birds & berries

IMG_2516copyTuesdays are busy days for us: we start with the volunteer woods group on Lismore Circus and do our usual trim and tidy.

Happily we’ve recruited one more volunteer who came today – which was great as one of our stalwarts was out of service to attend another appointment.

With four of us working for two hours, it turned into a three bags full kind of day – tons of cutting and trimming, including trying to remove some of the rampant wild clematis (also known as old man’s beard).  It’s prolific and taking over.  Should send a note to MIT other technology hub with tips about plants good for creating biofuels.  My top tips would be vines, clematis and also the dreaded pyrocanthus, which never seems to stop growing!


Robin on the ball – on M’s plot (9 June 2020)

The a short break for a fruit smoothie, and it was back up to the plots.  First to M’s to water her winter squashes and rip a few more weeds… and then, finally to ours.

We’ve also taken up watering the plot at the bottom of ours, as the very kind couple are now both out of town to take care of their parents.  In their absence we agreed to water and tend.

They are so nice – I’m determined to keep their plot weed free and tidy, so it’s in tip-top shape when they finally return.

We didn’t do any heavy work yesterday – though we did make a start on making a new growing area at the top of our terrace at the level of the shed.


Potato in blossom (9 June 2020)

I was sad to find that the slugs and snails have again wrought destruction to my beloved sunflower plants started from seed.  I’ve lost about five pots of the sunflowers – which will of course make the survivors all the more precious and sweet to behold.

We don’t grow potatoes, but the plot below has a healthy patch that we’ll be able to harvest later this summer if the couple don’t return in time.  The potatoes are flowering now.

All the while we were kept company by the birds and other flying beasts.  The Robin at M’s plot was particularly brave, and almost came to sit on the big guy’s open hand.  Maybe next time? He seemed keen to hitch a ride with us when he landed on G’s bicycle.

We harvested what remains of the strawberries, along with some red raspberries, golden raspberries and lots and lots of ripe loganberries.  We have over one kilogram of fruit so I’m planning to make a mixed berry summer jam as that’s just too much to eat fresh, and freezing fresh fruit seems to me a bit of a crime.  Jam is a much nicer solution to the problem of having too much fresh fruit.  Yum!

We ended the day chatting with F and have arranged to meet tomorrow to collect that most valuable of garden commodities from the Kentish Town City Farm – horse manure!  Wonderful!  Love manure!  The more the better, but we’ll start with 4 more bags tomorrow.  F also says you can buy hay from them, so we may return to get some of that in a couple of weeks.  Love hay for mulch, but manure is so much better!


Go Jeeves!  Robin awaiting cycle transport. (9 June 2020)


Comma Butterfly on strawberry plants. (9 June 2020)


Magpie in fruit tree (9 June 2020)


Magpie in flight.  Notice the crow-like beak. (9 June 2020)


Cherries growing on the side elevation of the building – ready to harvest! (9 June 2020)


Parakeet at the plot.  These guys are fantastic to look at, shriek like banshees, and are prolific fruit raiders who seem to take a bite out of every fruit on the tree.  (9 June 2020)

About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
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