Monday, 31 March 2008

A walk in the wood.

I took my terrier , Poppy, for a walk in the wood this afternoon, and noticed that the daffodils are going over. There are a few of the late varieties keeping the show going. The second photo shows what my youngest sister calls 'scrambled egg' daffodils. Rather odd, but undeniably cheery. Then my favourites, the scented multiflorals, in the third photo. The last is the delicate, and very welcome, blackthorn blossom [Prunus spinosa /sloe ], which heralds the arrival of the fruit blossom season. The daffodils have done splendidly this year, but the sight of blossom lifts the heart, because the leaves will soon be out,too, then summer follows close behind.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Spring cleaning the Bees

We have been keeping Bees for about ten years, and I have very strong opinions about good husbandry being vital for their good health.So, every Spring, we do a spring -clean. We usually manage to do it in February or early March. This year ,though, it's been too wet, too cold or too windy. Or all three. Until today. It was warm, fairly still, and no rain -So, kit in the wheel-barrow, bee-suits on, and out to the orchard.
I'm so glad that we are fairly logical and organised. Most of the six hives were at the stage we expected, and we tidied them up, put in clean brood frames and assesed stores, after making sure the Queen was present. Hive one, though, was amazing. The Queen was there,easily found [they aren't,generally] and the main chamber was BURSTING with brood. And the worker bees were bustling in with stores in a constant stream! We still went in and did the spring clean, but had to be even more careful than usual. We finished off by dusting them off with icing sugar, as we had with all the other hives. Not madness, but a tip given by the local Bee Inspector, Richard Ball. It makes the Bees groom themselves and each other, which helps discourage Varroa. Being a food stuff, it does the Bees no harm at all.
All the above should prevent any premature swarming. I hope!

A pink day

These lovely pink Tulips were a deep plum colour when I bought them- now they are reminicsent of sensuously soft pink vintage lingere.
The smoothies are such a good match to the Tulips. The ingredients are half a tub of Yeo Valley strawberry and raspberry compote,one banana,and three tablespoons of greek yoghurt.
I think I'm having a pink day!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Friday night

It's good to relax with we did. A few knitting friends rolled up at Stina's, with a selection of foods, and we giggled and knitted. We chatted and drank[Tea and wine] and we put the world to rights. There was also an air of trying-to-finish-itis. I'm trying to finish Nickys'waistcoat, Jacqui was working on the circular scarf,Ness was knitting her Eco wool sweater and Andi kept trying on her socks. It would be nice to be on to something different by next friday,which is the next CLOSE KNIT meeting.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

No Gardening

The earliest Easter since 1913 was also the coldest and windiest I can remember. The ground was too wet to work after last weeks' storms - so no gardening. Happily, the weather has not stopped the wild flowers from getting on with growing.
Over croissants and hot chocolate on Easter sunday,I gave Best Beloved two dvd's. One called simply 'Microcosm'; the other , David Attenborough's 'Life in cold blood'. In return, I received 'The Gentle Art of Domesticity' by Jane Brocket [yarnstorm]. Well, what a lovely book. What inspiration! What photos!! So I went and made Lemon cake, then did some knitting.
On the needles at the moment? A waistcoat for my youngest sister, Nicky. In my mind, designs for a jacket for an imminent arrival, and a sweater for myself, in a vivid deep cerise mohair.