Sunday 30 June 2024

Peak meadow

Glorious midsummer and I feel we have reached peak meadow. The dog is having the odd paddle in the stream, which he only does at this time of year, and all the little bird families in the garden are full-sized now. Although they are still asking their parents to feed them. 

Exams finally ended and the urchins have months of being at a loose end. I have done a little decluttering of papers and text books. The littlest boy is as anticipated clinging quite tightly to all his possessions, saying things like, "It's my CHILDHOOD," when I try to prise a Moomin book from his hands. I did manage to remove two basketballs and a football from his room, which felt like a win. There are still some in there though and he says he now needs a new basketball. Two steps forward etc. 

The garden feels a bit short on bees this year. I have lots of bean flowers and salvias and a touch of lavender, but hardly any bees. Worrying. Maybe they are going round when I'm not watching.

I have had stacks of sweet peas though, as well as strawberries and some very feisty radishes. The pigeons ate an entire row of beetroot, right down to the ground so that I forgot for a moment there was every any there. Easy come easy go. They aren't touching the bindweed. 

The asparagus is a bit mystifying. I thought there would be a few shoots, but each plant only has one single shoot. I can't decide if that's normal or if it's unhappy. 

The pond is looking like it needs some rain to top it up. It's an absolute hive of activity, with birds flapping away in there washing their feathers in happy little groups. There are lots of nests in my neighbour's huge tangle of grape vine, rambling rose and bramble, which is just next to the pond, so it's been a favourite stop for all the new little birds. I pretty much spend all day looking out of the window :) 

Two doors up is a garden with plastic grass and not a single plant. No birds and bees there. 

How is everything at your end? All good I hope. xx

Thursday 6 June 2024

An apricot rose


The new rose is here. You will see I went with apricot in the end. I have a little space at the end of the garden, so a pink one hasn't been ruled out... 

You will be happy to hear that the rat situation has calmed down. I think the baby rats hadn't learned to make themselves scarce yet. Now they have and we are back to not seeing each other, which we are both quite happy with. 

The garden is still full of birds, particularly starlings and sparrows. There must be almost a hundred starlings in the little local group now and the chicks have improved their flying skills no end. Before they could only do straight lines, so there was a lot of zigzagging about the place, landing on odd things and shuffling round to do another straight line to the next branch. 

I finally took the bench apart and painted it black. It was a bit of a messy job, or maybe that's just me.  The littlest boy said, 1) I preferred the green 2) it's really patchy and 3) you got paint all over yourself. In my defence, the paint was really thick. It has a three-year guarantee for outside I believe, and took around six showers to remove. I tackled the patchy green bits so that from a distance it doesn't look too bad. 

You can sit there now and enjoy the smell of the rose and look for rats.

In other news, the littlest boy turned 16. He had a GCSE on his birthday. A bit unlucky as sometimes it falls in half term. So it was a low-key celebration with pizza and Delia Smith's Ultimate Carrot Cake, which is always a winner. 

It was also the dog's 7-year anniversary of being our dog. Also a fairly low-key affair, although he did eat something revolting on the evening dog walk, which is always a red letter day for him as he's quite tightly policed when out and about. The dog food website says that when he's 8 he will be a Senior Dog. 

He still gets the zoomies and does barking and joining in when the urchins do pretend fighting, so not quite senior yet. 

Exam season plods on. I am working up to some major-league decluttering once it is over. I don't like to rock the boat at present, but the second that last paper is handed in I shall be moving in in force. At least that is the plan, assuming I have time etc. It could even be followed by some major-league cleaning, although I don't want to overcommit myself at this stage.

Hope all is well at your end and that you are enjoying the summer if you're in the Northern hemisphere. CJ xx