I planted roses at the end of February and this is the first one to flower; 'Blanc Double de Coubert'. I wish the photo did it justice. It is the whitest rose I have ever seen, with fine papery petals - not unlike those of a poppy - unfurling to reveal yolk-yellow stamens. I'm having a stab at planting a 'white' border' and it is only now I realise how many whites are actually tinged with other colours. Geranium 'Kashmir White' is quite pink for example - and G. 'Kashmir Green' is actually white streaked with green.
Our run of sizzlin' hot weather ended last night with rain and the landscape this morning had a milky haze. Smelt good too - damp soil and freshness. Here's the vegetable garden and orchard: onions and peas in the foreground, salads and beans beyond. Tomatoes, aubergine and peppers in the green house. courgettes, roots and brassicas out of shot.
I spent some time today thinning carrots. A job I dislike - it's fiddly and feels like murder. (Is there such a thing as 'vegicide'?) All those dear little seedlings have struggled against the odds to push their way through the soil and then they're hoiked out simply because they're overcrowded.
One of the first jobs we did - and one of the only jobs we could do while the builders were working on the barn - was to dig out a pond. I say 'we' but in fact all 'we' did was give a few instructions to ace digger driver Sid Pickering who proceeded to excavate a pond, craft a stream and redistribute the tons of spoil heaped on the site. We subsequently lined the pool and did a bit of minor landscaping and planting. Nature did its bit - provided water; frogs, newts and insect life arrived soon after as did a couple of ducks and a solitary heron. We had a pond. And that was 2 years ago.
Anyway, here's Alan picking up where we left off in 2004 and constructing a board walk along one edge of the pond.
This spring we discovered we had 4 small fish in residence - where they came from is a mystery. Perhaps as eggs on some pond weed or perhaps in the feathers of a visiting duck?