Saturday, 29 April 2017

Partridge update

I was glad to see our pair of partridge this morning. Although one of them is still limping it didn't stop their enjoyment of the dandelion heads and as you can see, even though Dave mowed a couple of days ago they have plenty to choose from! The stalks must lay down when he cuts and then spring straight back up!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Sorry I've been busy!

I must apologise for the sporadic nature of my posts over the last few weeks. We are now the owners of a new computer, a necessity forced on us by the fact that our previous one indicated a distinct unwillingness to perform the duties required! This has meant a massive re-install of software, photos etc etc but hopefully normal service can now resume.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Poorly partridge

I knew that when the daffodils set their seed we'd have the partridge back, they absolutely adore them. Sadly though one of the pair has a bad limp - hopefully it is recoverable from.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Front Garden

The front garden is looking great at the moment with the tulips and iris in full flower and between them forget-me-nots and the first borage flowers. Everywhere is full of bees, and overhead the swallows make low passes.


Puss came to watch as I watered the hedge but decided she didn't want to stay for anything I could give her to eat, wandering with purpose out into the Big Field presumably for an afternoon vole snack.

Friday, 21 April 2017


I went to a lovely evening in aid of the Sudbury Gasworks Restoration Trust and enjoyed an inspiring talk on auriculas (and a wonderful selection of canapes) somehow I couldn't resist finding somewhere to grow my own!

Blossom and frosts

Our apple blossom is about to open and so we are anxious at finding out we could have frosts and even wintry showers for much of next week. Fingers crossed that it passes us by.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Hike for Hope

Liam and Dean are walking 160 miles from Manchester to London in aid of the charity 'Hope for Children'. They stayed with us at the end of their third day and managed a cream tea and then lasagne in short order needing to load back on some of those missing carbs! So far they've avoided the rain and the local lambs gave them a rousing welcome. In case you are wondering they are dressed as 'Naturelly' Jelly Pouches! Find out more about their endeavours using this link.

Embarrassed Pheasant

If I'd known what was about to happen I would have videoed the action and had a YouTube hit on my hands. This pheasant spends his life showing off, he decided the board that we stand on to work the allotment was the perfect posing place. I got ready for my photo, then he flapped his wings so vigorously that he actually lost his footing and fell backwards onto the soil. Embarrassed he later retreated to the border and hoped his lady friend hadn't noticed!!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Balloon season

Like sighting the first swallows, the sight of the first air balloon of the season is also predictable! This one disturbed supper as I kept jumping up to see where it was going to land, in the end it came down several fields from us.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Frost protection

With more frosts forecast Dave drapes some fleece over the fruit bushes and we keep our fingers crossed for the apple trees.

Monday, 17 April 2017

St Cuthberts

The church in Doveridge looking pretty in the early morning light, behind the trees which are all coming into leaf and blossom.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter lambs

I love these Easter lambs and find it hard to resist walking up the lane to watch them. We can hear them calling from here but have to head out to actually see them!

Saturday, 15 April 2017


Our church (St Peter and St Blaise) looked particularly pretty today, after the austerity of Lent, when we'd finished arranging Easter flowers ready for tomorrow's 6am service! I hope everyone will be awake enough to appreciate them!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Spring garden

The garden is looking good after a lot of work on it recently. We've potatoes just coming through (and needing earthing up), parsnips still from last year and chives appearing everywhere!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The pink moon

OK so it doesn't really look pink but like the blue moon it's a name with origins in America .... alternative options apparently include:  Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon or the Full Fish Moon. Well as Dave makes yet another circuit with the lawn mower I think we'll go for the 'full sprouting grass moon' here at Hill Farm.

A flop of sheep

I think a 'flop' is a better term than a 'flock' for these girls, and the reason they're like this, for some reason yesterday they spent the evening fighting, head butting and pawing at each other. Now I see they are maintaining a one metre exclusion zone to keep the peace!

Tulip time

It is definitely tulip time here at Hill Farm. I watch them anxiously as the wind picks up but so far they are surviving. I must look up the multi headed ones which came as a free gift with my Sarah Raven order - if I'd known they were going to be so tall I may have planted them elsewhere!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Lambs up the lane

The number of sheep and their lambs is steadily growing and it's such fun to walk up the lane and watch these springy bundles discover the world - unfortunately they are less good at discovering which is their mum ... lots of running about before the inevitable 'you're not my mother' moment!

Two collared doves

Well we've the partridge but no pear tree and this pair of collared (instead of turtle) doves. I do love to see them and hear them calling (which the RSPB rather unfairly describes as monotonous). Mind you when they sit on top of our chimney they do manage to produce an amazing amplified sound.

Early morning

I've breakfast to cook for four guests a little later, but early in the morning I have time to myself and take my cup of tea outside (mind you despite the sunshine it is surprisingly cold as the wind has moved round to a northerly directions.)

Sunday, 9 April 2017


Just as our daffodils finish the fields are full of yellow from a mass of dandelions which have begun to flower in response to the warm weather. Later the seed heads will be attracting the partridge which surprisingly seem to love them and also, less surprisingly the goldfinches.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The disappearing cat

Puss (our feral cat) has become a stranger to us these days. She used to come for food at least once a day, now we're lucky if she visits once a week. The truth is she is an excellent hunter and is always sitting watching for movement in the long grass. It's a case of now you see her, now you don't.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Sunset and moonrise

Tonight the setting sun was briefly a flaming ball as it swiftly dropped over the horizon. Once I'd finished taking my photographs I looked the other way and saw the moon already high in the sky, although it looks like one of the footballs that the boys used to have when they became slightly deflated (the balls not the boys!)

A frost

There was no warning of an overnight frost and so it was an unwelcome surprise when I looked out to see a frozen field and yes a frozen lawn too. I don't think the pheasants or the sheep appreciated the sudden cold snap.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Garden structures

After creating a framework of twiggy branches to support the peas Dave turned his attention to a much bigger structure for my sweet peas. This year we are going to try a linear support as my previous wigwams got very congested once the plants were fully grown.

More tulips

These tulips are flowering wonderfully. This is the fourth year I've had them and their third planted out into the flower bed (after initially being in pots). I love that they now produce 3 or 4 blooms from each bulb - they were a very good investment (Sarah Raven's Venetian tulip mix).

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


The newly planted tulips in the front garden have opened out in the sunshine and the deep purple flag iris will hopefully not be far behind as they should look very good together. The only thing was that I hadn't realised that Ballerina was quite such a tall tulip and I shall have to hope the wind stays away (we also have the much shorter Princess Irene).