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Jackie is making good headway on her Spring planting
Two sarcococcas, small shrubs which already dispense amazing scents, have been tried out with temporary plonking in their pots;
Other seeds, bulbs, and corms to come, are marked with packet labels;
Our first daffodil needed a helping hand to hold up its head.
Camellias are now proliferating,
and the cryptomeria is sporting fresh needles.
Most beds are blanketed with snowdrops;
more varieties of hellebore are blooming.
Many cyclamens have survived the winter, the white one here offering a fly a perch.
On this fine morning we took a trip into the forest.
At North Gorley a murder of crows were taking a very cold bath in the temporary pools. In order to park safely for a photograph we had to drive on and tun round, by which time most had flown away, a few engaged in aeronautics, and one remained alone in contemplation.
One of the countryside crafts much in evidence in this area is that of hedge laying. A fine example lines a section of Hungerford Hill at Hyde. Water from the fields is fed into the ditch from pipes sunk into the banks.
This seven minute video demonstrates the skill required to maintain such a living boundary:
Donkeys largely eschew the grass they leave for the ponies that they perhaps regard as wimps whilst, occasionally pausing for a good scratch, they tear away at brambles and anything else prickly enough to test their mettle. These creatures were seen, as usual, at Hyde and Frogham. Could it be that the calloused craters between the nostrils of the young white one trimming the hedge at Frogham, have been caused by its chosen nutriment?
This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. Service was very friendly and efficient; the food was as superb as ever. We shared special fried rice, egg paratha, and onion bahjis. My main choice was Davedush; Jackie’s was Noorjehani. We both drank Kingfisher.
A selection of three photographs have been made from those I submitted. The size chosen is A3+. Raj, manager, wasn’t there, and the others want to check once more with him before I go ahead and produce them.