Over the Bank Holiday weekend I spent time clearing scrub from the bank next to the area we hope to extend the orchard into. As they carry a virus, fire blight, which is harmful to apple trees, some or possibly all of the Hawthorns in the distance may have to go but until then we will enjoy the blossom and the birds will enjoy the berry in the autumn. This bank side extends the length of the field and rises above the burn and has not looked like this for 25 years since it was heavily grazed farmland. We will be leaving as much of the mixed scrub as we can so that the wild birds, many wrens and bullfinches, can continue to feed and breed long into the future. There is still another twenty meters to go but that can wait till the weather improves again.
The willow catkins have been lovely, so delicate…..
At home in the Tyne Valley, this Exochorda, one of my favourite shrubs has been stunning.
And the Bergenia simply glorious……..