We are getting some very welcome rain, each mm that falls helps the spectre of a Spring drought recede, which is good news, not least because our sheep are being especially fecund this year, & we find ourselves with quite a flock to feed. Yesterday we cut down some Willow branches that were crowding out a special Kowhai that was planted 23 years ago, over Giles’ placenta. The sheep loved the new leaves & this morning the branches were all cleaned up.


Talking of Kowhai, our trees are flowering brilliantly & a Tui has taken up almost permanent residence there, for the last couple of weeks. I just love the weird tweets & whistles it makes, & spend ages watching it. Sometimes there are 3 or 4 birds, but mostly just the one.

Our seeds have started to come away, now we have a whole lot of tomato & eggplant seedlings to prick out. Must get on to it soon, before they get too big.  In the vege garden Geoff is digging in The Lupins, hard to do because they are such a lovely colour. The leeks are thriving along with the Coriander, & the Brassicas are starting to grow fast. The carrots etc that I sowed a while ago are big enough to stand up for themselves.

In the meantime I took time out to have a quiet wander around the orchard, & took some photos of the tiny new fruits that are forming, it’s such a miracle to watch flowers turn to tiny fruit, to the wonderful bounty of harvest. The walnut is still going strong, & so far no frosts,  (I hope I haven’t jinxed it now!)

The house gardens are looking a bit more respectable, we’ve got rid of the goosegrass & worst of the weeds. Geoff has weed eaten the edges (which makes the beds look tidy even when they’re full of weeds) & we finally got the ride on mower fixed, it used to mow on an angle & cut into the soil on one side. We were reading a book about gardening by star signs, which I thought was a bit of a gimmick, BUT I had to eat my words, Geoff is a Leo & is happy living in the undergrowth, but my Taurus nature likes to be able to see around me, & it’s true I feel much happier when the grass is cut, rather than 1m tall.

We’ve had a new delivery of Olive Oil, & have picked & cooked up Plantain & Chickweed leaves, tomorrow we face the slimy job of filleting Aloe vera & processing that. It always feels good to get the oils stored away to keep us going for a few months, next on our list will be the Elderflowers, which is a lovely job.

I found a gem of a book in the op shop, on monday, called ‘Common Prayer Collection” by Leunig. He has such a great way of making the simple & homely, sacred & profound. Here’s one I love…

God give us rain when we expect sun.

Give us music when we expect trouble.

Give us tears when we expect breakfast.

Give us dreams when we expect a storm.

Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.

God play with us, turn us sideways & around.