March 2017 in photos

This whole photo blog thing is very confusing – or at least at pre-6am. I had a horrible moment of thinking I was horrifically behind the times with these blogs…then realised that they always get posted a month “behind” so I wasn’t behind at all. Perhaps this isn’t making sense. So I’ll crack on with the photos…

Turns out having a camera in my pocket when I’m out working in the garden is a recipe for lots more photos than previous months (big thanks again to a lovely friend for handing said phone my way) – so let’s get stuck in!


We boundary the village church and churchyard – and this is their Marie Curie crocus “Field of Hope”. When we discovered it for the first time last year it was both a complete surprise and also I think we caught it at peak flourishing. Nice sky, tho’


Digging was the name of the game: this was getting seabuckthorn planted on the steep slope leading up towards the church. I seem to remember it was one of those sunny days where occasionally it started raining – hence the dappled wetness on the spade


The spade in context – the only thing that had managed to survive on the slope so far were some very tough looking hawthorns: we have high hopes for the seabuckthorn!


Strictly the end of Feb, but we’ve got into a work exchange with some local neighbours whereby we get together every couple of weeks at one of our homesteads and…work! (and eat soup and chat and drink tea, of course). We planted most of this year’s saplings into approx 4mx4m squares which our NZ WWOOFer helped us prepare in Feb. The trees went in through some of the salvaged silage plastic to help keep give the saplings a good start – and although it was rainy the day they went in, it was rather glorious the day of these photos! (This is the longest row of trees together, looking towards the house from the edge of the steep slope up to the church)


Same location, different perspective…lovely sunlight


“The washing line lawn” replete with lots of crocuses we didn’t realise we had (we think we just missed them last year)


I love these trees. And I particularly love seeing them with a brilliant blue sky behind. As I type this the horse chestnut is just about in leaf and the beeches are well on their way – I love mature trees


These containers are actually from the office in Morecambe – they had fruit trees in (rather unhappily – the trees weren’t on dwarfing root stock) which have now been planted out up here and here they are restocked and ready to head back to Morecambe


A gradually changing view – the south lawn, looking up the bank. The rhodie in, well, the middle of the photo really does feel like it needs relocating but it’s Really Pretty Big. One day. Perhaps. We’ll see


Our camellia in full flower – it’s just outside the back door so we get to see it quite a lot


If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time you’ll know about our wonderful proliferation of daffodils. This is the side of the grass knoll with some transplanted – and merrily growing – dwarfing daffodils. There’s plenty of space to add more in here, but I’m really pleased to be finding new and pleasing homes for bulbs that need relocating


The “drive” side of the grassy knoll, with the newly planted elders getting on with settling in…and GROWING 🙂


This was one of the last ash trunks to be coppiced by Chris (or perhaps pollarded is the more accurate term) and the length in the foreground (with the positively orange glow) is cherry plum from the tree that had fallen over between us seeing Katrine Bank and moving in last year. The “cropped” tree is now upright and seems to be regrowing well


Occasionally the phone camera just doesn’t want to focus. This was one of those occasions. But you get the idea – this is just down from the house which seems a rather odd place to have such a profusion of daffodils as you don’t see them unless you’re walking along the lowest bit of the land – but they’re pretty happy and no-maintenance so all’s well


At some point there’ll be a “daffodil collection” post. In the mean time: daffodils in the midst of lovely woodland floor. Ace!




Washing lawn again. I remain gloriously happy by the daffs, crocuses and snowdrops that coexist here. Love it




The tree nursery – looking rather bare! It’s now empty save for one holly and a final fuschia but this was the interim, after most – but not all – of the elder had been planted as part of our shelter “squares” (or quadrants as I decided to call them)


It’s hard to capture it, but this is the morning light outside our front door, looking towards the bottom of our land. It’s a lovely little glade down there and this photo just inspires in me the feeling of stepping out from our house into the land, the air and the rising sunrays


Before the spruce came down: this area has changed a lot in the past month and we really think for the better. It’s still settling


Just down from the previous photo, this time last year this area was a tangle of brambles and all sorts – at the moment we’re thinking of making this into our soft fruit area but plans remain fluid


Note the shadows on most of the ground: courtesy of the spruce (who’ve now gone). The stobs in the mid-distance are in place to train one of our bramble stools up (one of the few that have survived – the rest got hoiked out!)


Unintentionally out-of-focus: but looks pretty cool to me. The shadows from the spruce falling on to our first woodsheds


Spruce shadow looking towards the “south terrace”


More spruce shadow…


…and a little bit more…


Beautiful purple crocuses


And some lovely white crocuses


With the quadrants filled up, the final few saplings went in along our boundary at the top of our bank – this is just near the old water tank


Further away, looking towards the water tank


Same again…


Final view of spruce shadow


Rather difficult to see, but you might just be able to pick out the voleguards around our little saplings at the top of the “upper” bit of our bank


There’s something really satisfying about seeing the leaves grow on a sapling we’ve chosen, ordered, had delivered and got in the ground


Another victim to winds last year was a hawthorn – still very much rooted, the roots which are in the air are merrily producing shoots


Looking down the bank towards the south terrace through mainly sycamores


This track from the house up to the field (and the ruins of what we think might be a gardener’s cottage or something similar – in the field, not on our land) seems to be fairly ancient, appearing on some of the oldest maps we’ve found for the land


The leeks are doing well but sadly we got it totally wrong with these squash seeds. We’re now doing some inside – but through a chat with a friend it seems we were way ahead of the game on trying to get the seeds going. Sometimes we have to make the mistakes to learn the lessons…


Those bulbs get everywhere – this one ended up on the edge of one of the compost heaps…


I think this is one of my faves – another is a similar petal arrangement but with a selection of strong yellow and orange coloured petals instead of the white and pink/peach here


Chris and I agonised over what would be the best selection of trees for down here – we’re thinking of starting some coppice / pollard trees down here for 10-15 years time – and then on calling our fave nursery discovered they were out of trees. Oh no! Ah well, time to ponder more for next year (or just go with this year’s plan, but 6-12 months later for the planting)


A little keyhole bed, the left hand side prepped with compost to become our herb bed


Not the best shot in the world, but this was our first try of wild garlic soup (YUM! We made lots of wild garlic pesto, too, which has now become my favourite on-bread-spread) plus some lovely sourdough bread from the bakery Chris works at


Jason is sitting on a sheet of flipchart paper that I’d carefully put *not* on the sofa to avoid it getting squashed (it’s an attempt to see what’s harvestable at what time of the year). It was one of his favourite places to sit for quite some time…


Atmospheric mistiness


The final spruce standing…it’s gone now


Sad to have so coarsely lost the top of the spruce, but, again: atmospheric mist


The beginnings of the processed wood from the spruce that came down. The brash pile on the left is even bigger now…


Primroses in the roots of one of the beech trees just next to the track to the house

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