Nesting time

Nesting time

IMG_1311[1]Pruning the choisya by the chapel this morning we found this perfect little gem. A tea cup sized nest strung between the branches. The utter perfection of nests always amazes me and this one was so perfect I left it in case there are any new takers this spring. I wonder who it belonged to last year.

Benjy and I were clearing rubble when we came across some old pig troughs. This pair are in good condition, so I think these could be the first of many planters to decorate the outdoor cooking area we’re planning. This will be an area for Novikov chefs and our guests to come and harvest food and cook it in en plein air so to speak. Food always tastes amazing outdoors and cooked by the Novikov chef’s will be mind blowing!

Foundings in the Brent Eleigh Walled Garden

Ahoy, treasure!

Foundings in the Brent Eleigh Walled Garden

Lifted out from the undergrowth and into the light of day…

I did a little more fig pruning today. The ones we’ve done look really smart and should benefit hugely from the extra light and air thanks to their thinning out. We found coral spot on one today, which settles on dead plant tissue but then moves onto live tissue and can kill the whole plant. I think we nipped it in the bud, but we will have to be vigilant and keep checking.


Morning sun peeps over the wall and strikes out across the veg plots.

In micro herb world Charlie completed his second cycle of sowing and then it was an afternoon of planning and paperwork for him. The sun was shining and I really felt for Charlie stuck indoors. None of us enjoys being in for long during daylight hours, even if it is chilly.

Martin was working hard on the door renovation and we now have locks and bolts appearing all over the place! Just as well because I’ve shooed off three trespassers in the last couple of days. I use the same tone as when dealing with errant deliveries and it seems to work, although today I was asked if I was the new owner by one of the aforementioned. Given that my boots were lagged in mud and that the two glove system was still in situ complete with woollen hat, I was rather taken aback…Actually it reminds me of when an apologetic council official arrived as a scruffy Adrian and I were entering the Hall for our break. Suffice to say we were widely elevated not just beyond our social status, but in regard to each other!


Tonight’s sun set.

Ah well, the end to the first week in February. Since January we’ve survived minus temperatures, disagreements, misunderstandings, tiredness and stress caused by each of our strict self imposed deadlines. Charlie set up a whole glasshouse of microherbs, complete with first harvest within just three weeks; Martin and Adrian managed to replace a roof – not only while we were working below, but through snow and hail; Pip tirelessly barrowed so much compost while transforming the vine house that each new day I wondered if her legs would carry her back. Benjy sowed hundreds of seeds with numb fingers, cracked ice to wash pots and didn’t complain even when he was wet through and had forgotten waterproofs. We’ve had power cuts and broadband failure caused by a falling tree. I’ve shouted, sworn, laughed hysterically and yes, I admit it – once I hid behind the wall and cried. We’ve hand dug, dug and dug some more, mulched, pruned, planned, replaced, repaired, uncovered and discovered.

What has all this made? A team.


The first crocus flowered today.

Have a great weekend X








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