Sarah Raven which will go down by the native trees in the field.
Saithffynnon meaning Seven Wells, which specialises in plants for butterflies and bees and is only a few miles from here. I am hoping to buy more seed or even treat myself to some plugplants from them in the hope that local plants will thrive. I am only just beginning to get my head round the number of plants which you need for naturalising, even though I am not after instant results and am quite happy for things to take their time. The thirty of so ox eye daisies which I grew from seed and planted out last summer in this meadow barely made a splash of white. Think of a fairly big number and multiply it by ten seems to be the rule of thumb. Even then you are hardly drowning in the stuff. Last year I let the grass grow tall over the summer and Ian scythed it down in September. This year I shall do the same but with one mown path so that you can walk right through the middle of the meadow. The grass will be as high as my soon to be five year old grandson's head.
Here is the sunny bank, the little quince tree bare and leafless and the bank all tidy and weeded ready for spring. This is a late summer place with pinks and penstemon and sedums. I have cuttings of a tender pink salvia which I bought last year at Wollerton Old Hall. It doesn't look as if the parent plant has survived the cold but the cuttings are sitting up on a bedroom windowsill so I must remember to care for them until they can take their place besides the jostling valerian.
Here is the kitchen garden. In the summer the growth of trees and hedges and the overflowing of the raised beds with herbs and salads disguises the fact that the whole garden is on a slope. At this time of year everything looks as if it is sliding away down the valley. You can hardly tell from this picture that there is more yew planted at the far end to extend the big yew hedge which protects the henhouse. When it is big enough I shall cut it so that it produces a horizontal, spirit level straight against the fall of the valley and the rise of the hills beyond. I think it will make me smile but if it doesn't work it can always be left to do what it likes.
So there we are. Too many projects, too much rough ground, all still a work in progress and fledgling as a wet bird. You can tell I am tired because I am not yet champing at the bit to get seeds sown although I did feel a stirring of excitement when I went walking with my secateurs and my camera. And look, it's February now. Surely Spring cannot be far behind?