Herefordshire Week 065: Tuesday 23 – Monday 29 March 2021

Hail! Jobs Done. Partridges and Wild Garlic (not together).

Spring is definitely here.

On the flower front, we’re at the yellow stage: daffodils, primroses, cowslips, dandelions, celandine; but the purply-blues are starting to make an appearance too – the first bluebells are flowering, joining the violet violets at the entrance to the orchard and we have periwinkles by the driveway.

Montage: Spring Flowers
Montage: Spring Flowers

Leaf buds are starting to appear on the fruit trees, some unfurling there and in the hedges too.

Montage: Spring Greens - Leaves and Buds
Montage: Spring Greens – Leaves and Buds

And as well as our Resident Pheasants, this week we had a Pair of Partridges appear under the Pear Tree:

Partridges by the Pear Tree
Partridges by the Pear Tree

Blackbirds, chaffinches, tits and robins all singing away lustily.

Tuesday morning I ticked off lots of little to dos which had been occupying space in my calendar and mind: Tied water butts to the greenhouse, fed camellia, reseeded lawn patches, hauled logs from slope to log store and last of the loppings to the bonfire. Phil and I also tried to work out our spec for the garage rebuild. Tricky.

Tasks continued on Friday morning, after another busy week at work and a miserable windy, rainy morning (and we’d sat outside in the sun on Thursday lunchtime): updated my Where Next page, FINALLY submitted our FIT meter readings to Scottish Power (successfully – which did somewhat surprise me), got my account balance update from Three (can never log into their website, so it always has to be done via chat), emailed the TRC ladies and other friends near and far, sorted out a date to see Carl, caught up with Robert, organised the next LED Trustee Call and sanded and painted the polyfilla’d wall plug holes. Tick Tick Tick!

Just before lunch, Phil and I headed down the hill to rendezvous with Thea for a lunchtime walk, and got caught in hail all the way down. Nuts. Lovely walk though! Did a bit more phoning around in the afternoon trying to sort out replacements for the double glazing windows that have blown in the conservatory, and the soffits along the front of the house, where we’ve gaffer taped one end to stop birds getting in. Caught up with Simon, Susa and Jane before Friday Night Pizza.

Meanwhile, over in Walton, AJ’s team finished repainting the hut and (hopefully) sorting out the leaks at the front – we’d booked that in when we were moving out all our stuff last October. Who knows when we’ll be able to see it for ourselves. Although I do have a cunning plan…..

I started off Saturday with the Bacton Square, picking a big bag of wild garlic down at Bacton Stud (and a nice big bunch of binder twine a little further down the road), and taking receipt of surplus potatoes from Ivy Cottage. Moved the old trestle table top back down to the quarry and (Phil) fixed the vent in the greenhouse, then tackled nettles and ivy by the very-pruned-shrub.

Radish seedlings
Radish seedlings

A hydrangea, baby bay tree and arrowwood (Viburnum Bodnantense) arrived in the afternoon. The hydrangea has been planted by the very-pruned-shrub, and the bay tree repotted into a larger container ready to put into a terracotta pot by the front door for easy access, once it’s harden up a bit. Still pondering on where to plant the arrowwood

The clocks sprang forward overnight, making Sunday a slightly out-of-sorts day. Phil and I headed out in the drizzle to Do Bacton, then started the second half of his Christmas Cheese Selection for lunch.

Mid afternoon we walked over to Whitfield to stroll around the gardens and to admire the magnolias, coinciding with dad and Jean. Whitfield were open as part of the NGS Open Gardens Scheme, but I’m still not sure how that squares with the lockdown rules, even with social distancing (not exactly a challenge).

Gorgeous day Monday, spent in the garden: sorted water butt drainpipe, stands and stake; tidied away the greenhouse and water butt spare parts; cleared dead bramble from the shed roof; scrubbed down the “nice” patio garden table and chairs ready for guests; did a “Honda Mow” to get to the places the ride on mower won’t go (even managed to start it myself, once); raked the path around the slope to clear windblown wood debris and carted 3 wheelbarrow-loads to the bonfire; Phil hauled the last Western Power branch from the bottom of the slope to the bonfire; tied up the stake to Sophie’s Walnut Tree; secured the tarp over Nellie’s Bench with some of my collection of “picked up whilst out on walks” binder twine (how satisfying) and tipped the rain water off the train set tarp.

Water butt: drainpipe and stake redone
Water butt: drainpipe and stake redone

Lunch in there somewhere too, sat outside on the patio, and tea, crumpet and cookie at 5pm.

I did sustain two garden-related injuries – bumped my head hard on a big, low branch and sprained (I think) my left hand, with the back of my hand swelling up sufficiently to hide my middle knuckle and making it painful to open my fingers or to use my hand at all.

TV: More of season 4 of The Crown which is the first where I have memories of many of the events, (Thea’s tip) Escape to the Chateau as our new Friday Night Pizza Treat viewing and Destination Wedding as an OK-ish Saturday night film.

Podcasts: History ExtraDressed: The History of FashionThe Allusionist, The History of England, The Infinite Monkey Cage and In Our Time.

Photos: Herefordshire week 65 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2021-03-28.

2nd April – Just seen I failed to publish this on Tuesday. Horrors! And apologies to all my regular readers 🙂