We have just got back from four days in the Lake District. When we arrived home at nearly 10pm last night, the garden seemed to have gone mad. It was just light enough to make out potato plants and radishes that have doubled in size whilst we have been away.
The flora of the Lakes is lush and exotic to a chalk dweller like me. Eskdale where we were staying is carpeted in ferns and covered in brightly coloured rhododendrons perhaps brought back from the Himalayas by Victorian pioneers. It was wonderful to go back to my northern roots – I grew up in Manchester and often visited the Lake District as a child – but it is also lovely to be back in my adopted home in the land of the South Saxons. We may not have fells but we do have downs.
This week, to join in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden who invites us each Monday to pick something from our garden and share it, I have chosen a posy from our front garden including purple campanula that is currently sprouting from every orifice, white valerian, ox-eye daisies, Erigeron karvinskianus, a Gertrude Jekyll rose and bronze fennel for foliage.
The picture is of the Long Man of Wilmington, a chalk giant carved into the downs near us, which hangs above our bedroom mantelpiece.
The vase is my trusty robin jug in celebration of garden birds. This morning we caught next door’s cat trying to kill a magpie. Our neighbour thinks it is a fledgling (quite a large one) and said all the local cats have been chasing it over the weekend. We tried to rescue the bird which had a bleeding leg: we called the RSPCA who suggested protecting it from the cat by placing a cardboard box over it and putting a weight on top. They would then send someone to help. I did this, but it was perched under the box on the edge of the trampoline and by the time I got back from the school run it had gone – hopefully it managed to fly away. I know magpies can be thugs towards smaller garden birds and that the cat was only acting on instinct, but I felt so sorry for the poor, injured creature.