Friday, April 12, 2013

Birds and gardens

Taken from the Icknield Way by Edward Thomas, in unreconstructed mode.
The book is online at Google, thanks to BB can now read it..

Today is a true spring April day, sun and gentle showers.  Spied a blackcap in the trees, the starlings are busy collecting nesting material and even the dove is making efforts.  Yes she/he wanders round with large non-nestable twigs in its beak, so I do as I did last year, break up the fronds of the bamboo dead shoots into more manageable lengths to build the nest.  Skinny cat has just finished his/her biscuits, under marching orders if the cat pounces on one of the birds.  Did some gardening along the long front border under the laurel hedge yesterday, it has somehow filled itself this two foot of earth with, red valerian, wallflowers, interspersed with lavender, which has all been cut back due to old age. Rue which also has been disposed of due to its cruel habit of causing rashes, then a variety of other stuff that has lingered on from the past.  Yesterday clearing what looks like grass, but isn't, think it is that little purple-blue flower (can't think of the name) that appears this time of the year.  The soil has never been dug, you can only go down about 4 inches, and of course the hedge stops the rain from getting to and absorbs all nutrients.  I do not like laurels, once planted one and from a baby grew into a 20 foot monster in no time, like Leylandi conifers do not plant unless you want to keep trimming them back forever.... So corn poppies and nasturiums seeds have gone in, I hope to encourage hollyhocks as well, one plant has been put in to seed.
Waylands Smithy long barrow, of which I have written so much about, nags at the back of my mind, the long walk along the dry chalky Ridgeway path is probably evoking memories of hot summer suns and dryness but here are a couple of photos taken in autumn.  It has such class this 'restored' long barrow, the photos were taken in autumn, another time I went was for the scattering of ash of a 'megalithic person', i.e. those that love the prehistoric stones. I remember taking a handful of lavender from the garden and we all sat under the trees because of the rain, it was a strange but happy day, I took my son to let him see a 'natural' funeral.
Another April shower darkens the room as I write, I sowed the seeds of cut and come lettuces as well in two big plant pots this morning, so late for starting seeds this year, wonder where this climate change will take us?


  1. What timing for a Ridgeway photo as I am just reading Edward Thomas's The Icknield Way at the moment.

    I love your header photo btw, and I enjoyed hearing about your plantings.

  2. Hi BB, found it online and started reading it, thank you for drawing my attention to it.