Yesterday morning I went upstairs to feed the cats and there was a large hooded crow sitting on Jim's shelf looking at me! I thought at first that Sandy must have brought it in through the cat flap but it now seems more likely it flew down our large chimney and headed upstairs to escape! The room was in total chaos as the cats must have been going mad trying to catch it. There were bags everywhere and Jim's papers were scattered around the floor like confetti! I opened the skylight and it flew out, none the worse for it's adventure.
The extension now has the final layer on the flat roof. I have taken a photo but you can' t really see it. I'll have to take one out of the skylight. This is the progress so far:
Notice in the right front corner, BlackJack.
A couple of chaps appeared midweek and measured things. I think they must be the guttering men. Excellent news.
Jim went to the UK for a meeting on Thursday, so it was the 4am rise and airport run. I think I had about 3 hours sleep. He returned on Saturday and had been visited by all 3 children. Oh, the Friday night booze up was in a pub with Russell. He rang me when he's arrived home and sounded decidedly 'jolly'. Poppy is growing like mad and here is what I think is the best photo ever of any Granddad and Granddaughter:
Isn't it just wonderful? That's Poppy's 'kissing' mode. She looks as though she's about to chew Jim's nose off. Jim's daughter Ali (Poppy's Mum) took this on Jim's recent trip to the UK.
Jim took quite a few photos and I'll post those in the next few days. Jenny, Poppy's Aunt, we now know is having a boy. So Jim will have a grandchild of each variety in August.
I have taken a photo of my Bundle to show you how it's disintegrating. Unfortunately, not very well. I think the bag I've placed all my bits and pieces into is too strong. The outer wrapping is decidedly soggy though:
My hanging parcel.
It doesn't have to be taken down until May 1st, so another month to go yet.
Stampmaiden, a blogger from America, has asked to swap some ATCs with me. She has made me 5 so I have been making some new ones and she also picked a couple of the old ones she liked (from photos I'd put on here). I won't post photos of them until she has received them. I have really enjoyed making them. I used to waste an awful lot of time playing a mindless egg collecting game on Facebook. I made the big decision a couple of days ago to delete it so I had more crafting time. What a relief.
Friday around tea time, the light in the garden was wonderful, ideal for taking photos, so I had a wander round and this is the result. I think one or two of them are superb, which I guess I shouldn't say, but it was the light at the time that helped.
This arrow head arum Italica has a story behind it. My first piece came from a friend in Derbyshire and settled well into my garden there in Matlock Bath. When I moved to Jim's house in Worthing, I took a piece with me, and it, too, settled in well. Of course I had to bring some to Ireland, I thought it had died but look at it now. I'm so pleased.
This is just to show that the red dogwood I transplanted to the edge of the wood has taken. I put in lots of sticks and they're all growing, plus the willow sticks I put in too.
Looking to the left from the fairy hill over the arboretum and towards the little wood where the arrow head plant is situated.
This lovely little prunus has such pretty blossom, below is a close up. We planted it last year.
Shiny, glossy holly leaves
Where ever I go, BlackJack follows. Here he is on the bench on top of the fairy hill.
The forsythia is now fully out
I was admiring the beauty of this primula the day before. Now look at it! The birds obviously loved it too and have eaten all the red bits of the flowers!
This is my favourite primula, a double white. It was in the garden when we came here, just one plant. I have now split it into about 6 and they are all doing well.
The first showing of this primula is almost over, but they still look pretty
Another lovely white primula, this one with an orange centre
Contorted willow in the evening sun
The front garden looking to the fairy hill and the Clare hill, Maghera, beyond.
Honesty from the group below
You'll laugh when you see where this bunch is located, below
It's in the compost heap, just left of centre! The corrugated iron behind it is part of the cow defenses!
The lake through our front gate
This magnolia is covered in buds and blooms. It'll be wonderful
One of the first blooms, it's a magnolia stellata which we brought with us from the UK.
Underneath the magnolia are these gorgeous tulips, almost out now
These primula are quite phenomenal, I have never seen one with so many flower heads
Naturally I've split them many times and now they're all over
There is a bunch on this little rockery wall I made last year, it's by the black gates. It's really coming on now. There are quite a few violets in flower amongst the primulas too. If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can see them.
These narcissus have the most glorious scent
This pretty quince is on the vegetable section, I took a close up too.
It's such a lovely rich colour
One of the many old shoes we have found and some grape hyacinths and a single cream viola.
The red bracts of the pieris forrestii are just coming out
Here are the gorgeous scented white flowers, plus more of those primulas!
Lovely red miniature tulips in the sunshine
Crimson and, below, cream saxifrage. One of my favourite rockery plants.
Another tulip just about to flower
These tulips seem to have arranged themselves beautifully
The daffodils are just fading as the tulips come into bloom
They are just perfect buds at the moment
This little crop of violets are really more blue. They are on top of the fairy hill.
I do hope you've enjoyed today's tour. We haven't done much in the garden today as it's been cold and drizzly, but tomorrow promises better weather.