April brings asparagus to the veg patch, nightingales to the tree tops and colour to the countryside. And yes the cuckoo, although not really my favourite bird. Actually, I was beginning to fret about the nightingales. They always come by the first week of April, usually by the 6th. So when that day came and went without a tweet I hoped nothing was amiss somehow. It wasn’t until the 10th that we heard one off in the meadows somewhere one evening but nothing close by. However, there are a couple down in the valley now, again a first. So although they are not singing when I open the chickens in the morning or put them away at night their song in the valley is just marvellous and makes the dog walk even more enjoyable.
The garden is not without song, that’s for sure. It seems even noisier than normal, mainly the blackbirds, robins, chaffinches and blackcaps in the morning. Not having seen anything of the wrens which had made their nest outside the top door we mistakenly thought they had gone elsewhere until we realised that they had just been hunkering down on eggs. We were really looking forward to seeing the little ones fledge but they went one morning while walking Betty.
The asparagus deserves some kind of medal, I have to admit to not taking such great care over their bed but despite the neglect the shoots are coming through thick and fast. Richard had a go barbecuing some and they were delicious.
The earlier orchids are on their way out, and are being replaced by bee orchids, and woodcocks…
mirror orchids and epipactis lusitanica…
and plenty of others. So small and yet so charming.
The garden has appreciated the wet and dry spells and is also a riot of colour:
Which reminds me the purple leaves of ornamental plum in the background here makes a lovely blue dye so must get the dye pots out again.
In the courtyard it not only looks nice but smells nice. In fact late afternoon you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into the ground floor of a department store so strong is the perfume from the orange blossom and jasmine.
We always say May is the nicest month for the countryside so we’re really looking forward to seeing nature at its best.