The Advent of Winter – Stuff on the Farm
Over the last few months I’ve been recording some of the stuff which has been going on outside. It’s a time of change and senescence, of storing and stowing.
The cows are getting their winter coats and eating plenty of hay.
The light is low and gentle.
It’s sometimes easy to get over attached to the indoors in winter, driving wind and rain causing mine and many a bottom to become welded to an armchair as a result. Having spent a good part of life doing an outdoor job I know that the only way to get-over-it is to get-out-in-it.
Thus today found me togged up and trowel wielding as I finally decided to plant the tulip bulbs in the tubs in the front yard. Luckily tulips are quite forgiving of procrastinating ways, people have been known to plant them in January. Gasp.
I go into the barn where I left the bulbs and all I find is a couple of empty nets. Storing and stowing. Storing and stowing. Hmm. I get on the phone and order some more.
Luckily, there is one bag which has escaped the mouse/squirrel/rat assault so I get down to business. What is it about about preparing soil for planting? I don’t know, I just love it…I did mention to fellow blogger Fran about my cruel ways with ditching plants and I thought of her as I gaily tossed last summers pelargoniums into the death bucket (wrong colour – another procrastinating moment – leaving it so late they only had deep pink ones left at the shop. Sigh. It’s the Cornish air).
This is a cunning trick which keeps the squirrels off your bulbs (if they haven’t already stolen them that is). After planting you tread the ground firmly, then get some dead leaves and scatter them over the area. This really foxes them – they look for disturbed ground and signs of digging. This method always worked for me in the city, though pots can be more vulnerable than the ground, depending on squirrel numbers and ingenuity.
Back in September when it first started to get cold I posted about wood including how much we were going to need over the winter.
The wind has damaged a barn, lifting old slates right off. This scaffolding tower was found dumped on the streets of London years ago and came in very handy with renovations.
I’m trying to think of things to do with baling twine. Any ideas?