It’s been staying dry. Not bone dry but misty-isle dry. We’ve had a bit of mizzle, even some proper rain, but not enough to make the burns run again yet. It’s a bit odd that the burns went dry so soon. I can only assume that it must have been quite a dry winter – although it didn’t seem that way at the time. This year the pond by the river has dried up completely. I don’t know whether our tadpoles managed to survive or not…. We are forecast to have rain again on Saturday night, so maybe it will be enough to water the plants a bit. So far, the rain just makes the surface of the soil wet, rather than soaking in. Luckily our burn in the gully is fed by a deep spring so although down to a trickle, it still flows. I am using one of the pools there as a dipping pond; filling the watering can there when I do the patrol with the dog-boys. Then I can use the water on my pot plants or in the polytunnel.
The bluebells are now putting on a lovely show in the tree field. In places it looks like a bluebell wood! Since it has also been staying quite cool (about 9 degrees celsius overnight and 11 during the day) the flowers are lasting well.
I am starting to see the orchids coming up in various places. Some I remember from year to year, others are a surprise. Unfortunately one of the big ones (probably a hybrid) in Dougie’s field got caught by frost. That’s the first time I know that has happened. Where I see them in the trackways, I have been marking them with sticks again so that S. can easily avoid them if he takes the mower down again.
I am hopeful that we have had a better set of cherries this year. It is still too early to tell yet really, however there definately seem to be cherries on this tree in the orchard area, and although I thought the morello in the fruit garden had none, I can now see those developing too.
More of the first planted trees are reaching maturity. There is blossom on more of the hawthorne, and wild cherries. Also and for the first time, there was blossom on at least one of the cherry plums, and a couple of saskatoons. Maybe they liked the warm weather last year, or maybe they have just reached a critical size. I don’t expect that there will be much, if any fruit, but it bodes well for future years. One of the more exciting flowers for me was one of the hollies in the front garden has blossomed. Holly trees are usually either male or female, and judging by the pollen on these flowers this plant is a male. No berries yet then this year, but hopefully one or more of his neighbours will be female, and eventually there will be berries.
At this time of year the sycamores also come into bloom. They are not really showy flowers, just a pale green chandelier, but the insects love them. As you walk round the garden you become aware of a humming, and it is coming from the sycamores. As well as bees there are wasps feeding on the pollen, and hoverflies and other flies.
On the drive bank things seem to be holding on. It has been difficult to water the plants on a slope, but they all got watered in pretty well when planted, so hopefully will survive OK. The cooler weather means they are less stressed anyhow. The bulbs leaves have faded as expected, and some of the tiny escallonia have flowers! There are some signs of seeds germinating, the buckwheat and calendula I can identify, but there are also weed seeds as expected. Not much grass yet so that’s good. It will be nice to see the earth covered.
My hablitzia are springing forth. I think that this year I will try harvesting some, so watch this space….