ALL KICKING OFF
Friday, 11 May 2018
What a rollercoaster of a spring! Soggy, muddy, cold winter to blazing blossomy summer in one easy week. After a start that was late by recent standards but normal in our early days the vines have gone from pink fluffy buds to green leaves over the cloudless bank hol weekend.
Finally got them all pruned and tied down after leaving the frost corner ones till May in case of the frost that never came (though May Morning was a bit eek!) so now it’s all kicking off and it’s shoot selection time. That’s when you go along rubbing off all the buds that are in unwanted places. Like on the trunk or directly opposite another bud on the cane, or too close together so the growth would be unhealthily dense if you left them. It’s a slow job but a gentle one.
We’re open every Fri, Sat and Bank Hol weekend through the summer now (except, sorry, 25, 26 Aug). Just now it’s all apple blossom and tulips in our wild tasting area. Here’s a glamorous group who came to celebrate a birthday last week, with the three bottles that their visit voucher included for them to choose and take home. (You can buy these online on our Shop page).
And, rather late, we’re on to trellis post repairs. A lot this year, forty, as the 200 replacements with the duff wood preserver we put in in 2007 are now failing in droves. Sourced good solid creosoted replacements, delivered from local Brookridge Timber, and now we have to get the Scary Monster post knocker out of its long dusty hibernation tied to an upright in the hay barn, cleaned, greased and on to our only-just-big-enough Kubota STV40 to drive them in. Nervous, as always, about getting the big tall heavy machine hitched without incident. But it’ll be OK once we get started...
We've had a wild mallard sitting on an eccentrically-chosen nest site, in a big pot of lemon balm on the wall by the farmhouse door, for the last month. Tuesday they hatched. We could tell, even though we couldn’t see, because the duck was all fluffed out and making little clucks in her throat. Actually, although she had to put up with a lot of human and vehicle traffic right by her eyrie, it wasn't such daft choice. The dogs couldn’t reach there and the foxes don’t come that close to the house. Then Wednesday, just as friends arrived, suddenly she was off the nest and nowhere to be seen. The babies, nine of them, cheeped very loudly and then launched over the five foot drop and fluttered to earth, rushing round panicking. We retreated to the back garden and peeped through the windows. Phew, all reunited eventually and off to the pond. Good luck little ducklings! The pond is very overgrown with yellow irises and reedmace so we may not see much of them now.
Oh and Exciting! MORE MEDALS! This time international ones. Both our 2016’s on their first outing got Bronzes in the International Wine Challenge, announced yesterday. We haven’t got much of the Jane’s left now, it’s been selling so well, but it’s a nicely-timed result for the Leonora’s, which we're about to release.
Of the Jane’s the competition judges said, "White floral, sandalwood; grassy and light. Good concentration with long finish."
And of the Leonora’s, "Mineral, salty, peach, celery and rhubarb. Youthful with lovely acidity and long finish."
Thank you, judges!