Spending the day on our island

Today has been a good day.

A successful day in the garden with Dennis yesterday, mowing the lawn and clearing the leaves, inspired me to tackle the island this morning. It hasn’t had much love over the winter months and as a consequence the ground had developed a thick carpet of broken branches, dead leaves and old conkers. There was the vague sense that somewhere underneath it all was grass and possible some flowers trying to breathe and so I decided to clear it.

Never in a million years did I ever think we would have our own island – and yet somehow we find ourselves the proud owners of one (how did that happen?). It’s teeny tiny but an island nonetheless.

The island has been formed by the River Pude, which meanders the length of our field, past the barn and under the road, before heading down the side of the house. Just after the front gate, it splits in two: one arm continues past the house and barn, and is where the old mill wheel which gives the house its name can be found. The other creates a curve around the island before coming back on itself and joining up again at the end of the garden. It creates quite a magical space: oak and fir trees line its bank, snow drops and daffodils add a splash of colour, and there are fantastic views of the countryside that the house backs on to. It’s by far my favourite part of our property and I can’t wait to spend more time on it.

With the river cascading over the waterfall providing the perfect soundtrack to my work, I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in. Some four hours, 8 wheelbarrows of wood and 11 wheelbarrows of leaves later, I was done.

But not first without a little misadventure.

There is a reason that I am renowned among friends for being clumsy – because I am. Today was no exception. Stepping onto the side of the river bank to pick up a branch, I slipped on the wet grass – narrowly avoiding landing in the river and falling quite hard on my ass (a good job it is well padded). As I landed, I heard something snap – at the time I thought it was a branch but as the day went on it became clear that it could also have been something in my hand. Which now hurts. Rather a lot.

 

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Woe is me

However, it will take more than a bruised hand to detract from today. The sun shone, the daffodils were nodding their heads and I managed to clear enough debris from the island to create a superb space for us to enjoy. I am thinking that a long table, fairy lights in the trees and some alfresco dining will be in order when friends and family come to stay.

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The perfect spot for dinner

Discovery of the day: lots of plants that look like these dotted around the ground. Can anyone tell me what they might be?

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5 thoughts on “Spending the day on our island

  1. They are very beautiful cowslips which will just keep spreading and coming up year after year. Once they have finished flowering you can dig some up and pull them apart to divide them and replant somewhere else to spread the lovelies about. They do prefer shade though so no full sunshine. I can’t wait to come over in May to see you both but in the meantime how about some pictures of the inside of the house. I hope you are taking lots of ‘before’ photos.

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  2. Oops carolee is right! They are primroses and are very similar to cowslips which have a longer flower stem and are more usually found near water and natural wooded areas. xx

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