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Sun and sunset

Pho6to: Winter flowering honeysuckle

Pho6to: Winter flowering honeysuckle

Wednesday was like a summer’s day here in East Anglia. Our winter flowering honeysuckle is covered in tiny white fragrant flowers. When I opened the cottage door that morning sun, the lemony scent and the sound of the bees hit me with a surge of spring. The forsythia was just coming into flower.  A few daffodils had opened – the first of hundreds that will bloom in the grassy stretch in front of the cottage.

I’m working outside this week and jacket, hat, gloves and scarf were ripped off and I basked on my ladder in the sunshine soaking up the vitamin D.

We’re both feeling much more positive since the sun has started to shine. I came home my face glowing and although the sun does not penetrate the Rat Room, Danny has peered out at birds drifting in sultry blue skies and smiled.

The next two working weeks look as though the weather will be back to the expected ‘Ides of March’ but this small blip has given such solace.

I have been out in the kitchen garden for a good 45 minutes each evening, it grows dark so quickly. When I can barely see my hands I give up. The Min Pins are partners in arms, checking the security of the fences (poor in bits) and hunting for mice (a decent community judging by the mouse holes in the lawn)

I’m gradually weeding the fruit cages. Tonight I scattered Sulphate of Potash. This will be followed by rich slow action chicken pellets – from our own flock and homemade compost in a few weeks time.

As the light fades, the garden is filled with a crescendo of birdsong. The mistle thrush warbles on the wash house roof. The solo robin calls beautifully for a mate. A clear arc of rooks takes a final scrapping swoop across the sky to the church belfry.

As we pick our way past the pond, the min Pins and I pause. Tthe early arrivals for the annual frog bacchanal are starting to advertise the event. Soon the bats will be enchanting us with wings so delicate that through them, we can look up and still see the stars.


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10 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Springtime

    I’m hoping for a good summer this year. After the hard winter it seems more likely this year, somehow.

    In our region, there were always hard winters and long hot summers twenty years ago.

    Yes, I’m lucky that I can work outside.

    Hi Michelle

    Just spending 45 mins an evening is gradually reaping dividends. I’m thinking of getting up a bit earlier too. Roll on the day when I can afford to spend all day in the garden ?

    I will post a picture of the daffodils.

    Hello Joanna

    Wow snow since November. I love snow but not for that length of time!

    Great that you escaped to Cyprus.

    Hello Casalba

    Winter flowering honeysuckle need a warm protected spot. Ours grows beside the front door, it has leaves all year and on an off throughout the winter it has highly scented flowers (warm patches). It’s a real power plant.

    I would advise getting four rather than three hens as then they can each have a friend. This cuts down bullying.

    Yes, the chicken poo is a valuable resource. You can put it straight on the garden and it will not burn like uncomposted manure.

    Carol http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/?p=194 is a Maran. She has loads of personality and go. She also is a great layer, at five years old she lays an egg nearly every day. Lovely big dark brown ones.

    I have not experience of Rhode Island Reds but I’ve heard that they’re really good chickens too.

    Hi Nadia

    You’d be welcome anytime!

    Hi KarenO

    Yes I’ve experienced outdoor work with teaming rain. I just have to go home and not earn any money. It’s maddening.

    Great that you had a few days in the garden. The sunnier weather certainly brings a spring to my step.

    Hello Wendy

    That sounds like a long and gruelling task.

    I bet if you advertised on your local Freecycle people would come and collect the wood for their fires and wood burning stoves.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I’m still wearing my thermals, just in case ?

    Hello Natasha

    It was a gorgeous day today and we spent it indoors as my mum came for Mother’s day lunch.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Natasha

    lovely post – spring has sprung!

    I enjoyed some serious sunshine today….

  3. kate (uk)

    So warm here I left my vest off- it is now officially Spring.

  4. You painted a lovely picture of the special feeling that arrives with the spring sunshine.
    We have been busy yesterday and today cutting the branches of our row of pollarded Limes at the front of our house. It is an immense job and we are tired out but what a lovely feeling of achievement. Just need more good weather (and energy) in which to cut it all up and take trailer loads to the skips. x

  5. It’s been a beautiful week quite warm as well as sunny – great that you can work outdoors, it’s frustrating when outdoor work is booked for poor weather & vice versa. I’ve been able to get outside in the garden for a few days this week….. bliss & everything in the gardfen is blossoming….. long may it continue.

  6. that all sounds so marvellous, can i come and pitch my tent in your garden for the weekend please? it sounds bliss!

  7. casalba

    Winter flowering honeysuckle – how lovely. I’m going to google that to see what the growing conditions are.

    By chicken “pellets”, you do mean the pooh, right? I still haven’t got round to keeping chickens, but never thought about this by-product before. I’m thinking of having just three – all hens. I’ve looked into different varieties and have fallen in love with the Marans, but it looks like the Rhode Island Reds are the more robust type.

  8. Well the sun seems to be shining here in Latvia this morning but the snow is still on the ground, not seen the grass here since November and the folks all seem down in the dumps. We did escape to Cyprus for a couple of weeks so we are lucky where at least we saw flowers blooming even if we didn’t actually see loads of sunshine.

  9. michelle sheets

    Sigh!
    I wish I could be out in my yard too. We are haveing a nice run of weather also, but by the time I get home its too late to take advantage, and the weekend looks to be crappy.
    I hope you post a picture of the daffodils in bloom when they really take off…..

  10. springtime

    You’re lucky to have been outside all day!

    But it even felt like summer today in Cumbria too! Lunch outside and the windows all thrown wide-open in the house – I hardly did that at all last summer, what with all the rain.

    If only it would last…

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