Thursday, 22 June 2017

My day out

We had, or was it I had a fun day out at Thorpe. Dave for some reason found the idea of me blowing bubbles in a field of sheep rather strange and even my paddling in the Dove was also regarded with horror! Actually it was just windy enough that I realised the bubbles could blow themselves (the sheep didn't seem to mind) and the river although freezing cold, was the closest I could get to a paddle in the sea! Happy days ...

Home grown

Where is a good vegetable growing contest when your crop is perfect? Our new potatoes look (and taste) like prize winners, they are Lady Christl - the first time we've grown this variety. Our radishes are a mixture of types, all delicious but the ones that look like little beige turnips aren't very attractive although typically they seem to be the most prolific!

Bad sheep

Today we went walking in Thorpe near Dovedale. As we arrived I saw this sheep and her lamb nibbling the grass on the verge, I sat in the car and put my walking boots on and realised that the sheep had disappeared, I then saw them walk up the drive of a house with a very pretty garden (all herbaceous borders and standard roses). I had to laugh when I found them happily grazing in the middle of the lawn but felt duty bound to spoil their fun by going to tell the rather surprised home owner about his new visitors.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Fruit cages

Dave's carefully constructed fruit cages look the part but sadly fail to keep the blackbirds away from the fruit, they have eaten almost all the redcurrants and all the best of the strawberries too.

Monday, 19 June 2017

This farming life

It hasn't exactly been peaceful here, everywhere people are busy cutting and baling hay, making the most of the glorious sunshine. I'm happy to sit for a while and watch others at work!

Making our Scarecrow

I have to say that making a scarecrow is much harder than it looks but I was keen to gather up some of our hay before it was all baled!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Father's Day

Sorry Dave this Land Rover isn't your present ... rather bizarrely it was just left in our field but eventually one of the baling team returned to collect it.

Happy days

We decided to have a combined birthday/Father's day BBQ and I used the opportunity to get some very rare photographs of us all together. For once the sun shone (but this meant we are all squinting in the pictures!)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Make hay while the sun shines

It's certainly been a case of making hay while the sun shines, such a change from last year when torrential rain in the middle of the cutting meant we had huge deep ruts in the bottom of the field. Puss runs by to inspect the quality of the work (as she always does with us), so substandard these humans!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Birthday pinks

It was my turn to arrange the church flowers, every year my father used to wear a 'pink' in his buttonhole to celebrate my birth so I was delighted to find some already in church which were still fresh enough to make into a little posy. Our church is St Peters, another link with my father, also a Peter.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


We came home to presents and cake, kindly made by Joe. Lovely though it was to go away it was also a pleasure to be back here at Hill Farm. We found that in the day we'd been away the grass in the field had been cut so everywhere smells lovely.

Woolerton Old Hall

We spent part of my birthday at Wollerton Old Hall admiring it's beautiful gardens. I came home with a very pretty deep purple salvia (nachtvlinder) and also some more catmint six hills giant) as ours never seeds itself and it is perfect for my newly dug bed.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A birthday treat

We spent the night before my birthday at Meeson Hall in Shropshire. It was a treat to be someone else's guests and we were given a wonderfully informative 'Upstairs, Downstairs' tour before we left (including a viewing of their amazing roller iron!) Tom had bought me a special bottle of champagne which we took with us and had ceremoniously served!

Faithful hound

While we were in Shropshire we visited the churchyard of St George in Clun. Unfortunately the church itself was locked but whilst we looked around the graveyard I spotted this lovely engraving of a dog on the back of a headstone. We have never owned dogs, but if I did I would love to have a memorial like this.


This lovely flower meadow is at Westhope Craft College in South Shropshire. We'd passed orchids growing on the verges nearby and when we arrived the grassland was full of them. Apparently their green hay is used to create new wildflower meadows.

Morning mist

Today we set off very early to Shropshire and I was amazed to wake up to mist swirling around our fields. However it was a beautiful drive and I heard my first cuckoo of the year.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Our hare

I was sure it was, but I had to creep around the edge of the barn just to check. Out in the recently cut 'Big Field' a very damp hare was hunkered down in the rain. I never fail to be excited by these amazing creatures. Dave says 'you can't photograph every hare you see', but I say 'why not!'

Just for Ewe

I couldn't help but think of my sister with her Ewenique Flock when I saw these 'better-behaved sheep' from The Haverfield Herd at Chatsworth.

Indoor and outdoor ewe both have the 'sheep as a design accessory' covered!

Bee heaven

Our garden planting is heaven for the local bees with much of it chosen with them in mind, here they are enjoying my foxgloves and chives. When you go outside at the moment there is a constant hum and when I'm picking flowers for the house I have to wait until the blooms have been vacated! We had hoped someone would like to keep hives here but so far haven't found a local beekeeper interested in our proposition.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Trade description

I had this wonderful rose on my wish list and so when I saw it in someone else's trolley I rushed over to the Harkness stand and bought one for myself. I had to laugh though, as when I planted it the bee dived straight in exactly as per their photo. I'd laughed as I'd said 'does it come with the bee' well it would seem that it did!

So smart

Sometimes it doesn't take much to make me happy! I'd long liked the look of simple black labels marked with white pen but for some reason, in the catalogues, they came at a ridiculous price. I was delighted therefore with these products from the aptly named 'labels n things'.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Chatsworth RHS Show

We had a lovely day out at the RHS Show at Chatsworth today. Earlier visitors had queued for hours and endured gales and rain. We drove straight there, parked by the entrance, had a cup of coffee, walked in just on opening time and as you can see from my photos had blue sky and sunshine .... so lucky. The amazing dandelion sculptures are from Fantasy Wire, do look at the photos on their website.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Defying the fence

The sheep in the field opposite have been put into one half of the field so that the un-grazed grass can be grown for hay in the other half. Electric fencing has been erected to divide the two areas however as you can see most of the sheep have already defied the barrier and are now offering encouragement to their rather more law abiding sister!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Cake for tea

Lemon and lime drizzle cake freshly baked and ready for our guests.

The vegetable garden

I feel all our recent hard work has paid off and the garden is looking good. It is certainly being appreciated by the bees and also the birds, particularly the goldfinches who spend ages helpfully taking greenfly off our plants.

Flying birds and flying fish!

This morning I looked up and saw a skein of Canada geese calling as they flew over, heading no doubt to someones field of grass. Later I heard the blackbird singing gloriously and picked up the camera - I think it's a swallow dashing by but it looks awfully like a flying fish! And typical as I spent ages the other day actually trying to photograph the swallows!