As I walk about the Priory gardens,
I am watched.
When deep in thought (it happens), I might suddenly look up and be quite startled. These four made me jump – but then it doesn’t take much.
Margaret’s cattle are part of the summer scene at the Priory; mooing loudly (and often very unnecessarily), drifting from one field to the next, watching my antics, ignoring my antics, bustling up to the fence when I mow. They do love the scent of fresh cut grass. With that stretch of post and rail fence replaced a few months ago, I needn’t worry about them barging into the garden anymore.
Or perhaps I ought.
The damage they might do makes me shiver.
So long as they stay out in the fields, I like their company just fine.
I suspect the cows would enjoy a visit to the meadow – an opportunity I hope they never have.
I walk around the meadow at least once a day to check on its (slow) development in this, its fifth year.
Most of the young trees are doing well including the quince (Meeches Prolific). It was very badly mauled by deer three or four years ago but, now safe within its cage, has recovered.
Plum ‘Opal’ is not happy. This is the second I’ve planted: the first one died and No. 2 has serious die-back. I might have to install a No. 3. I could try another variety of plum but then, you see, I would have a useless brass nameplate. Waste not, want not.
In April I was chuffed with the onward march of fritillaries
and now during May, Camassia quamash have also spread more than I hoped.
I had planned to plant some more but
there really isn’t any need.
I realize that developing a flower meadow is a long, slow process;
a process I’m trying to speed up by trialling wildflower seed carpets. I’ll do a post on how they perform later in the year.
The appearance of a solitary common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) was a big bonus.
Despite their name, these orchids aren’t that common at the Priory: each year we have about half a dozen. Mostly they sprout up on the lawns where their spots make them easily spottable. I mark them with canes so that they don’t get mown into oblivion. On 20th April, one of them emerged on the lawn very near to the house. As it was likely to get trampled, I tried transplanting it.
Anxiously, using a bulb planter, I re-homed it on the meadow.
And (whoop, whoop) it has flowered. How smugly satisfying. Two wild orchids on the meadow – practically a host.
The beech hedge stutters into life during May. It’s interesting (a bit) how it doesn’t green up uniformly.
But it doesn’t take long for all of its parts to catch up. I simply want to hug it when it looks like this – the big, shaggy, fresh and handsome brute.
I’ll also do a post on the rose tunnel soon (as well as the tropical border – visible above).
But I hadn’t expected the new chestnut rose-tunnel-posts to shoot! Poor things – they so want to live.
On the 2nd of May, I took this photo of newly planted tomatoes in one of the greenhouses. Altogether, there are nineteen tomato plants and six cucumbers in the two greenhouse beds.
By the 15th May the tomatoes had gown into these;
and by the 23rd were like this.
And three days later, they were bigger still. They seem an inch or two taller every time I look.
So there’s another quick(-ish) look at the Priory in the merry month.
All too soon, my most favourite month is over.
Happily, June is my most favourite month too.