There are a number of freshly emerged peacock butterflies around but a more unusual visitor to the garden today was a brimstone. This pale yellow species, often the first to emerge in spring, is the one that gave its name to the group as a whole.
It’s been a beautiful day, sunny and settled; perfect for making progress with the veg beds. We’re concentrating on getting our failsafe regular crops in. Broads beans last week, Vivaldi potatoes, beetroot and perpetual spinach today. We also sowed a row of radishes but I wouldn’t describe them as failsafe, perhaps because if they do […]
A wood pigeon flies in to perch on a branch of the ivy-covered ash. A few seconds later there a puff of ‘smoke’ two or three feet across which drifts off to the right. When I remember the powdery silhouettes that wood pigeons make when they fly into our patio windows, the most likely explanation […]
The blackbird that I heard practicing its phrases in the dawn chorus mid-March has added grace notes and decorations to its basic song. At lunchtime today he was giving a burst of song from a perch on top of the telegraph pole next door.
On Storrs Hill, between Horbury and Ossett the gorse is at its best, yellow against an intensely blue sky. The pigs that have been grazing on the hill have recently been removed, no doubt to fill a freezer or two. They haven’t made inroads into the gorse but, according to a smallholder friend of mine, they’ve […]
These three fragments of pottery which we found while digging the lower veg bed must date from well before our house was built in the late 1930s. Perhaps they were mixed in with a wagonload of night-soil (contents of a privy) that was dumped on the field in Victorian times. The blue and white design […]
I’ve got another chance this morning to sit and draw my mum’s leafy garden. The summerhouse was built in the 1930s. I remember meeting Enid Baines who had lived at Smeath House before the Second World War and she told us that they’d built it. A neighbour across the road, John Haller, engineer, keen golfer […]
A sparrowhawk swoops down across my mum’s leafy back garden and perches in a tall fir, its head hidden amongst the branches as I draw it. In a neighbouring garden the tall lime trees have yet to start springing into leaf.
Heading back from a book delivery, leaving motorway and ring-roads behind us we once again use the Peak District as the perfect escape route from everyday routine. We’ve called at the Riverlife Cafe at Bamford many times before but today we’re in luck and we spot new bird for our Riverlife Cafe list. A dipper […]
At this time of year everything seems possible in the garden. There’s still time to plant whatever we want to grow. Perhaps if I spent as much time gardening as I do getting myself inspired by reading about it and watching Gardener’s World, I’d get a bit further. I’ve enjoyed two recent books which offer different […]