Friday, 31 May 2019

Painted Ladies go Wild

On Thursday I was lucky enough to be in the garden when the Paynes came to release their Painted Lady butterflies into the wild.
By then the sun had come out so the nectar was flowing.
 There were plenty of lovely flowers for them to enjoy.

The Paynes raised the butterflies at home in the special cage and chose to release them in our garden whilst staying at the 
Sunrise Yurt. How lovely is that.

They were encouraged to come out, where they sat poised on hands until they fluttered off to find flowers.


Later as I was gardening, I saw several of them still fluttering around the flowers.
What a lovely experience for the children and indeed the adults.
A great way for children to learn about the world around them. 
Thank you to the Paynes for releasing them into our garden.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Buzzing Days at Freshwinds

The sunny garden was buzzing yesterday and not just with insects.
I don`t think I`ve ever seen so many people enjoying the surroundings except for open days and fairy days.
There were children running round dressed as fairies, wizards and even Harry Potter, adults sitting under the orchard trees, pond watching and the rabbits and tortoises had their 
fair share of admirers. 
Tim was busy doing sheep shearing demonstrations 
in the barn.
Oh there was lots going on.
The pond was teeming with wildlife, newts, pondskaters and electric blue damsel flies.
A group of about five children sat round on the logs just quietly watching the activity.
Since Anne cleared the space they have all had more room to move about.
Believe it or not.
It was very heartening to hear how much the children knew and listen to their observations.
(In between I got some odd pieces of dahlia in.)
I had to retrieve the ladybirds as their spots were fading.
I used a spirit marker .... pretty useless.
Now they have been replenished using black paint.
There are still 5 hidden round the garden which I  couldn`t find.
The irises are magnificent. One visitor and I discussed
the best way to grow them.
In full sun with rhizomes exposed to a baking from the sun.

The roses are just beginning to bloom.
In the polytunnel the tomatoes are well away and cucumbers are starting to form.


Steve put in borlotti beans.

The clary is in full blossom and will go on and on.
I love it.

And many insects enjoying the warmth of the sun.

A lovely day to start the bank holiday weekend.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Love Amongst the Borage

The garden was literally humming yesterday. The bees were making a bee-line for the borage in full and glorious flower.

But they weren`t the only ones enjoying the sky-blue surroundings.
These shield bugs were having a good time. We counted about a half dozen amongst the downy foliage.

There`s an all-out sense of getting things into the ground and with this in mind we came to the garden with pots and trays of plants.
French marigolds, geranium cuttings, helichrysum and sunflowers.
Steve got the courgettes and pumpkins in with good protection. The rabbits are rampant at the moment.
It is so funny to see the beds like this.
Soon the plants will be spilling over the sides.
I planted up the old water trough, also protected.
Last year I did not manage to germinate any helichrysum but this year I am pleased to have three trays. They are commonly called straw flowers and do remarkably well in the garden producing masses of everlasting flowers.
It was so hot that horseflies were biting.
They can give a nasty nip.
Poppies and irises seem to be the order of the day.

The iris sibirica should have been split last autumn but I never got around to it. They are densely packed.
One of the tortoises was making a bid for freedom by climbing the wire fencing surrounding their extensive run.
He tumbled onto his back. Luckily I was on hand to put him upright.
The sweetpeas are well away and I have removed the netting.
This year I intend to keep the surrounding area clear.
Already love in a mist is wafting its way around.
Last year it was poppies, which seriously compromised the plants at one end of the row. The poppies were beautiful however.
The first cornflower heads are precious.
Soon dead-heading will become a priority if we want them to flower through the summer.
Everyone seems to love them.

Geranium "Johnsons Bliue" and the aquilegia aptly named 
Granny`s bonnets.
The raised bed gradually filling up.
The shrubby border.
And tulips from home, heeled in for a glorious show next year.
There are mermaid murmurings .....
so watch this space.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Three Ladies and the Fairy Yurt

On a beautiful May morning, as Steve and I busily planted a mixture of flowers and vegetables, three intrepid ladies set to on their task.
Surrounded by birdsong, with quince petals fluttering around and much giggling, the fairy yurt was raised.
This is a tiny yurt especially for children and it is usually filled with magical things ..... fairy books, fairy clothes and cosy places to rest and read.
It is set in a quiet corner of the garden, next to the orchard and right beside the quince tree.

Well done Anne, Julie and Jan.

 If you visit, be sure to visit this magical little place.