Thursday 23 June 2011

Would you believe it!

It's the red berry season and this year there is a particularly good crop, weighting down the branches almost to breaking point. Living beside woodland I have learnt the value of using netting. Before I did so pigeons attacked the brassica, blackbirds devoured or pecked and destroyed the strawberries and birds of all sizes stripped the currant bushes. A few winters ago I neglected to take the top net off the fruit cage and heavy snowfalls caused the structure to buckle and break. I paid a substantial sum for the replacement cage which we erected last year. All the fruit bushes and raspberries now grow in its confines without fear of beaks or talons.

But wait a minute, who has been stripping the ripe redcurrants from the top of every truss?
Maisie gave the alarm with her, 'let me get at you' barking. When I went to see what all the noise was about I saw a small wren inside the cage. Where did it gain entry? I stepped inside to show it the door but before I could do so the wren squeezed itself through one of the tiny squares of my netting and flew away. Would you believe it? I'm contemplating a note to the supplier!

I've made Linzer torte with some of the redcurrants that the wren has graciously left for me.
I've posted the recipe on Miss Cellany .

Small wild strawberries grow freely all about the garden but the birds don't seem remotely interested in them.

We've been having some fierce winds just lately. They have snapped flower heads from stems, knocked young apples from the trees and threatened the staking of my peas. But these giant scabious behave beautifully, bending gracefully to the strongest gusts without suffering any damage.

The pond is looking very murky and producing lots of blanket weed. I keep scooping the stuff out and the newts seem unaffected, but, for the moment at least, the weed seems to be winning.


  1. Now that was a few lovely moments spent in your garden.

    V. jealous of your red currants. just planted a bush last year and so far have none? Do they take a few years to produce or it there a trick I need to know?

    Want. Linzer torte taste. Please.

    xo jane

  2. Those pesky svelte wrens seem to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces. There's an entire family of them that squeeze themselves into the tiniest crack in my neighbors soffit. They almost hover like hummingbirds to get in there.

    Your torte looks perfect.

  3. I am so glad you still post on this blog also. I so enjoy looking at your gardens. They are spectacular.

  4. Next up: 'Wren and Red Currant Tarte'

  5. Those are pretty looking berries and an even better looking torte...I'll bet it is tasty!
    Your garden looks enchanting.

  6. Dear flwrjane, I can't remember if my redcurrant bush fruited in its first year. I put a generous amount of wood ash from the garden bonfire around the base of all the fruit bushes each year and that seems to be successful.
    When I look at the squares of my netting, Steve, I am amazed that wrens can fly through it - but they do!
    Dear Starting Over and Hostess, I'm finding it hard to stop blogging about my garden!

  7. I know what you mean about birds and currant bushes - we are lucky to get a look in too.
    You say you are coming to the Yorkshire Dales - which part? If you are anywhere near Wensleydale do let me know and call in for a coffee or something.