Integrating the refugees

The fourth golden day in a row and it is easy to forget that with a snap of the fingers the wind can change, the temperature drop and, like two years ago here in April, the sheep and lambs can disappear under two feet of snow.

The librarian (the one who finds us books, horse manure and local historians) talked recently about how Spring travels up the valley from Welshpool, its daily advance seen in hedgerow blackthorn and the first leafing of trees.  We have seen that in lambs – for several weeks the fields close to Welshpool have had happy mothers (not sure that sheep do happy) and now lambs are popping out close at hand.

Also popping out are bumble bees


The first brave daffodil


And outdoor drying of laundry


We have mainly been integrating our Sheffield refugee trees into the existing arboreal community.  The current list is something like this

  • 1 x Rowan
  • 2 x Black elder
  • 3 x lacecap hydrangea


(I know, they are not really trees but they come to join two enormous hydrangeas, which flower a deep deep blue, from each of which we have cut off several score old flower heads to give the new growth a boost)


  • 1 x pine
  • 1 x small willow with variegated leaves
  • 1 x bay


  • 1 x horse chestnut rescued from skip in Nether Edge
  • 1 x silver conifer
  • 2 x variegated holly
  • 1 x unknown – should find out when in leaf
  • 2 x twisted willow
  • 1 x twisted hazel

Other Sheffield refugees include a fig and a kiwifruit, installed in the polytunnel


Which is starting looking more like a growing zone rather than a storage room


and a selection of honeysuckles and a climbing hydrangea poised to ascend some trellis, also salvaged from our Sheffield allotment


We too are immigrants venturing on to the patch of long established residents. One of these leaves us clues


before brushing past and out on to its first lookout perch of the evening, studiously ignoring the chattering blackbird and wren which come in turn to scold it.

We feel the trees are strangers but I guess we are the strangers to them.  As a start today we have been going round introducing ourselves to silver birches


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