of daisies at the moment. It's hard to find enough grass for one guinea pig at the moment, let alone several. Alys Fowler recommends having at them with an old kitchen knife. Not sure I have the time for that though.
Strawberries are flowering, although there aren't many left as I cleared out lots a while back. Most of them will be grown at the allotment for a while.
I was amazed to see one of the pear trees absolutely covered with what looks like tiny pears. It's a miracle - last year there were hardly any. I think the good weather brought enough bees out to pollinate them this year.
I've got the runner beans in, and I've got a few spares for when the slugs eat them. Two down already. The seedlings along the middle are radishes. It's something I tried last year and it worked well, growing a quick row of radishes down the middle of the two rows of beans.
Apple blossom, still looking beautiful. I'm hoping the bees are working their magic on the apples as well as the pears. Dear bees, how we rely on you. In the space where the strawberries used to be we'll be growing some bee-friendly flowers this year to show our appreciation.
Disguising a fence with ivy and white roses. I don't mind a bit of ivy about the place, although I know some people regard it as a weed.
The garden's a happy, interesting place to be right now. New life springing forth everywhere. Bees, tadpoles, small boys with scooters and footballs and big plans. I'm loving it.
I'm going to leave you with a line or two of poetry, from John Betjeman's "Indoor Games near Newbury".
"Good-bye Wendy! Send the fairies, pinewood elf and larch tree gnome,
Spingle-spangled stars are peeping
At the lush Lagonda creeping
Down the winding ways of tarmac to the leaded lights of home,"
Oh for a lush Lagonda. Goodbye Wendy, we're your friends. Full poem here should you wish.