Sunday 23 January 2011

Snow flurries & snowdrops

Yesterday we got on with some outdoors stuff.  We saw Eric out too, putting some fertilizer on his wheat; he farms the field on our north border. Our woodshed needed topping up. So while Niall got on with that I made a start on tackling the various bushes and small trees that had been left to run riot.

Eric's field looking NW towards other side of valley
We don't want a manicured garden--it wouldn't suit; but we do want to try and keep things healthy and vigorous.

Layered in various fleeces and hats we got stuck in. 30 mins after we started we realised it was snowing-- those tiny flakes that look like minute styrofoam balls. Joy! It didn't last but the wind stayed pretty perishing, blasting in from the NE across the ridge. A far cry from having the sunroof open for a bit last Sunday! Thankfully the house gave some shelter as we were working on the south side.

We have various ramblers against the house and barn as well as dogrose bushes. I pruned them back hard, dealt with an over enthusiastic Clematis and made a start on the lilac bushes which have loads of suckers and quite a bit of deadwood to remove. Not sure what emerged from under the Clematis--I think it's a type of ornamental cherry.

first snowdrops
It will be exciting to see everything flower and find out exactly what we've got. On the list for next time is the fig and a cherry. The cherry has seen better days but we may be able to re-invogorate it now that the enormous hazel bushes were dug out last October. They were stealing all the light so things have gone weedy. Underfoot amongst last fall's leaves we spotted the first tiny primrose leaves and some snowdrops. The snowdrops led to some silly contortions round one of the lilac bushes as I tried very hard to avoid standing on them.
Naturally Katinka was dashing about 'helping'. Her newest party trick is to get under the blue tarp covering one of the woodpiles. It looks just like the tarp is having convulsions! 
Just before writing this a flock of green finches and one of chaffinches as well as a hawfinch swooped in. They obviously all appreciated the disturbance created yesterday and were rootling about eagerly turning over the leaves in search of food. And just to prove we didn't totally eradicate the hazel bushes and that we are moving --slowly-- towards Spring a pic of the hazelnut catkins.
catkins 23.01.2011


GaynorB said...

Snowdrops and daffodils (well I am Welsh after all!) are my favourite flowers, so natural and pretty and a sign that Spring is on the way (even if it is still some way off).

Niall & Antoinette said...

We look like having a good spread of snowdrops. Hopefully it will be the same for daffs. Niall put tulips in, in October so we can look forward to those -- if the squirrels haven't gotten to them :-)

Jean said...

Those little signs that spring is on the way really lift the spirit. We have no snowdrops in Derbyshire yet, just bitter cold frost.
Still, anything's better than the tons of snow we had earlier in the winter.

Niall & Antoinette said...

I don't mind how cold it gets or if we have snow (I love snow)--what gets me so down during the winter is the day after day grey driech drizzle that the UK serves up 90% of the time. Even if it is grey and gloomy here in the morning it often clears in afternoon.