Summer gardening and Ashley the Champion Sheep Herder

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The garden continues to keep us all very busy, lots of weeding, manure, preparing beds for planting out, clearing beds that have finished and planting a new batch of young plants in fresh beds. Some days we look as though we are playing a strange game involving adding and removing clothing. We go out in rain macs and in minutes can be topping up the sun tan lotion and wearing summer vests.

We have had a fantastic crop of lupins and foxgloves this year. The nigella is still giving us a good crop as are the sweet williams. The roses have loved a heavy burst of rain and are covered with gloriously scented blooms. They make gorgeous bouquets. The lower field that we planted with grass seed to help overcome the years of weeds (prior to our time on the garden) is full of meadow flowers particularly poppies. It couldn't look more beautiful. However, this is where we planted our sweet peas and they are flourishing.

On a slightly madder note!...... The sheep are constantly teasing me as I try to leave the garden in my truck. I get out to open the large wooden gates and a small group of them watch me from the coppice that sits a few metres away, just waiting for me to get back into the truck so that they can head for the open gate and the Michelin 3 star grass yonder. One particularly challenging sheep (male I'm sure!) had me running backwards and forwards 6 times, like the game Mr Wolf (fitting I feel). Just as I got back to the truck to reverse out he would run for the gate opening. I think they must chat about me during the day, " what game shall we try with that plump old gardener today, we know she can't run fast so our options are many!"

Still, my other bigger fear, was reversing over one of my sheep atagonists!.... I thought that I had come up with a cunning plan to stop my having to make lamb hotpot for the rest of the month. Unfortunately, it could be added to the list of Baldrick's cunning plans......... I assumed that if I beeped the truck horn in small constant beeps it would scare away the 5 or so sheep in the coppice. No..... no such thing, the 300 or so sheep friends that up until then had been roaming aimlessly at a far greater distance, grouped and ran at pace towards me. It was almost a stampede!..... I can on guess that in the winter it is how their food is provided, via a honking landrover. I feel adding champion sheep herder to my curriculum vitae is now only fair!x yours the plum gardener x baaaah


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