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Saturday, 6 April 2013

At Grass

Today' been the Grand National and I'm relieved to hear that this time no horses had to be destroyed. It's a long arduous race for those horses and the adrenalin and herd instinct must definitely kick in or all those riderless horses wouldn't bother to continue racing.  I did notice a few of them skirting round the fences but on the whole they seemed up for it and not one stopped for a bite to eat. If Harry(our horse) had been there he would have had his head down munching as soon as he'd got rid of his rider.

There is a lovely Philip Larkin poem about old racehorses which seemed appropriate to post up to-day.
Because it is titled At Grass I've slipped in a picture of Beezle round a grass/wildflower maze we made for someone. There is a great company called Wildflower Turf where you can buy turf impregnated with wild flowers. This is very early on in the year - later the pink campions come through and it looks heavenly.
Beezle by the wildflower maze

                                                                      At Grass

The eye can hardly pick them out
From the cold shade they shelter in,
Till wind distresses tail and mane;
Then one crops grass, and moves about
- the other seeming to look on-
And stand anonymous again.

Yet fifteen years ago, perhaps
Two dozen distances sufficed
To fable them`: faint afternoons
Of cups and stakes and Handicaps,
whereby their names were artificed
To inlay faded, classic Junes -

Silks at the start: against the sky
Numbers and parasoles outside,
Squadrons of empty cars, and heat,
And littered grass: then the long cry
Hanging unhushed till it subside
To stop press columns on the street.

Do memories plague their ears like flies?
They shake their heads. Dusk brims the shadows.
Summer by summer all stole away,
The starting-gates, the crowds and cries-
All but the unmolesting meadows.
Almanacked, their names live; they

Have slipped their names, and stand at ease,
Or gallop for what must be joy,
And not a field-glass sees them home.
Or curious stop-watch prophesies:
Only the groom, and the groom's boy,
With bridles in the evening come.

Managed a few hours in the garden having made sure no horses had died, and started tackling the ground elder. I won't use chemicals so it's all done by hand though of course it's never " all done". When you leave ground elder it looks like this - absolutely beautiful. But when it pops up in your mixed borders it just weaves its roots around everything else and eventually all is choked to death.

the ground elder looking at its best
The tulip bulbs are all poking their heads up in their pots now which is exciting. I think I've ordered a lot of pink ones this year to go with the colour of the house, and the roses are now producing little fresh leaves, I ordered a load of striped roses a few years back, Rosa Mundi, Variegata di Bologna and Ferdinand Pichard which look great in posies. 
some of the Rosa Ferdinand Pichard

I've had a request for more pictures of our wolfhound Pixie - so to finish with here she is not very old, when we first saw her in Scotland and then later at ten weeks when we drove up again and brought her home. She has always been adorable, still thinks she's not much bigger than a lap dog and brings great joy to our home.
Pixie as a wee puppy in Scotland

Pixie first day at home

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