May Bank Holiday weekend, the fields around us are gaudy with the sulphurous yellow of the rape and the hedgerows bursting into fresh, acid green. Our garden is really looking pretty and softening around the edges as all of the trees throw off their dormancy. The apple trees in particular are stunning today and driving through the coppiced hazel woods to get my now almost daily fix of Asparagus, the irrididescent bluebell carpets are such an English scene and bound up with so many memories of my childhood, Granny Creek and more recently with Di and Iain Brown, so whilst they lift my spirit, it's bittersweet as Di won't walk in her own bluebell woods again.
There is an orchard near to Raff's nursery which surrounds the Parish church and usually it looks stunning at this time of the year, a view I long to paint (yet another!), but this year they have sprayed the ground beneath with glysophate so the beautiful trees sit in a sea of yellowing foliage. It looks so unnatural and rather sad, there must be another way to deal with the weeds?
Yesterday was a busy day in the veg plot, I managed to get in two lots of climbing French Beans and some more salads, as well as turning the compost heap. Last year I didn't have much luck with the beans, they seemed to struggle so this time I have dug good deep pits and filled them with compost before replacing the topsoil and then sowing the seeds. I am risking the slugs by sowing directly but have some back-ups in pots in case they are all munched! This year there is a new peril in the garden.
Last year the wind upended my small portable greenhouse on more than one occasion, tipping out all of the fledgling seedlings and rendering them useless. This year the problem is more pernicious and comes without warning, it's called Stanley. Whenever we are in the garden relaxing and it all goes quiet, you can bet your bottom dollar that he has crawled round the corner to where the beautifully pricked out seedlings are and he works his way along the pots, tipping them out, or removing the labels, or just generally being a pest. I have moved them all up to higher ground, but he has ways and means...! I'm not sure it's a problem they have to address regularly on Gardeners' Question Time!
Today we are supposed to be having our first trip of the year to the Minnis Bay beach hut but I woke to the sound of steady rain on the rooflight. We had been promised a lovely day and it is at last beginning to brighten, but cloud is still pretty low and heavy. We shall see