Six on Saturday – Murk

I feel a little bit confused. Not unusual, it’s true, but the severity of the confusion seems all the more at the moment. I mean to say, what day is it?! Saturday of course, it is Six on Saturday time. I am barely into my January sabbatical (big word for a month off) and I’m drifting about like a anchorless dingy. I am chomping at the bit to get out and do stuff in the garden, but it has been so wet that even in the tempting rain-free interludes the ground is sodden and I know better than to stomp (rather than chomp) about on easily compacted soil. Frustrating. I suppose that is the name of the January game. However, all is not lost. There are plenty of people out there enjoying sun and warmth and all things floriferous, and there are others, like me, who are dreaming of sunshine, and some that might well be under a blanket of snow. If you check out The Prop you will be able to catch up on what is what and what is not in the world of SoS. Come on now, let us shake a New Year leg.

First, we have a snail. Not a real snail, but a monster to scare the others off snail. It hasn’t worked in the past, I live in hope.

Next, a hitchhiker. A plant that I have previously dug up at great physical cost, cursed on its defiant return and later its prolific self-seeding. Now I am activity tending this thug in its host pot of watsonia. It is bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, and I don’t know what I am thinking. If I moan at a later date please feel free to say “told you so”,”when will you ever learn?” and the like.

This Christmas our household was the proud recipient of two bird feeders. The bog standard one from me to him, the fancy pants acorn from my astute nephew and his partner. As our garden is not on the birdie super highway, I was jumpy uppy downy thrilled this week to see a sparrow on BS and a robin taking full advantage of FP. Very happy me. They will come.

Onto the anaemic leaves of emerging ranunculus. Early, I know, but at least it has turned up to the party.

Someone who has never left the party is Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’, pictured next to our rainwater reservoir, AKA a plastic box. Ever ready to pop the odd flower out, so far any attempt at cold hasn’t thwarted its enthusiasm. Long may this last.

Finally, I bought some seed. Yes, I know, I have a biscuit tin full of seed. OK, fair cop, I have two biscuit tins full of seed. But I do need, yes need is the correct word, some reliable fresh seed for a talk/practical presentation I will be doing in March. I have a certain responsibility. And I love Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ and I just had to have Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ and ………

That is your lot. Have fun, stay safe, ’til next time, my friends.

Rain Didn’t Stop Play

IMG_0686Just as the Inuit language contains 50 different words for snow *, in North Devon we have a similar amount for rain in all its incarnations.  Today it mizzled, drizzled, thought about raining, poured down, threatened, spat, spotted, dripped and tipped.  Still at the Farm we worked through most of the day, clutching onto the charlatan weather forecaster’s promise of intermittent showers.  By the end of the day I was soaked through sturdy waterproofs all the way to my liberty bodice.  Whilst dashing from thundercloud to thundercloud, this Rudbeckia “Irish Eyes” was glowing in the gloom, supported and supporting the Cerinthe major.  A rather nice pairing, I thought.

*It appears that this much bandied fact is thought by many to be at best apocryphal, at worst a hoax.  Some however are adamant this statement is true.  The “many” and the “some” are academics, professors of linguistics and the like, you would think that between themselves they could work it out.  Anyway, as I was just using it as a handy way to illustrate that it rains a lot in North Devon, and I don’t (unfortunately) know any Inuits, I cannot confirm this either way.  It may have been better just to have said “it rains a lot here”.  It rains a lot here.