I thought today would be a rather dull visit as the weather was murky and grey. And the prospect of lifting all the dahlias did not fill me with delight.
What`s more I was on my own as Steve is suffering from a cold.
I couldn`t have been more wrong.
As I made a start on the now blackened dahlias ....
.... Anne came along and she stayed to help me.
Just as well .... the first dahlia was too heavy for me to lift over the rabbit wire.
You can see the size from the secateurs.
After we `d cut back a few more and lifted them to go into the polytunnel, Anne took me on a mysterious surprise, along the path and down to the field below the barns.
I didn`t know what to expect but then I spotted this dear little donkey.
She is a miniature and her name is Florence. She is 6 months old and came from Yorkshire.
This is my first view.
She is inquisitive, probably looking for a treat, and nuzzled up for more petting on her head where the coat is as soft as down. The markings on her back are very distinct and the colours are amazing.
She obviously enjoys company very much.
Anne and I think she will be the star of Carols in the Barn this year.
Rosie and Alice may have their noses put out of joint.
I wish I`d had an apple for her.
After that exciting excursion, it was back to the dahlias and I am pleased to report that, with Anne`s help, we managed to get all 31 tubers inside.
It all looks so bare.
Next time the polytunnel will need clearing as the frost caught the last few plants.
Nicotiania continues to flower there.
These may be the last of the indoor crops.
The garden presents a dismal picture .......
..... but there are pockets of delight even now.
Still lots to do however.