Green woodpeckers have been attacking the beehive. I made the mistake of wrapping the wire netting too tight around the hive and they were able to cling onto the netting and reach the hive with their beaks. Luckily I noticed in time.
Some very cold days and hard frosts. I’ve tried to protect the little bay tree with a coat of straw!
David Pennell, having taken soil samples for analysis, never got back to us. I found this lab, SoilBioLab, specialists in soil testing and here are the results. More or less as expected. It will be interesting to see if things change over the years.
Our Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum schinifolium) has fruited well. It is the seed husk that is so valued as a spice in Chinese cooking. The leaves and fruit have a very distinctive smell and taste and create an extraordinary tingling sensation in the mouth.
Perennial kale planted with mint, marjoram and lovage has done well. But later in the summer it seems that the butterflies got wise and the kale was stripped by caterpillars.
The parakeets are becoming very numerous and a nuisance.They squabbled with the green woodpeckers over nesting holes and last summer we think they took plums and apples when no-one was around. Aasta and Lachlann have built a scare-parakeet.
Fiona MacDonald and John Holland designed and built this superior Bug Hotel for the Forest Garden. It nestles invitingly next to the Airstream caravan.
Late hard frosts in April and May have not been good for the plums and currants.
But the blossom on this pear, Josephine de Malines, seems unaffected by the frost on this cold April morning.
We thought it could be of great interest if we were able to monitor the changes and hopefully the improvements in the soil food web of the Forest Garden as it matures. In this photo the fruit growing and orchard management consultant David Pennell is helping us by collecting soil samples which he’ll have analysed.
A terrific day! We planted 1 apple (Worcester Pearmain), 1 damson (a sucker from the Biddesden damson), many cuttings: 8 autumn raspberries, 8 blackcurrants, 4 red currants, 2 gooseberries, and 8 comfrey roots.
We also pruned raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries, sprinkled Root Grow in the planting holes and spread lots of mulch.
Pascoe and Fox looking at the new raspberries
Mia, Alvar, Afonso, Fox and Glyn mulching the autumn raspberries