Whilst the rain has been relentless and the ground saturated, it was a lovely to know that all the bulbs were protected in their wet muddy homes and emerged unscathed in a really lovely spring display. My colour palette was inspired by a stunning spring border I photographed last year filled with Peonia ‘Molly the Witch’ (soft lemon) and Tulipa Queen of the Night (dark and rich). My tulips included the stunning double tulip Black Hero and soft lemon Vancouver, they were also joined by Tulipa Mistress (a pale pink tulip who was a repeat flower from the previous spring). My galvanized pots contained the true show stopper, Irene Parrot who was set off by Queen of the Night, which worked brilliantly. Finally my crab apples were under planted with Recreado, whose dark burgundy stems stood out against the backdrop of the palest lemon double tulip Verona, an incredible tulip which opened so wide it could have been mistaken for a peony.
Something caught my eye when I began to photograph Verona and it turned out to be an amazing little spider that was almost crab like, it had managed to cleverly camouflage itself and would have been easy to miss, but with eyes like a hawk it didn’t slip past me. I’m not a spider lover and prior to living in the country I would have run a mile at any spider I saw, unbelievably I have grown to understand how valuable they can be (not the hunters though and especially not inside the cottage!). Before the end of Verona’s life she had gathered a myriad of flies and turned into the spider’s rather fanciful larder.
I recently acquired some wonderful old window frames from my kind neighbour who has cleverly made some beautiful replacement oak frames. The old ones are perfect to make into cold frames and just in time as well for bringing on my sweet peas. It didn’t take long for a snail to sniff out fresh green tips!
I’m delighted that my young damson tree flowered and the fruits have set, I just hope the wind doesn’t whip them off, as it will be exciting to harvest my first batch of damson, even if they do only make one precious jar of jam. The pears have also set and my first gooseberries are beginning to swell, not many mind!
I have double the amount of bird feeders this year, though the news quickly spread to the local squirrel population and this cheeky mother had no shame in swinging freestyle on my crab apples whilst filling her boots on a fat and seed incrusted pine cone, looks like she’s feeding several kittens too!
I can’t wait for the days to become dryer and warmer, for sitting in my woodshed is my new garden gate! It is a reclaimed oak door and perfect for the job, just can’t wait to try out my new sander!
Oh how times have changed, gone are the days of manicures. Life seems to mostly be about paint colour on the walls and shutters these days and Charlestown Gray is quickly becoming my new spring favourite for interior woodwork. Having said that Leighton Denny’s Honey Trap is pretty close to Charlestown Grey, there seems to be a running theme at HC!
I’m hoping to get a chance to blog about a wonderful indigo dyer called Polly Lyster. It’s Open Studio time this week around Stroud and it’s a great opportunity to see this fascinating process from start to finish, hope to get this up soon!