Following government advice, and discussions with my dear friend Helen, I and my puss Goldie, have temporarily moved out of St.Leonards and are self-isolating with Helen at her beautiful cottage deep in the rural countryside of the High Weald. I have lots, indeed more than enough to keep me busy – gardening, working on the advanced draft of my autobiography, reading and taking walks in the woods with her three handsome Gordon Setter dogs.
The property is set within an extensive garden with a stream flowing through it and includes four acres of a large adjoining block of ancient woodland. This is composed mainly of ash with some mature oak and beech with an understorey of hazel. More about this woodland as this rolling blog continues…
A view of the woods during mid-March.
Monday, March 23 and another harbinger of spring made itself known – a chiffchaff calling calling from the tall willows and birches on the edge of the garden area. In the woods this week the primroses at the top of the wood look resplendent with their massed two-tone pale yellow flowers being in full bloom.Small patches of the tiny, delicate moscatel are in flower with their minuscule green and yellow flowers forming small patches. Hornbeam trees and the few hawthorn are now sporting small, delicate light-green leaves that are growing by the day.
The wood has been so wet this winter! Being situated on Ashdown Clay which provides little drainage, it has been tricky walking along the paths but during the past week, the sunshine and drying breezes have transformed matters, we now being able to wear boots instead of the ubiquitous wellies! This weekend and being on north-facing slope, the cottage and the woods are being buffeted by a strong and quite cold north-easterly wind, sunshine and hail, making the air feel relatively quite bitter; we’ve resorted to firing up the wood burner!