Blackbird hunting for worms
This afternoon I tackled the half-moon shaped flowerbed located beside the entrance to the grove. It was badly overgrown, so the first job was to remove the dry remnants of assorted wildflowers and the rapidly-growing spring weeds. Before any ardent conservationist throws a wobbly, I'll point out that all the wildfowers came from commercial packets of seeds, and last year's seeds have already either done their own thing or are sitting in a shallow dish on the kitchen window sill.
Meawhile, nearby, Richard was wrestling with the sawn-down stump of a Robinia pseudoacacia, a lovely tree whose oval leaves turn an attractive golden colour in autumn. Unfortunately it also has thorns the size of rhino horns, and we were fed up of being lacerated each time we mowed the lawn. We had tried pruning it back hard for several years with mixed success and much spillage of blood. Verdict: a gorgeous tree, in the wrong place.
So I rescued the snowdrops and two small clumps of self-seeded chamomile, and set these to one side. Then I lifted off one of our two cone-shaped recycled rubber compost bins and spread a very generous layer of fresh compost over the half-moon flower bed before replanting the snowdrops and chamomile.
Meanwhile, the air around the tree stump was turning somewhat blue as Richard admitted defeat. I suggested we had a choice between hiring a small digger, or ringing the bark so it won't grow and fixing a bird table on top of it - which is a lot easier! Guess which we're going for.
So now we're back indoors, enjoying a cup of Twinings lemon and ginger tea. I looked up from the kitchen window and already a blackbird had come to forage in the freshly-composted flower bed.