As the blog title suggests, there is some very good news, but I am going to hold that back until the very last moment! Oh! I am such a tease, but there we are! On with other news first~~~
There have been bags and bags of leaves to sweep up! Oh, my have there been leaves. These are all swept up into big bin liners, holes poked in the bottom for drainage and left in a corner where in a year or so they will have metamorphosed into beautiful, rich, crumbly leaf mould for the garden. At the moment though, there is a slight problem. We have a badger who is tearing the bags apart, presumably in a search for worms. Not only that, but he, or she, is digging big holes in the lawn! I shall have to work out what to do, but no harm will come to the badgers, I would rather put up with the holes in the lawn than hurt those lovely creatures.
I have started taking pictures of the sky again, from time to time, especially when something catches my eye, like this big, squiggly shaped cloud ~~
Or, yesterday evening, when after the greyest of grey days the rays of the setting sun set fire to the sky above and we were treated to one of nature's brilliant, bright displays~~
But I also like to see the paler skies too~~
Earlier in the week, I played a little magic trick on my Facebook page with these two photographs~~now you see it, now you don't~~for these were the two views from the bottom of my muddy lane looking out across The Shire~~isn't nature wonderful, perfectly hiding the rocky outcrop in mist, as if erased by some giant hand from above, only to put it back a short while later~~
There have been quite a few sunny days, and surprisingly the butterflies, which have been absent most of the summer, arrived in force. Here are some lovely Red Admirals sunning themselves, making the most of the last warm days of the year before they hibernate until Spring~~
Here is a close up of this quite beautiful British butterfly~~
Late last year, I discovered, growing in between some paving stones, what looked like a small rose seedling. Now, I have never seen a rose growing from a seed, but sure enough, earlier this year I found it again, only this time much bigger. I resolved to move it, for it cannot be left to grow where it is, partly because I do not know how big it would grow, and partly because it is on the path. Before I had the chance to move it I hurt my back and could not bend, so the rose has grown much bigger.
Last week, I managed, with much struggling, to get it out from its comfortable nook and I potted it up in some fresh compost with lots of rooting gel and other root~growth compounds and so far it looks quite happy in its new home. This is about a week after the transplanting work was done ~~~
The courgettes have continued to harvest and give up their bounty long after I would have expected this year, and after a late start they have given plenty~~here are the last ones, sizzling in my cast iron griddle pan, in oil. I later enjoyed them tossed in a delicate sage butter~~
The big, rosy red hips on the rosa rugosa give a glorious splash of colour, and later in the year they will help to feed the birds too~~
During the days I have not been clearing and tidying, I took a little walk around the cathedral and wandered into the Secret Garden, the healing garden around the back of the building, half hidden from view, and only known to those that stumble across it, taking the time to turn a corner and look. There I found this mysterious doorway, half hidden by the planting around the edges and growing across~~
I love it, the mystery, the magic, the wondering if my grandfather ever stepped through this door during his time as caretaker of the magnificent and ancient building and grounds~~
Well, Gentle Reader, I promised some very good news, and here you shall have it! Do you remember the dreadful state of affairs when my well meaning neighbour cut down my hedge, in particular the Elder trees? Well, just the other day I found some tiny green shoots, miraculously shooting and regenerating from the stubby remains! Here they are~~
I hope you are as thrilled as I am to see this! Isn't nature wonderful? I will monitor their progress carefully now, and make sure no one gets close to them with a machete again!
~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done~~~