Friday, August 01, 2008

Nature and Nurture

This Summer has proved to be wonderful for fruit growing and our apple trees are laden with fruit.

Our strawberries have all-but taken over the garden, and it looks as if our Autumn raspberry canes will be supplying us with an early bumper crop.

There has been a delightful wonder of nature in our garden - I recently showed you photos of the many flowers in our garden and mused that I will probably plant a pale pink hollyhock next year. Well, one has appeared in amongst the darker pink flowers - isn't it pretty?

I shall have to wish for a few more things..!

Although we've had some rather 'up and down' weather when the sun comes out and the clouds disappear it is perfect, with beautiful blue skies and balmy breezes. This year's hanging baskets are a subtle blue and yellow theme, complementing the wisteria foliage.

As well as sporting bags with the Union Jack we're also flying the flag over the porch! The glare of the sun has given it quite a glow, so it's really standing out in this photo!!

Some weeks ago, every time I walked down the garden, I heard a high pitched screeching very close by. We have a resident buzzard nearby and I wondered if it was the sound of its young. The noise persisted and after a few days we discovered the source of it. A baby hedgehog had fallen into an old post hole in my neighbour's garden! The little urchin was gently lifted out, given a plate of cat food and then we put him in a quiet place at the bottom of the garden. Yesterday, I stepped out of the studio and very nearly trod on that very same hedgehog!

He was foraging for food and very frantic in his search! We fetched some cat food and water and he tucked in greedily.

He was so friendly and kept running towards us (he kept trying to nip Mike's toes - wonder what he thought they were!) He was hard to catch on camera - as soon as we pointed it at him, he came running towards it! We popped him on the scales (removing the vintage stock first I should add!) and weighed and measured him. He was just 150mm long and weighed only 160 grams. Knowing he shouldn't have been out in the day, we contacted a local wildlife animal shelter called Oak and Furrow. They have taken him to their shelter where he will enjoy a stay for a few months, whilst they feed him up. When he is at a suitable weight he will be coming back to Pottery Cottage where he can hibernate for the winter. He may even bring a few friends with him - let's hope so, they'd be made very welcome!

The sun and rain have taken care of the prolific flora in the garden this summer, which is just as well because we have been very busy with the website and haven't had too much time to tend it! We updated the website earlier this week - here is a selection of the new stock. Some of these items have now sold but there's still plenty of pretty items to choose from!
A pretty meadow flowers eiderdown...

... and one of two rose-smothered French quilts!

A bizzie lizzie chintz plate...

...a charming French fabric covered box...

...and this huge, handmade runner - just gorgeous!

This weekend will be filled with a visit to an annual car boot sale in the grounds of a local National Trust house, a spot of pick-your-own for some lovely fresh fruit, and some pottering in the garden - weather permitting of course! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!