Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seasonal Luis

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After what it felt like a very short Winter but much colder and with more ground frosts than last year, we had some very nice weather which has caused many wild flowers to come into blossom such as the hepaticas, aconites and heliborres. It has been very nice with hot sunny days that felt much like Spring. We have now made a start on the patio base and steps that lead down from the house. We are proud of the brick work (Bob S. and Terry M. would be proud of their pupils!) . Not like the ones in the picture below which me made for Gawber and Wentworth to go up onto the shed roof. What a nice vantage point for them.
The veggie plot starts showing signs of new life with seedlings of carrots, spring onion, spinach, lambs lettuce and radishes. We are still continuing to harvest two types of lettuce, leaks, cabbage and early sprouting purple broccoli just starting to crop. The potatoes are in but showing no signs of life. In this area most of the locals follow the phases of the moon as a planting guide that we do not always follow. One of our friends in the village, Manolo, has helped me to graft a wild cherry tree in the garden with some dark juicy cherries - an old variety. We now have horses in the bottom field and calves nearby, nice sound of bells in the morning to accompany the early morning chorus - lovely.We recently went otter spotting in the river PiloƱa at Arriondas. It was an interesting evening but not an otter in sight, better luck next time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

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The weather continues to be warm and sunny throughout the day with cool evenings and early morning frosts. Spring flowers are coming though in abundance with swathes of Aconites, Primroses, Hepaticas, Hellebores and Violas. The vegetable beds are full of oats at the moment - this is used as a green manure and also helps to break-up the soil to minimise digging. We are still gathering cauliflowers, leeks, cabbage, sprouts and lettuce with early purple sprouting broccoli beginning to show. Needless to say the freezers are almost full and there is a growing range of produce to 'dip into' should we need to.

Wentworth and Gawber are venturing further afield and luckily with no more tree climbing adventures. Mice, voles and lizards are amongst their latest finds........Wentworth usually eats whatever he catches whereas Gawber plays with it then passes it on to Wentworth.
We have created a small 'Bog Garden' near the orchard and are planning to make a start on the patio area in the next few days. The fruit trees have been pruned and various beds have been tidied.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bullocks and Hounds

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The past two weeks have been really warm and sunny during the day with cooler evenings and the occasional short-lived shower. We have spent increasing amounts of time in the garden, preparing beds, tidying leaves and pruning fruit trees. Bullocks have been brought to the field at the far end of the garden - the kittens have made good friends with them and often share the same patch of grass. There is a downside though........the local farmer comes every 2-3 days to check on his herd, bringing with him two lively and large dogs. Twice this week we have had to rescue Wentworth from the top of trees, in absolute panic after being confronted with these two hounds. 30 foot up a cherry tree begging a kitten to come down is no joke especially when Gawber spots him and starts to climb the same darn tree. At one stage Luis and I were stood underneath the tree with a sheet held by the four corners shouting "come on Wentworth, Jump." Until we realised what idiots we were.......Ah the joys and responsibilities of pets!
Spent a couple of days walking the coast near Llannes and discovered some lovely new coves and beaches. Luis is away for a couple of days in Palencia region. He is demonstrating rush and cane seating at a large agricultural and craft show. I am kitten sitting and getting on with jobs around La Pasera. We have held the first two meetings to discuss the setting up of an Arts Association and ideas are coming thick and fast. We will keep you posted. Keep warm back in UK and don't forget to tell us your news........