Little Owl went back to school today after two weeks of Easter holidays in which it was either grey and raining or grey and cold. Finch and Wren were bereft as they waved her through the school doors. What would they do without their ringleader? Where would they turn now for encouragement to cut chunks out of the front of their hair? (That was Thursday’s bit of entertainment).
All the outdoor painting, cleaning and repairing jobs I had penciled in for the holidays remain undone, awaiting warmer weather. The lawn will be a jungle by the time it’s dry enough to cut the grass. Still nature is persevering. I am sat at my desk watching two goldfinches work their way through the nyger seed in one of our feeders. We don’t get many birds in our garden over winter because of the lack of cover and the many cats. It’s a situation I’m working on rectifying but in the mean time it’s lovely to see them back. The blackcurrant is covered in young leaves. Will the cold weather have done for the sawfly or will this be the year I finally admit defeat and dig it up?
The Rudbeckia purpurea are making a brave attempt at putting up shoots but the slugs are currently winning that battle. I can’t usually be bothered with plants that need mothering, but the Rudbeckia are so beautiful and so wonderful for butterflies that I will be indulging in the odd handful of blue pellet slug-dynamite just for them. April is the last month for eating fresh mussels until September and I have a cunning plan down at the allotment. I have been collecting mussel shells over winter to crush up and deter the slugs. I daren’t in the garden however. We have developed an uneasy truce with the cats at the moment (aided by prickle strips, the new holly tree and lots of carefully placed rose clippings) but one wrong move might break the peace. Fishy-smelling mussels shells would be just the thing.