Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bees and Beastliness


Not enough for a hay cut, but enough for these chaps.
After a dry early spring, we have been treated to a damp summer: a dripping June has merged into a drenched July. The grass has grown, but haymaking days have been few and far between-we missed the main window as we were busy with the nursery. I was hoping to get the Pinnocks cleared in June, as being a new ley,the regrowth would have been good for the cattle.The cows seem to be thriving on the arable reversion-full of wild clover. I moved the youngstock onto some stewardship grass at Riverhall: not enough to mow, but plenty for them.
Seemingly every sale we have attended has been wet-the Horsmonden farmers market the Friday before last was bleak to say the least, and yesterday’s country fair at Wadhurst was wet, cold and windy. Needless to say, the sun broke through once we all packed up and went home. A pity, as the organisers had done a wonderful job, and received much support from the village. Well organised, and well advertised.
At a Hardy Plant Society sale at Marle Place we set up our table alongside a thick hedge on a baking hot Sunday, only to have a swarm of bees arise from the hives on the other side. They quickly coalesced into a cluster high up in a tree behind us, before flying over our table and away into the woods. Eerie.
On a rare day out, we drove over to West Dean Gardens in West Sussex to meet Lucy and visit MedFest, a celebration of the Mediterranean under leaden English skies. We always make a point of touring the Victorian walled gardens which are inspirational.
West Dean Gardens
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