Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May and spring jumped on us!

Finally may came and with it spring!!
However during the final period of april we did have some occasional bouts of fine weather and we tried to make the most of that, despite the icy wind that never seemed to stop, only to change direction.

An intricate pattern of pieces of reed, blown into the shore of one of the lakes and a miniature daffodil, a remnant of my time as churchyard gardener. They were a lot bigger, when I took them home, but here in the garden they grow no taller than 4-5cm.

During april's last week we had "some¨ unexpected guests. Some really is not the right word however. We saw a huge gathering of migrating birds. Apparently they had gathered in this area to wait for warmer weather to come in, so they could journey further north. We had large groups of thrushes of several species, and finches too. Lots and lots of finches! The noise they made was earsplitting at times and when they started calling each other in the morning..... Now that was one heck of a wake up call. Just not at 04:00am.
But now they all have gone. All but the robin that lives in our garden and the loons that inhabit the lakes, their calls echoing across the surface, answering one another. And new summer residents have come in too! I saw the first few swallows dash through the air the other day.....

But spring did come at last.....
But before that we had the traditional walpurgis night or valborgsmässa. We decided to visit the place where we went the first time and where we used to live in our early Sweden days in order to catch up with old friends.

Between that and slaughtering roosters, this sudden arrival of sun and warmth initiated a sudden burst of energy and activity! Besides getting our greenhouses ready to finally start sowing, inspecting our garden for hidden and growing surprises. For one thing we, quite spontaneously, decided to visit one of the local farms, where they sell their own produce and have loads of livestock. The one thing I was interested in, besides being plain curious, were their African dwarf goats. I just had to see them for real.
And guess what..... We think a few of those just would fit in with us! Looking at their size and the size of the area we had intended for them and the size of the area they had, we figure there'd be more than enough room for 3 of them. We would have to buy additional food anyway. So another project will be undertaken over the course of the next few weeks/months!

But the fun did not stop there. Oh no!
The visit to said farm inspired us to come up with more ideas. As we sat there, having coffee and waffles with marmalade and whipped cream, I noticed they had vines growing along a south facing wooden facade.... without any protection! So I asked what kind it was. A baltisk staketdruva (or Vitis labrusca) was the answer. A blue grape, suitable for consumption as fruit, not wine. Exactly what I wanted! Now I found a grape species I can have outside the glass greenhouse! We have a nice, south facing stonewall, sheltered from blistering winter gales, so the vine should thrive. So we are getting one of those as well. Oh by the way..... 2 hazel shrubs are on order too....

Another thing that inspired us, was their so-called farstu; a semi-enclosed area in front of the frontdoor. We had already been thinking about having one, since they make ideal places to take off dirty shoes, boots or working clothes, before you come into the house. and theirs was just the style we had in mind.

All in all a very good 1st of may!
Hope everyone will have a good season and summer!!

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