I thought I would post a couple of photos of what our pond looked like last winter and spring so you can see what a difference has been made by the work we have had done. By last autumn the willow trees had grown so large it was difficult to see the pond and not only had they grown upwards they had grown sideways and were spreading into the pond itself. We decided something had to be done. R thought he might be able to do it himself but the task was so huge and he was away from home so often and the weather so bad we decided to get a local landscaper to do it.
The first five pictures I took while we had snow and ice and the sixth is of the pond once the leaves had appeared. I have also included a photo of one of the molehills in our garden.
Today R and I pruned all our fruit trees. We have a Concord pear tree, a Brown Turkey fig, two eating apple trees – a Saturn and an Egremont Russet (the apples don’t look like Russets so we may have been mis-sold), two cooking apples – a Bramley and a Norfolk Biffin, a greengage and three crabapple trees. The big weeping crabapple is a species tree, I think, and has the most beautiful blossom and strong rose scent. Apples and roses belong to the same family. The fruit is tiny and very popular with the birds. I was given an Evereste crabapple tree for my birthday about ten years ago and I kept it in a large tub for a few years and then planted it at the front of the house near the weeping tree and gave it a prune. The Everest then sulked for a few years and refused to grow though it flowered beautifully and had lots of apples. Last year it began to grow at last but not very much. I always leave the crimson and yellow apples for the birds. They wait for the tree to be frosted a few times which softens the fruit and when the apples have started to rot the blackbirds especially, gobble them up. This year the apples haven’t had the hard frosts to soften them so most of them are still on the tree. The third crabapple is a Harry Baker with maroon leaves and dark crimson flowers. The fruits are dark red, enormous and make gorgeous crabapple jelly. We discovered the tree when we moved here, planted so close to the gas tank it had become quite distorted. R dug it out and replanted it at the front of the house. He has cared for it and nurtured it for nearly eight years and at last, last year, it started to grow really well and has started to put on some height. It will always probably need to be tied to a stake but it looks so much better now.
The day today was fine and sunny and the wind had dropped considerably though it was still fairly strong and chilly. The ladybirds hibernating in our bedroom are starting to wake up. They were marching round the window wanting to go out so I left the windows open for a few hours. Some have left, others went out for a while but came back later and some are still asleep. R and I spent some time outside tidying borders etc. R also cycled to Rumburgh church after lunch to put the heating on as we had evening prayer there today. It was Caroline’s (she is one of our Readers) last service before retiring and moving to Beccles. As often happens, we had no organist but we all sang with gusto and the service went very well. We will all miss Caroline and her family very much. It was very pleasant to be leaving Evensong in the twilight tonight – proof that the days are getting longer and the nights shorter.