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" Lock-down Garden and Paddock "

Date & start time:      7th June 2020.  (and other days)

Location of Start :     By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :          The garden and paddock.

Walk details :              Pottering round the garden with the camera.

Highest point :           The recent damp weather bringing life back to the garden

With :                             In this set, just a guest appearance from Dougal.

Weather :                      Variable weather with some more damp intervals but lots of sunshine.

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It seems that from listening to and reading people's news that the nation's gardens have been important this year. 

Likewise for me it has been a pleasant, time consuming hobby which has been at times a frustrating, but mostly a great delight.

A damp winter followed by a very dry spring hasn't done anything for predictability this year,

but now after some welcome rain the garden is looking rich and green once again.

Time to sit and enjoy the garden in the late afternoon light.
A few flowers brought inside to colour the lounge for later in the day.

Let me take you on "a short tour of the estate" if you want to be posh . . . the garden if you're more down to earth !

"No Mow May" . . . the gardening and wildlife programmes suggested not mowing the lawn for a while to see what grows.

I didn't exactly stick to the principle but I have cut less and avoided obvious groups of flowers in the middle lawn.

There have been a lot of ordinary daisies, buttercups and what look like violets in the grass, plus these large Michaelmas daisies.

On the edges of the lawn the flowers have grown well . . .
. . . and so have the foxgloves.

The raised beds are filling up with onions, rhubarb, (six) sweet corn in the centre, courgettes and

some rogue potatoes that were planted late last year ready for Christmas picking but have only sprouted recently !

In the other large bed I have herbs and leeks, more courgettes and some dwarf beans . . . plus more rogue potatoes.

Some of the leeks have had to be transplanted here because the spuds were growing up between them.

Further over there's celery, more dwarf beans and a selection of brassicas (cabbage and cauliflower) with taller broad beans over the other side.

With the problem of closed garden centres and reduced supplies of vegetable seedlings this year, many of the plants were grown from seed,

but that is often less successful given my talents and our colder northern climate !

Still, I managed to get sufficient plants to be able to fill the beds reasonably well and there are more seedlings still growing in the greenhouse.

The new raised bed below had done well . . .
tomatoes are filling the spaces now . . .
and there's a grand harvest of grapes in prospect.

- - - o o o - - -

Moving down a level to the bottom garden . . .

Apart from cutting a few paths through the grass, the paddock has more or less been left to fend for itself.

The grasses have gone beserk again . . . but there are flowers hidden in between.

Considering the type of vegetation in the adjacent field, the effect of the lack of grazing on my side is very noticeable.

I cleared the turf on the right in November last year so the growth in the grass on this side is less dramatic (thankfully).

I followed it up by spreading a lot of wild flower seed on the area to the right of the mown path.

No great colour yet but the yellow rattle has grown well.
They are parasitic on grass so I'm hoping for great things over time.

What the TV gardening programmes don't dwell on, partly of course because prices vary around the country, but also so as not to put people off,

is the cost of projects like re-wilding a garden or in my case a portion of field.

To put matters right here I'll say that the turf removal cost £120 and the wild flower seed £80 so it was a reasonably big investment in my eyes.

The seed supplier did say not all flowers would grow immediately so patience is a virtue I presume.

Well at least there are some flowers growing from seed I scattered, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for the rest.

Welsh Poppies always grow well up here and there are small patches here in the paddock, in the garden and in the adjacent lane.

A timely collection of seed pods in due course should provide potential for next year's paddock flowers.

Several large clumps of transplanted Foxgloves nearly died in the drought
. . . but some have pulled through to give a lovely display.
More Michaelmas Daisies in the long grass.
The variety of 'grass' species is a delight too.

I remember playing with this type of grass as a kid. 

By folding the stem around and over itself and pulling it towards the head, the top would fly off like a shooting bullet.

The simplicity of children's games !

Down by the pond the Marsh Marigold flowers have gone over but the leaves have continued to grow.

My two bought-in Candelabra Primulas have re-flowered this year
. . . as have the yellow Iris brought in from a neighbours garden.

The pond weed, whatever it is called, has grown extensive white flowers.

Buttercups and Forget-me-not.
The Hostas survived and are thriving again.
He's not doing badly either !

- - - o o o - - -

The whole idea of the garden and paddock is to look nice, grow some food and also to add bio-diversity to the area

thereby improving conditions for the birds and the bees . . . so I better show you some birds and bees I suppose !

A Robin lands on our squirrel feeder.

[ Our squirrels have returned as you know, but only on an occasional basis at present, not yet a regular visitor.]

On the holly hedge a couple of Sparrows wait their turn near the bird table.

A Greenfinch lands on the table, waiting for the other one to move over and allow her some space.

Delicate Geranium flowers near the back door.

They are a favourite of the bees.

Another variety of bee (note the colour markings are different).
I managed to buy a few Geraniums which adds a dash of colour.

A young Blue Tit on the nut feeder.

Moving over to try the peanuts.

A Great Tit, with that more bold black marking.

More House Sparrows, a second coming in to land on the grass.

A colourful cock Pheasant visits occasionally,

as do pigeons, woodpecker, starlings, blackbirds and many more varieties.

We think this is a young Robin  though there is a hint of Dunnock in there.

[ Thanks to Frances Lawrie, Stephen Osbourne  and Richard Elder for your thoughts ]

All the black sunflower seeds scattered on the floor have all fallen, or been knocked, out of the two feeders above.

A mature male robin with the classic red breast . . . here standing tip-toe as he looks round.

He wasn't quite so tall as he relaxed and started foraging on the floor.

- - - o o o - - -

I hope you've enjoyed the look around our garden and that we've been able to share just a few of the delights it has given us this year.

Let's hope there will be a lot more to come.

Finally, at the end of a busy day, our two relax by the fire . . . who's making supper this evening ?  

Not them that's for certain !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . "a rake and a hoe and a patch of fertile ground"

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Previous walk - 6th June 2020 - Crummock Surprise non-litter Pick

A previous time up here - 29th November - Askill Knott from Waterend ( and clearing the paddock last year )

Next walk - 9th June 2020 - In Hadrian's Footsteps