What a difference! The top photo is how our garden looked nearly five years ago when we bought Hill Farm. Originally there were vegetables grown here but by the time we arrived it had reverted to field.
The ceanothus is in full bloom and full of very small bees making a surprising amount of noise as they gather the pollen. I'm always tempted to use sprays for flower arrangements but it doesn't keep well in the vase.
We have made a new path through our long grass which grows around our apple trees. Sitting here gives a different view of the garden and hopefully it will also be easier when the time comes to cut it back!
Suddenly after a long winter the garden has come back to life, there are flowers opening on my beautiful Jacqueline de Pré rose and the borage has seeded everywhere but that's great as I love using it to garnish guest breakfasts!
Gardening today I was so pleased to see my rosemary in flower, this had come as a cutting from a bush in my parents garden and it had been looking very unhappy after the hard winter. I also found a pretty blue and white china fragment whilst earthing up the potatoes!
Suddenly our lane is full of cow parsley, I love it and often use it for flower arranging but have recently been told that it is thought by some people to be unlucky. I love the billowy softness it brings.
We were beginning to worry that we wouldn't have swallows nest here this year. They'd arrived just as we had a few cold and very windy days which meant they'd gone away again, but glorious sunshine and blue sky has brought them back and they've spent all day swooping in and around our barns making their chattering call.
For breakfast I had English strawberries, creamy yoghurt, Hill Farm granola and my first borage flower of the year, then I had to clear a little patch of leeks so I made a delicious creamy leek and cheese tart for our supper. Summer eating (and yes it's only May!)
We are lucky to see incredible sunsets at Hill Farm with our wide open views. It is interesting to observe how quickly the setting sun moves further west each day which I hadn't really appreciated until moving here. In January it sets over Doveridge looking straight down from our kitchen window but now it sets across the Big Field at least 45° further round.
We went walking, I loved the way stones had little fairy pools in them. Dave was happy to go to the edge to enjoy the view, but I preferred to stay further back! Then just as we sat on a rock to enjoy the peace and listen to the skylarks to military helicopters roared over the top of us!
It was windy but sunny as we walked along Curbar Edge in the Peak District, we heard skylarks and suddenly saw this one singing from a rock just in front of us, although it was beautifully camouflaged its loud song helped us to locate it easily. It was hard to believe though that something so small could produce so much volume.