Sunny Sunday dog walk

There was a clear blue sky in Sheffield yesterday, bright sunshine and a cool breeze, perfect for taking the dogs out. No jumper needed, just took a bottle of water, dog treats, and a bit of money for the ice-cream van.

Harry and Dixie - finally both in the same shot

Harry and Dixie posing nicely

We walked to the Rivelin valley again, a favourite walk of mine with loads of variety and interest. There was one more route I hadn’t quite figured out so that’s the route we took. This route was less strenuous as it didn’t go all the way up the hill but cut through the woods mid-way up. Perfect for a hot day.

About half way round we stopped in a glorious meadow for a rest. Wild flowers were abundant and the air was scented. I kept the boys on their lead in case there were sheep around the corner. But it didn’t stop them from rolling around in the cool, long grasses.

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It was such a beautiful spot that I took some more pictures.

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They looked so happy and joyous that I felt it too. It’s great hanging out with these guys.

A little further on we were in the woods following the river. The boys did lots of paddling in the shallows and I played the game of swooshing water on them to keep them cool, which made them run away like nervous bathers!

Nearer home we stopped for another rest in the meadow next to the cemetery. There is a natural spring here where they like to have a drink. I sat down in the long grass and enjoyed the scent of the cow parsley and other flowers and blooms whose names I don’t know. Harry and Dixie had a good wander around in the cool grasses until it was time to go.

Time to go, boys!

Time to go, boys!

I can’t think of a better way of escaping my computer and my desk than this.

Till next time,

L x

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Garden Planting

Now that the weather is warmer, I thought it was high time to put some flowers in my garden. Usually I would do this around Easter, but this year Spring has come late. I went to a garden centre towards the end of April and there was almost nothing there: a few sad herbs and no bedding plants at all. So my garden has been looking quite empty.

Amazingly, this little primrose survived the big freeze and is giving me a perfect splash of colour.

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I bought a cat mint plant, and to give it the best chance of survival, I planted it in my hanging basket.

"Cats adore this plant"

“Cats adore this plant”

My garden is surrounded by tall trees so it doesn’t get much light. I love it because it’s cool and shady and private, but some plants struggle to flower here. ┬áLast year there were no flowers at all on my rhododendron. But this year, wow! I have just one, single, perfect bloom.

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On my Sunday dog-walks I have been checking out the many local footpaths which lead from suburbia into the allotments, woods, fields, and down to the river valley at Rivelin. Last week I noticed that there was going to be a plant sale at the allotment society HQ. That was surely the place to go for stocking my garden: locally-raised plants at good prices. I went along yesterday and did really well. They had a good range including herbs, fruit and veg. I was in the market for nasturtiums: they apparently thrive on poor soil (check) and grow like weeds (check) and give plenty of colour and ground cover (check, and check). Well, there were loads of them for sale at only 50p. I also got some petunia, nicotiana, and some geraniums with this glorious variegated red leaf.

Already pretty, even before the flowers come.

Already pretty, even before the flowers come.

I bought a nice little plant with delicate white flowers called Woodruff. They said it was a perennial so I thought I would buy it and see if it manages to survive for more than one season. Well, as luck would have it, a quick check on Wiki tells me it could hardly be more perfect for my shady plot. ‘Prefers partial to full shade’, ‘ideal as ground cover in woody gardens’, ‘strongly scented’. It is also known as ‘sweet woodruff”, ‘wild baby’s breath’, or ‘master of the woods’. I have high hopes for this one!

Larry has taken over the plant box

Larry has taken over the plant box

As always, Larry and Monty were on hand to observe the planting and to give their advice.

Monty is supervising

Monty is supervising

Till next time,

L x