Oh Deer

February 12, 2016

It’s been creeping up on us for a while, but even so I was a little disoriented this afternoon to realise it was five o’clock already because there was still plenty of light in the sky

setting sun

Just enough time to nip out and do a little garden pottering, even if all I achieved was to clear out some of the nettle roots from the manure heap …

lilac coloured mushrooms

… and admiring the freaky purple mushrooms that have sprung up all over it

Pulling nettle roots is strangely absorbing, actually. It’s a bit like untangling knitting wool – you have a feeling it’s not the most productive thing you could be doing with your time yet somehow you cannot stop, as there’s always another good tangled clump to tease out and then another, and another …

By the time I’d torn myself away the light was fading and it was only then I noticed the young dead deer that had been lying less than 5 yards away from where I was standing. Too gruesome for photos, you’ll be glad to hear, although how I managed to overlook it I have no idea*

* I did consider making that the title of the post but it was a bit too close to the bone to be funny

Darling Deer

August 12, 2015

Cycling into Bigtown this lunchtime, I was startled out of my usual reverie by the sense that I was being watched by a pair of big brown eyes and spotted a young deer sitting quietly by the side of the road, half hidden by the long grass.

young deer by the road

Can you spot it?

I stopped a little further down the road so as not to startle the deer (oh, okay, I should probably get those brakes tightened), and then inched my bike backwards a little – not too far, I didn’t want the deer getting up and running off on the road – to take a slightly better photo.

young deer

I know that deer do this, and you’re best off just leaving the young one be so its mother can find it again, but I was a little worried that she’d chosen the verge as a brilliant place to leave her baby. Deer have zero roadsense at the best of times, but then again, it’s hardly the busiest of roads.*

Fortunately there was no venison or skid marks when I cycled back, so hopefully mother and child have been reunited safely and mum has found somewhere a little more sensible to leave junior next time.

Oh and would someone remind me not to go to lunch with people any more? I always seem to come back with lots of additional things to do …

* I do actually find it quite a busy road, but then again, my standards are somewhat skewed. By ‘busy’ I mean I must have encountered, ooh, at least half a dozen vehicles in the four miles into town, and some of them I didn’t even recognise.

Oh Deer

December 19, 2012

Someone around here isn’t *quite* getting into the Christmas spirit, it looks like

hanging reindeer

I don’t think Santa’s going to be calling at their house in a hurry…

Meanwhile, if you can spot the deer in this picture, you’re doing well. There is one, honest, but for some reason they like to keep themselves well hidden…


Storms are forecast for tonight, so we’ve been out enjoying the sunshine while it lasts

winter sunshine

Bonus Issue

October 8, 2012

Sometimes at this time of year, you find you get a little extra from the garden. Like these gem squash found lurking in among the frost-felled foliage (the vines may have wandered a little into a nearby flowerbed…)

bonus broad beans

bonus mushroomsAnd some bonus sunshine (it’s been warmer outside than indoors these last few days, at least during the day) to bring on the last of the broad beans from the shoots which spring up from the base of the plants after the main stems have done their work. It’s always worth leaving these to see what develops, although next time I might be a bit more assiduous about weeding out the nettles which, I found out the hard way, were guarding them. Ouch

It might be time to get some new stakes for supporting the broad beans though, if these mushrooms shooting from the base are anything to go by. I don’t think these will be making it into our supper…

But you don’t get anything for nothing in austerity Britain – clear blue October skies mean only one thing: frost. We woke today and yesterday to white grass, complete with bonus deer footprints

Whether you consider deer to be a ‘bonus’ in the garden depends largely on what they’ve been eating, I suppose …

And Back to Earth

February 2, 2011

Phase one of my being brought back down to reality after the excitement of whizzing around London having meetings and things began after the other half picked me up from the train and we had to drive part of the way home at the pace of a confused deer who decided the best way to escape from the growly car monster was to bound down the road rather than through the gates or over the walls on either side.

Phase two has started this morning, with the weather Gods laying on a day of drizzle and gusting wind, during the course of which I will have to do battle with the rural bus system. Ah, the glamorous life we writers lead…

Feeding Frenzy

April 17, 2009


I love having a garden. And one of the best things about a garden – particularly at this time of the year – is the anticipation, watching all the plants coming up after the dormancy of winter. I like planting seeds and watering them and feeding them pricking them out and weeding them and watching as they grow and flourish.



I love reading gardening books and looking at photographs of other gardens, and the gardening columns in the weekend supplements with their photographs of wonderful plants, old and new, and deciding which ones of them would go best where in my new plot.



I’m a sucker for plant and seed catalogues and garden centres and I find it hard to walk past even the smallest and least promising display of seed packets without having a browse through to see if there’s anything I’d like to plant. I’m a sucker for plant sales at village fetes however scruffy and unpromising the wares may be. I even rescue those pots of herbs from supermarkets and thin them out and keep them going on my windowsill the way other people rescue battery hens.



Above all, I love the planning of a garden – like photographs, they’re always better in your head – and the realisation of a coherent theme: all white plants, perhaps, or medicinal ones, or drought-tolerant, or just something with interest all year round.

Here, though, I think my theme has been selected for me.

This year, I shall mostly be planting things that deer and rabbits don’t eat.