Sue Woodcock: Wolds Diary

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I have a lot to learn about this part of the world. Everywhere I go there are new wonders to behold. There is some beautiful scenery and views that take your breath away.

The week has been varied – between exploring and walking the dogs and getting the garden manageable. I was convinced that the garden was finally dog proof until missing Brillo. A quick search located her under the car outside the garden perimeter. I finally found a hole that she had pushed through the previously impenetrable hedge. This was quickly remedied. As my landscape contractor (who has done a fantastic job) said, she has to be the most expensive of my dogs even if she is the smallest!

Finally after seven skips full of garden rubbish the hedges are clipped and there is some space in the garden but there’s still a lot of work to be done. I have planted some fruit trees including a medlar which I have always wanted and I am watering them every day. I hope to get a mulberry too. I am really starting from scratch in the garden so I have indulged myself with things I’ve never been able to have before. I have a spindle tree, a shrub I remember fondly from my childhood, and small monkey puzzle, which I have always coveted but which my grandmother hated. By the time it gets big enough to be a problem I will be long gone, as it is nine inches high at the moment. I love clematis and passion flower so I have lined the hedges with these.

I decided to go to Ryedale Show on the Tuesday. I assumed it would be well signposted. The traffic jam I encountered at Pickering indicated its location even if there were no signs until very close to the showground at Kirkbymoorside. I enjoyed the show very much, visiting interesting stalls and even buying some good things.

I met a lovely couple with a brown cocker spaniel and the gentleman made me laugh by saying I look much younger than the photograph in the paper. I had got a large stuffed toy of a sheep at one stall and was carrying it around, much to the amusement of several folk. I was strolling along when suddenly three very silly teenage girls who were old enough to know better, rushed up behind me and sprayed me with silly string and it got into my hair.

To spray a total stranger was their first mistake and their second was to select me as their victim. Their look of incredulity and shock when I told them exactly what I thought of them will, I hope, teach them to respect others. I doubt it and I actually felt sorry for them, as their parents can’t have taught them manners.

To the applause of onlookers I strode off and decided to return home. I drove through the countryside and needing a loo decided to stop at a pub for a soft drink but none I passed were open. Then I found the Yorkshire Lavender Centre which was and I came away with yet more plants for the garden including loads of herbs. It took me ages to get the plastic spray string out of my hair and off my toy sheep when I got home.

Then I had a gardening day. Having walked the dogs first thing I got busy clearing dead vegetation, brambles and thorny branches.

The next day I discovered the delights of Millington Woods, a nature reserve set in the glorious area of chalkdown land with a stunning drive to it. The roadside verges are stacked with wonderful wildflowers in bloom and I spotted a strand of Goldenrod, its brilliant yellow flowers making a change from the ever present ragwort. The dogs loved it and I managed to steer them away from the very healthy burdock plants en route. Burdock flower heads are the very devil to get out of dog’s hair.

The following day I went on the bus to Hull. I was chatting to a fellow traveller and she was most informative. I learned why the telephone boxes in Hull are white and I visited some shops including a fine charity furniture shop. I got some lovely things which will be delivered next week and help me organise some sensible storage of things such as books and wool and spinning stuff. I returned home very happy!