Wolds Diary: Grand colours of the garden await but what hard graft it is

Market Place, Bedale.  0709063j.
Market Place, Bedale. 0709063j.
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I HAVE been pretty busy in the garden this week. There is just so much to do there.

Apart from the grass that seems to need cutting frequently the weeds are growing with an alarming vigour and it’s a never ending task to keep them at bay.

I really have a problem with both docks and cleavers (goose grass). Nettles are also a nuisance. My fruit trees are now well greened up and even my new mulberry tree is finally sprouting leaves. The walnut is always later coming out but it is well advanced.

My quince tree has had beautiful blossoms for the first time this year. Even my monkey puzzle tree, having been moved to a better spot is showing an inclination to grow, very slowly.

Last week I mentioned hearing a cuckoo, but to my surprise and delight I actually saw one in my garden this week, happily eating from the bird feeder.

As I go out for walks with the dogs I wonder at the growth in the fields and hedgerows. I even saw someone had been haymaking in one field already. With the growth of the grasses, comes the seed heads in the most varied colours - brown, yellow, purple and every shade of green.

My clematis, are in full flower and I have quite a variety of them from the Montana both white and pink to the Orientalis ones which are a vivid yellow.

I went to my monthly meeting at Nafferton during the week and on the drive back I realized just how light the evenings are. Then on the Wednesday I was invited to speak at one of my favourite towns in the Dales - Bedale.

When I was living in Settle and attending agricultural college at Ponteland, I often went through Bedale on my way to the A1. It is such a striking town with its wide Main Street and handsome buildings. I often made a point of stopping there to visit the shops.

This time I was speaking to the ladies coffee group at a hotel at Leeming Bar.

The talk went well and as I had a fair way to drive home I left not long after nine, and the motorway seemed almost deserted.

I was a little surprised when several cars flashed past me at such a speed that I was unable to clock their numbers, I mused on the fact that some of us get penalized for exceeding the limit by about 5mph but those idiots were doing in excess of 120mph.

The rest of the drive was very pleasant as the evening was quite clear and the views were spectacular.

On another day I drove up to Stockton on the Forest and met my friend from Scarborough at a garden centre there. She could get there by bus, which with her bus pass meant she had extra pennies to spend.

We had a coffee and I bought some more vegetables to plant in my vegetable patch and she bought an arch to hold up a heavy and drooping honeysuckle.

From there we came back to my place and later I drove her home, stopping for a delicious tea at the Wolds village.

My diet, which is proving most effective, means that I had to decline cake and the like but as it is working I am sticking to it. It does make eating rather boring but needs must!

When we got to my friend’s place I unloaded a writing desk that she wanted and then I assembled the garden arch and fought the honeysuckle until it surrendered and was made secure.

Her beautiful cat sat supervising me the whole time.

The drive home was very pleasant and the varieties of wild flowers that adorned the verges was impressive. There were dandelions (lots of them), cowslips, mallow, daisies, forget me not and blue bells, both white and blue.

The May is out in profusion, I used to long for this as my grandmother adhered to the phrase, “Ne’re cast a clout till May be out”, which meant I could dispense with a vest for the summer.

I had to visit my local, friendly garden centre on the Saturday for yet more plants for the vegetable patch. Then I went with a friend to a farm to collect manure. The farmer and his wife are so pleasant and have four charming dogs but after this mission I certainly needed a bath!