Thursday, November 27, 2008

Arum berries

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BBC Good Food Show - NEC, Birmingham: 26th to 30th November

If anyone is visiting the BBC Good Food Show over the next few days, pop along to stall number R68 (Hall 20) for some free cheese samples! If you're there on the Saturday or Sunday, come and talk to me about blogs and gardening, as I will be bored of talking about cheese and courses!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Spring, interrupted

In the midst of autumn, plants are already preparing for spring.
In the midst of a challenging economic climate, the world looks forward to a new US president.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


For those who haven't come across this word before, 'hiraeth' is a Welsh word and doesn't have a direct English translation. Yet, we all will have experienced it.

Although I spent the weekend in Malvern, which is where I grew up, this afternoon I still felt the pang of longing for this place. For two reasons - firstly some recent posts by Patient Gardener, who lives there and has taken some lovely photos of the Hills in their autumn clothes. And secondly when I was listening to a short radio programme about Edward Elgar this afternoon and his love for the local area. There are lots of theories about the Enigma Variations, including that the length of each was related to the size and shape of each of the hills in the range.

The hills have a fascinating geology, history and folklore - stay out of the shadow of Raggedstone Hill!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Beautiful plumage...

When it comes to great spotted woodpeckers, until today, I've always been the one who's going "WHERE? WHERE?" whilst someone else is saying "Surely you didn't miss that one".

So, imagine my surprise and delight on getting a wonderful view of a hen woodpecker this afternoon. I've been visiting my father,who is a keen photographer, in Malvern this weekend . He and my uncle have constructed a hide in a friend's small orchard. I went down to the farm with my father this afternoon, to help him top up the bird feeders before it got dark. There were a few forms darting about in the nearby branches as we filled the various seed holders up - we could hear great tits, blue tits and gold finches. We went into the hide to see if any of these small birds would come in once we'd hidden ourselves. Barely had we sat down when a gorgeous hen great spotted woodpecker landed on the peanuts, about 10 foot away. She ate her fill for around 5 minutes, occasionally chasing off cheeky blue tits who got too close to her. Then she flew away and we left.

The photo is not of her, but a juvenile male woody who got into the habit of visiting Dad in the summer, until he moved on to a more permanent territory. He's sat in a bamboo, in the back garden.