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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter

I thought as it's Easter I'd post up some duck pictures. We incubated the eggs because Indian runners tend not to sit on the eggs themselves because the light levels in this country are too low.They nearly all hatched so I felt a proud Mum, turning the eggs every so often so the chicks inside don't get stuck to one side of the shell. It's always sad when one doesn't make it. You're not supposed to help them out of their shells because the process of tapping their way out strengthens their neck muscles and with such long necks later in life they do need to be able to hold them up. However I did help a couple on their way who just looked as if they'd given up with all that effort. Being a mother duck you have to introduce them to water to make them waterproof.  They are very funny when you put them in the bath and run the water(cold). They all end up looking like balls of wet cotton wool. Next time you put them in their waterproofing mechanism has kicked in and they swim around splashing and paddling fast with their little feet looking really pleased with themselves.
Easter ducklings waiting for water in the bath

Easter ducklings a few days old
 Last year at Easter the front garden looked like this. This year no sign of the Narcissi Thalia and Crown imperials that were nodding their heads and turning the garden into a Spring spectacle. And there's that magnolia in flower,
The garden at Easter last time!

Anyway - I wish you all a very Happy Easter and so does Beezle who if you look carefully is tucked away behind the miniature daffs,

Those naughty ducks running away from a huge chocolate egg one of them has just laid.

Thursday, 28 March 2013


I definitely need reminding that summer is round the corner and came across some pics of gardens we made last year. This is a vegetable garden I designed. My friend Matt built it with hazel - a structure not dissimilar to the Taj Mahal I feel.
 The next three pics below are borders for three different clients. I love how the Robinia pseudoacacias stand like sentinels along the wall and the nepeta fall like waves on the gravel. This is lucky because in my experience most of my client's have husbands who like to strim very close to the borders and complain at plants which dare to tumble onto the grass. (sorry guys.)

 And here's a bit of Spring/early summer in my own garden but obviously not yet.


the last of the hellebores
Have picked what may be the last of the hellebores and floated them in water. I think they look so much better like this because you can actually see their cheerful faces - and everyone is different. I let the insects do the pollinating to produce all these different varieties though some die hards go around with cotton buds and do it themselves.
In this vein I love the poem by Peter Didsbury called 

A Bee.

Became at last a bee.
I took myself naked to town,
with plastic sacks of yellow turmeric
taped to my wizened thighs.

I'd been buying it for weeks,
along with foods I no longer had a need for,
in small amounts from every corner grocer,
so as not to arouse their suspicion.

It was hard, running and buzzing,
doing the bee-dance. I ached
at the roots of my wings, and hardly yet discerned
that I flew towards reparation,
that in my beehood my healing had been commenced.

Words they use in this hive. To me it seems still
that clumps of tall blue flowers,
which smiled as they encroached,
had been born of my apian will,
in which to my shame I struggled for a moment,
and stained the air with clouds of my dearly bought gold.

Here's looking at you kid
 Don't Pixie and Phoebe look great? Somehow Phoebe managed to take this picture on her phone. She has just boarded the plane to New York lucky girl. I don't remember school trips being that good. I think we went to a museum once.
view out the back
 Whilst picking the hellebores I saw the magnolia is in bud which is exciting, though looking at previous pictures at Easter I saw it was actually in flower. Never mind - it's summertime on Sunday.
the magnolia is in bud now

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blue nose day

this is what the seeds will turn into
Another freezing cold day so here are some pics to make us feel warm. Have just sowed some sweet pea seeds - luscious shades of shocking pinks - Henry Eckford a lovely orange/red and good old standby cupani. They are looking snug in their pots sitting on the warm incubator bed lucky things. If I could get in there too I would. This morning Beezle jumped into the car and turned on the heated seat button with his nose. So of course I had to turn mine on too. If I had a laptop I could go and sit in the car. Soon the sweet peas will fill the house with their fragrance and I'll stop thinking that my nose has gone blue and can take off these gloves I'm wearing to work the keyboard.

Beezle needing shade from all that sun
      It's a bit early for sowing other seeds but keen to bring on the summer borders I've also sown Cosmos Purity and Dazzler - another shocking pink which I'm growing for someone else but will sneak a few into my " pink border" if I get the chance to make one. They are already up - looking a bit leggy and taking up a lot of the dining table. I've had to put barbecue spears in the pots to stop the fierce cat Pocket(quarter Bengal) from jumping on them. I see a few necks have already been broken. The tomatoes (Gardener's Delight and Alicante) also vying for the weak light filtering in through the kitchen window. Last year I left the seedlings in the polytunnel and those naughty ducks(see below with guilty looks on their faces) ate them.
Running from the extreme heat

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


I didn't intend this blog to be all poetry - I hope to have a good balance of gardens and dogs as well BUT I have just read a shocking article on the contents of a whale's stomach and it drove me to write this poem. What can we do about the dreadful amount of plastic floating in our oceans? It seems we are hell bent on destroying our planet.


As I float in the Caribbean Trash Vortex
caught in the reams of carnage,
thirty carrier bags, two stretches of hosepipe
five flowerpots, a flip flop -
in all fifty nine different
pieces of plastic - lodged in my gut
I dream of breaching out to sea
whacking my vast tail on the surface tension
of the blue ocean
leaping out of the waves and crashing back
scattering spray on the way
which catches and glistens
in the early morning rays of sunlight
under the wide sky.
Being a host to a myriad of smaller
organisms who as devoted followers
nibble and clean and scurry and hurry by my side.

That would be my ambition
as my airways clog with polystyrene beads
like mermaid's tears
and I can no longer move with
my necklace of plastic detritus
tethering me to the sea bed.

a small ambition for one
so very large.

On a more positive note though check out this TED lecture on desertification. It is a fascinating and hopeful insight into how after we've destroyed it - we can mimic- nature.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Beezle turns to poetry.

Beautiful Beezle planning his next blog. 

Dog Blog

All you out there
I’d like to share
The hair and now

Of this dog.
This, -  my dog blog.
My feelings, asleep, infront of the log
about a catalogue of films by
my memo of bones and their various tastes

How I would save

 the ozone
How many squirrels and stuff
 I’ve chased.
A detailed account of my very best runs
My view on the economy.
Pensions, hedge funds…
My opinion of soap stars and bio-diversity
Why I slept through my owner’s
Wedding anniversary.
Why long walks can make me weary
My thoughts on the 9/11 conspiracy theory
My very interesting dialogue
With next door’s dog
How I bit the guitarist
Who used to play
 with the Trogs.

I hear that cats are now the new dogs.
So I’ll probably change it to
Dog’s mog blog.

Any feed backs?
To www world wide woof