The brilliantly coloured annual flowers sweep round the bumpy lawn and spill under the wire fence, pioneers of a garden in the making.
The apple trees have recovered from the salt laden gale that scorched their tender young shoots in the spring. Their new leaves are glossy green on strong, flexible shoots.
In time the garden, and the gardening, will become more subtle but for now it’s rough and ready, relying on mattock, hoe and scythe to make gradual inroads on the tussocky grass and nettles.
Meanwhile up on the hill, bees buzz in the willowherb flowers, sparrows gossip on the hogweed seed heads, swallows swoop low to gather up insects and a kestrel hovers overhead before plummeting to scoop up an unsuspecting mouse or vole. There are toads in the cool shade between the stones of the old piggery, starlings partying in the cut grass and goldfinches flitting among the thistles. We’re latecomers on this patch of land, working round the established residents.
(Click on any photo for a closer view)