Wired for ChickensTuesday 16th May 2000
I'M SOWING short rows of Spinach and Rocket to use as salad leaves. Last year I used horticultural fleece to protect seedlings from the weather and from the attentions of the hens. This year I'm making chicken wire cloches or surrounding the rows with a cat's cradle of string stretched between short uprights of garden cane. As it is now well on in the season and I suspect that conditions under a fleece might make for soft growth that would be attractive to slugs.
Besides, the fleece now has one or two holes in it. We left it folded up in the garden shed over winter. When we unfolded it there were several holes the size of saucers in it and the shreddings had been fluffed up into a little bundle; a winter home for a mouse or vole.
The Hawthorn is in blossom along the canal. It rests like powdery snow, or sieved icing sugar, on the green branches. But the overall effect isn't snow white, it's what a home decoration colour swatch might refer to as 'apple white'; white with a hint of green.
As I've said, walking along with blossom filling your field of view is rather like walking through an Impressionist painting, especially in this evening sunlight. It occurs to me that, this week at least, this stretch of our local canal is more beautiful that anything you'd see alongside the Seine in Paris. And that's a World Heritage Site.
Wall Brown butterflies are out along the towpath.