At last we’ve had a spell of cold weather. We’ve haven’t had any snow here, but a couple of hard frosts have made everywhere look pretty first thing in the morning.
With the ground frozen, Bill and Jack have spent the first two hours of the day hand planting new hedges, before the ground warms up and turns to a muddy slush. Here, a mixed hedge of hawthorn, dog rose, blackthorn, maple, hazel and dogwood tops an earth bund that forms a barrier between the yard and the road. Guards on the young plants not only protect them from rabbits and deer but also from a farmer with a strimmer or knapsack sprayer.
In the fruit field, the raspberries are pruned; a back-breaking job on any day but even worse when it’s cold and knees get wet and dirty from kneeling in mud. Luckily, not my job any more.
I’ve been picking up Bramley apples since they fell to the ground in the autumn. In a normal year, they would have rotted by now but it’s been so mild that until this week they’ve been okay to cook with. I suspect this cold spell will finish them off but at least I have enough inside to make one last apple crumble.
At last we seem to have shaken off the dull, grey days and the days are getting longer. Hurrah.