Another week has almost passed, in a flurry of work and very little time.
At the weekend, it took the best part of a day for King of the Hill to lay new felt on the shed roof; while we anticipated replacing one side, the other side was later torn by more winds, so the entire roof needed re-covering. We are hoping to lay vertical battens over the felt this coming weekend, to prevent such extensive damage again should the winds get their icy hands on the new, sturdier roofing in the future.
Both cats were keen to help while the felt was being unrolled on the lawn, and today Xander seemed to give it his seal of approval. One evening this week he did not appear for his tea, while his sister was waiting as punctually as ever; through the evening we listened to the rain coming down and hoped that he was warm and dry, perhaps sheltering somewhere from the downpour. There was still no sign of him by bedtime, and we slept fitfully, the occasional click of the catflap downstairs seeping into our dreams, but in the morning he had reappeared, seeming a little jumpy but otherwise unscathed. Ah, if cats could just talk…
The work on the shed took rather longer than expected, and as the afternoon wore on, the temperature dropped and the winds crept up, making progress slower and less comfortable. Somehow despite careful placing of ladders and feet, there was at least one casualty in the border by the end of the day: the helleborus foetidus that I planted in front of the birch tree the week before Christmas was rather trampled, however part of the plant does seem to have survived, so my fingers are crossed that it makes a full recovery.
Amid the sea of shoots that are springing up in pots by the house and along the fronts of the borders, in all shapes and sizes from the variety of narcissus, crocus, alliums and snowdrops that I planted in the autumn, the first dainty white bells are appearing on the snowdrops. A tray of these tiny bulblets was given to me by my mum from her garden at the end of the summer, lightly covered in soil, and as I uncovered them and planted them in groups of two and three along all the border edges, they were already starting to shoot. In just a few months they seem to have found their feet and today I found the first two or three white buds glowing in the weak sunshine.
It looks as though we have one daffodil making a bid for freedom in the middle of the newly seeded lawn, so I suspect that will need moving if it is to avoid the mower in the spring. It gives me such a thrill to see these first brave flowers appear. Last winter, we found one lone snowdrop growing amid the rubble; this year should give us many times more. Already I am dreaming of the various narcissus, crocus and tulips that will hopefully bloom all over the garden this spring: what a difference a year will have made!
The cold weather is set to return in the next day or two, so besides braving the cold to complete the shed roof, we are unlikely to get much more done in the garden this weekend. Indeed, there is plenty of indoor work to be done: for myself I suspect much of the weekend will be taken with curtain making. Having fortuitously found some sale fabrics while we were out and about in the New Year, I finally found time last weekend to make my first curtain to hang at the inner door in the porch, with thermal blackout lining to keep the draughts out, and we also now have the fabric to replace borrowed curtains which hang at the French doors in the kitchen with our own: wish me luck for I shall be wrestling with eyelets and pattern matching!