Monday, 24 February 2014

Wonderful Willow

This is the first day when I have felt that Spring is really here. It has been warm, with glorious sunshine. 
Freshwinds Garden was delightful. Hollie was tending her horse in her t-shirt.
I didn`t remove any layers but I didn`t need a hat.
Our main job was to get to grips with the willow arch. I began pruning it last Friday. Paula suggested that we prune out some huge branches which are so hard to manipulate. We did just that.
Then it was much easier to draw the remaining whips together and form it into a better shape.

We saved all the prunings. I tried unsuccessfully to make a small tripod frame. My next idea was to make a small looped fence which might help to stop the daisy flopping all over 
the greenhouse path.

One lone daffodil is a bright splash of colour.

We brought a good bundle of finer willow home. Steve even found a thicker piece for a stang.

I have been making pentograms at home using the willow.

Some of this pentogram is made from 
willow and some is wire.

 All gardening is on hold for the next week as we are off to the sunshine.... Fuerteventura.
I can`t wait. I hope to be able to blog some of our experiences.
Happy days.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Hikes and Stangs

We have had two days of glorious sunshine.
Yesterday we went to Freshwinds Garden to do a few odd jobs.
I trimmed the willow arch and saved all the prunings to make pentagrams. 
When I get some good photos I will post them.

Willow prunings

I spread some more chipped bark round the newly planted willow whips.
The pile from my nephew Alex has nearly all been used.

Sorry about the blob on the camera. It is a nuisance and may be sorted soon.

The area where we sit in the shelter of the cob shed for tea, is getting quite muddy so we used some of the rubber matting from the childrens` playground to protect it a bit more..

My sister Paula, noticed a mouse going in and out of the insect hotel (plus a few flies!!!)

The turf is well and truly rooted. It`s not long before we must try the sedum idea, which involves turning the turf over and planting the sedum in the soil, ready to go on the cob shed roof.

Today we have been for a 5 mile hike through the lane to Icklesham where we had lunch at the 17th century pub "The Queen`s Head." They do very good food. Amazingly, we sat outside. It`s not often you can sit outside for a meal in February, in England.

The views from here to Rye across the marshes is quite inspiring.

The main road to Rye was busy as usual.

The lanes were full of celandines....

......and primroses.

On the way home I noticed this mini-world of lichen and moss.

We are also on the lookout for good stang material.
There is plenty in the hedgerows....the result of the annual hedge trimming.

Back in our own garden, there was plenty to gladden the heart.......

....including my sister`s ginger cake and banana cake which we are trying out!!!!
They are trial runs for the campers when they come.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tending the Willow Bed and Owl Box

We took our old kitchen tiles to the garden today. They will help to form the floor of the cob shed.
A big lump has fallen inside but Steve slapped the cob mix back on.

Outside a huge bumblebee was sunning itself on the wall.

 Our first job was to plant more willow round the entrance to the garden. Hopefully it will make a lovely green screen which we can weave into shapes.

Next we walked down to the owl yurt area to look at the size and condition of the willow circle. It needs a bit of work such as re-weaving the whips but someone has worked hard on giving it a good manure feed.

 The shepherd`s hut looked lovely in the sunshine. What a spot!

Our next job was to check on the willow bed. This involved removing the rabbit guards, pulling up the grass around the whips and replacing any that had died. I think they are doing really well and lots had survived.

I used my Valentine`s Day present (so romantic) to pull weeds around the plants.
I am very pleased with it.

On the way back through the garden we noticed the rhubarb starting to grow away.

We also noticed the owl box that Steve made last year was in situ....exactly the right position too.
Thanks to Tim and Anne.
Let`s hope we get some visitors.

The tiny wooden house is on its way...all very exciting.
Here is a great link which I have enjoyed.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Blasted Cob and Bedraggled Fairy

There has been a welcome break from the latest weather.....we have had a beautiful sunny day with real warmth in the sunshine. We took the opportunity to go to Freshwinds Garden. It was truly lovely.
I spent a good fifteen minutes just walking round to see what`s new and interesting.

I noticed the delightful moss on top of the raised bed wall. What an incredible green!

This water plant is looking very lush.


Unfortunately there is a new batch of duckweed multiplying on the surface of the pond. It`s a good colour but can become invasive. 

I don`t know what it is about green.....I seem to want to wear it a lot lately.

Over by the far gate, the mud slurry is deep and extensive. I`ve discarded the two chicken scarecrows. They are looking a bit the worse for wear.


The primroses by the pond are delicate in a misty kind of way.

Steve got going with the usual molehill spreading.


I collected the cedar signs. They need some TLC.

The greenhouse needed a bit of a clear out though I don`t think it looked much better after I`d done it.

At least we can now get in the door.
I had to leave a lot of netting hanging up to dry and I threw out a lot of muddy, torn fleece. It is false economy to buy fleece from the £1 shops. It falls apart after one use.

 I rescued the sea fairy and she is drying off in the greenhouse....poor thing.

By then it was time for a long tea break sitting in the lee of the cob shed, where I saw a butterfly......too fleeting to see what it was but the 2nd of the day as I saw one in our own garden.
Anne walked through with Bruce the dog and we were excited to hear the news about the wooden cottage which is arriving soon. It will be situated in the field below the garden, with steps leading from the cob area into the field. That gets the imagination going. I`m thinking arches and foxgloves.
Anne spent some time yesterday replacing and reinforcing the fence by the entrance where the sheep get in.

It is easy to see in this photo, the blasting the cob has had over the last few months. In places there are damp patches, but on the whole I think it has shown that it can withstand the onslaught. 
Hope these are not the famous last words.