Spring imperative

Time and tide wait for no man, nor do the seasons. The oystercatchers “speed dating club” has been in action for weeks with noisy groups of birds gathering in the fields, voraciously probing for invertebrates and acting like hormone-fuelled teenagers. The skylarks are rather more refined and have been proclaiming their territories with glorious song-flights … More Spring imperative

Make Do and Mend

At last the polytunnel has been repaired and we’re ready to garden again. After being exposed to the elements for two months a major clean-up was required. This mainly involved shovelling up sand and wind-blown debris, fortunately the local starling flock preferred the warmth of my neighbours cow shed as a roost. The accumulation of … More Make Do and Mend

A sunflower with an image problem

When is an artichoke not an artichoke? When it’s a sunflower! Unfortunately a totally inappropriate vernacular is the least of the problems of the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus). It  has a reputation as a garden thug and according to the gardener John Goodyer, the 17th century gardener and botanist,  quoted  in Gerard’s Herbal “Jerusalem artichokes: … More A sunflower with an image problem

Surving the wulf-monath and the return of Pollyanna and the muse

January, a time for new beginnings and transition, derives its name Ianuarius from the Latin word for door (ianua) and not necessarily from the Roman god Janus. I also like the alternative Saxon name of Wulf-monath, which conjures a much more northern vision of the cold, hard, first month of the year. Here on the … More Surving the wulf-monath and the return of Pollyanna and the muse