Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Frosty Freshwinds

There are some people around the world who will laugh at this blog entry and I hear them saying...
if you want to know what cold is....come here!!
Well this winter has been unusual from the weather point of view, in that it has been very mild. 
We already have daffodils blooming and primroses are out in the hedgerows.
But for the last few days temperatures have dropped and things are back to normal.
The early flowers have had a shock.

At Freshwinds today the sun was delightful....the only warm place was inside the polytunnel.

We didn`t stay long.
Steve had to prise the leeks out of the ground....

....they were very nice in our lamb stew.....
and the sprouts just snapped off the stalks.

I let him get on with it. I just wandered round taking pictures.
There is no hope of starting any kind of work when it`s like this.

The icy tractor ruts resembled works of art.

The line of shadow was clear from the frost remaining.

Close up the frost was like lace.

The topsoil pile was as hard as iron.

The compost heaps were not steaming!!

On close inspection, the cobbing might need a new layer on its windward side.

The sheep and donkeys are cosy in the barn.
We came home for lunch and toasted in the sunshine in our garden room

Monday, 18 January 2016

Little Birds in Wintertime

As the weather gets increasingly colder, the need to look after our garden birds seems even more important. We keep our bird feeders well filled with peanuts and fat balls. We are never short of birds to watch, over breakfast or lunch. We even have a bird feeder outside the bedroom window so that we can watch from the cosiness of our bed.
We keep our bird bath filled with fresh water, de-icing it when necessary.

When I was a little girl we learnt a song in school called "Little Birds in Wintertime."
It goes like this....
Little birds in winter time
Hungry are and poor.
Feed them for your Father’s sake
‘Till the winter’s o’er.
Scatter crumbs that you can spare
Round about your door.
Feed them for your Father’s sake
‘Till the winter’s o’er.

I loved this song and it rang true for me then as now.
In cold winters such as the one we had in 1963, I remember the temperatures dropping so low, that birds were just dying in the hedgerows. We brought several home to try and revive them, not with a great deal of success I`m sorry to say.
These days if we encounter any wildlife crises, we would take the bird or animal to our local wildlife rescue centre called Mallydams.

Today I have taken several photos in our own garden from the window.
Here are a few....


 Female chaffinch

Friday, 15 January 2016

Sea Changes

One thing guaranteed is that the beach at Pett Level will change.
The rough seas and high winds ensure the constant shifting of the shingle eastwards.
Every year the dumper trucks parade along the top of the seawall loaded down with tons of the stuff.
I hope the truck drivers can get some satisfaction from knowing that they are saving the homes of Pett Level and Winchelsea from flooding.

The foaming sea was crashing onto the beach with tremendous noise and strength.
So energising.

Two days later we walked out on the crisscrossed sands in glorious sunshine, with my nephew Frazer and Jamie and Paula.

Frazer loved exploring the rivulets and learnt how to throw stones into the rock pools.

We viewed the latest rock falls from the cliffs and explored the tideline for myriads of shells.

We made our way back to the car with rosy cheeks glowing.

A local artist, Annie Soudain, has captured the essence of Pett Level in much of her work.
Here is a link to see her work.

Talking of waves.....I have recently heard about a lumiere installation in Durham.
It is completely made out of seaglass collected from the beach by many family groups.
The beach is covered in seaglass from a Victorian glassworks which emptied their waste into the sea. 
Wouldn`t I just love to walk along that beach at Seaham!!!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

January Sales with a Difference

Well its clearing out time once again.
Today we went to the tip and got rid of all sorts.
We also called into the garden centre which had a 70% sale on 1,000`s of items.
We did very well.
I couldn`t resist the indoor hyacinths and got 3 packets (£1.20)

I also found a lovely Austen rose called "The Lark Ascending." I`ve bought it in memory of my friend Lark who died recently.
It was 50% off. She would have liked that.
Steve found chicken manure
and slug half price
The perenniels were 70% off so I got 2 sedums which attract butterflies late in the summer and a salvia. Normally these would look pretty sorry for themselves at this time of the year, but they had fresh green shoots.

We also got seed potatoes and onion sets and 2 lots of raspberry canes.
It is a great time to go to garden centres.

We came home for lunch in our garden room and spent a tantalising hour in our own garden.
I planted the three bowls of hyacinths.

I spread out the seed potatoes to sprout.

I watered both greenhouses as they are so dry.
I brought in a tiny bunch of early helleborus.

I sorted the last of the cooking apples and found a tray of well-wizened eating apples.

In the evening I completed my latest crochet project and have already sent it to someone.

Our next job is to sort through all our seeds and see what we still need.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

January Sunshine

Today I made my first visit of the year to Freshwinds Garden.
The sun was out.....hooray.
But the ground is sodden. 
As I squealched across the grass, my boots sank into the turf leaving wet, muddy prints.
It would be impossible to do any work outside at the moment.

The pond is very full.

There`s even a kingcup in flower.

The shadows are still long across the garden even though we are on the right
side of the winter solstice.

The donkeys were happy in the sunshine and their ears soon perked up when they heard me.

The tin bath full of shells is now full of water, incredible when you realise that it is
 under the eaves of the cob shed.

The insect hotel has held out well but it may be replaced this year.

There is plenty of new growth on the mint already.

Future jobs...... but only when it dries out.

I collected the vegetables and on the way home, met my sister walking 
down the drive, so we came home for a cuppa and a newly baked bun.
We sat in the last of the most welcome sunshine.

Happy New Year to everyone who reads this blog.