Monday 18 May 2020

Cherry ripe

A long time ago when I was in junior school, the headmaster organised for some professional singers to come and interpret some works for us.   One of the songs that the lady of the team sang was Cherry Ripe.  For whatever reason, that song has stayed with me, and it's going through my head as I pick the ripe cherries from a tree in the garden.

The tree has been there for a good 15 years, and last year was the first time it gave any cherries.  It is covered in fruit again this year, and it's a competition between the birds and me to see who can get there first.

This afternoon I was watering the potatoes and enjoying a few stolen cherries, when I heard a bird in the tree.   In amongst the foliage near the top, it was hanging upside-down to eat the dangling fruit.  It looks to me like a great spotted woodpecker, a female since it had a red splodge on the lower belly but none on the head.  The first photo below is the best I could do before it flew off.  It's hard to spot but it's right in the middle of the picture, and the blurry red area just by the intersection of the two branches is its red behind.  its head is down and to the right.  You're looking at its back, from below.   Another masterpiece in support of my secret ambition to become a BBC wildlife photographer.

Sunday 17 May 2020


I don't know what to do for the best in growing potato plants.   The problem is that they sprout too early, so I feel obliged to plant them too early, and then I worry about the plants until the last frosts.

I order them online, and they arrive mid-January onwards.  I keep them in a cool, dark, frost-free place and check on them from time to time.  By April they have long stringy shoots, and are starting to shrivel, so I feel obliged to plant them as soon as possible.  I have to keep an eye on the forecast, and cover any emerging shoots with newspaper if there's any chance of frost.

We have had a very warm Winter and Spring, and my potatoes have been in the ground since early April.   I have been fretting about possible air frosts since they poked above the soil.   It doesn't help that the forecast keeps changing.   Recently we have had overnight lows of 4°C which is close to an air frost, but we have been spared frost, and now things seem to be set fair for the rest of the year.

The plants are looking good.  They're about a foot high, and the first ones are in flower.   Fingers crossed for a decent harvest.

Advice on management of potato planting gratefully received.

Saturday 2 May 2020

More fauna

Bold as brass, a hare in the courtyard this morning.

Friday 1 May 2020


A rabbit in my garden.  Quite a handsome one, but I'm not sure his presence is a good thing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...