Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

A record photo - note the hills beyond...

Well the hills are there, but you can't see them in this mist. This is just to show you what spring in my part of the world looks like right now. After days of gardening in strong sunshine in a T-shirt, we are back to chilly, damp, foggy weather. Which may explain why the reading of the Guardian was allowed to take a couple of hours!! I eventually girded up what passes for my loins, got my thick gardening gear on and the green gym received its first visitor. 

There is a long bank just under the new deck, where I cleared away about a million lupins and many brambles, nettles, buttercups and the like. That work took me two seasons, they were most insistent on growing. Where the deck is now was covered with tarpaulins for several years, and still things were alive and willing when we took it off! Anyhow, today I tore up about a thousand deeply rooted buttercups, and many other bits of nonsense. It rained yesterday so everything was soggy, including me. But you can see a big difference and the various plants I want to thrive are alive and will be happier with more air around them.

The blip is taken more or less from the front steps at Betty's, looking down the slope towards the guest accommodation (blippers welcome) and to the bottom garden and boat tent beyond. Our land goes as far as the pale yellow, gritty mess which was once supposed to become a second tennis court. Then the village kids lost interest. The tennis court is currently in use as a bike riding circuit for the littlies. There are no hedges of fences or anything like that around our garden, it just sort of glides into the next thing. 

On the front it is the rather messy flat area, on the right side a birch wood with nice spaces around the big trees (my clearing work), and the field which gets mown after the flowers have finished blooming and the bees' hives are full of good things. The rest of that side is forest and heathery, mossy, uneven, stoney land. At the top edge we have Sven-Erik's garden, but there is no way of knowing exactly where his begins and ours ends... it's simply a gentle glide into another area of responsibility. The side on the left of the photo today shows our nearest neighbour Rikard's garden - the boundary there is trees that no-one wants or does anything with. Except me. I cut them down. Thin them out. Keep them under control. Otherwise the sky would disappear!

Beyond where we park the car is the village tennis court, and our drive - which is on Rikard's land, we have legal right of access which he can't deny. Our legal right of access to Betty's by vehicle, is across the top of his garden, so he isn't allowed to put a barrier there at all. Fences etc are just a joke when there is a meter or two of snow half the year! 

Have you spotted the other visitor to the green gym? Keith is dealing with some enthusiastic comfrey. It's been under tarpaulin, metal roofing sheets and similar, for a number of years. In the big winds we had a week or so ago, some of the covering took flight, had to be captured and was folded up to stop it heading off. In the space of about 3 days all the white, thin, sick looking shoots had perked up no end, and were open for the business of growing! So Keith has taken it upon himself to get rid of them in their weakened state. We were assured that comfrey wouldn't spread when we brought it into the garden - this was not the case, and we have it all over the place. I love the flowers, but there are limits, I dug up a lot of comfrey today too.

After an afternoon of damp weeding I came in and thought about preparing tea, before the Left party members' meeting. Which finally finished at half 7. So we have eaten, we are both blipping before our "afters" and have plans for some serious goggle-boxing. The Pursuit of Love, amusing, good people in it, not exactly a world I'm familiar with, lovely frocks. It amused us yesterday, and there are another two episodes to see. 

The Goldfinch pair were in attendance this morning, more relaxed this time around, eating sunflower seeds and ignoring the peanuts. They are so pretty! We also had a pair of bright green birds we have decided are green finches. On the same page of the bird book as the goldies. 4 bird books, one in Swedish with sounds to listen to as well, and still I know a mere handful of bird names with confidence. Much the same with wild flowers, but I have worked harder at that and can impress people who know less than I do... some things just don't stick. Numbers are not my friend. The strikers being shot dead that I wrote about, was in 1931, that's why it's called the "31-er" in this area. I wrote that it was 100 years ago, but it was not. It was 90. Oh dear. The clue was in the name.... but I am a bit clueless. Pretty good at drawing though, can't be brilliant at everything!

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