First snapes and rabbits spotted

I’ve seen my first snapes (the emerging flower stalks from the garlic)! Now we have to make the contentious decision about whether to pull them off or not: delicious they may be, or will it shock the garlic too much. The self-seeded garlic was the first, but the rounds we planted weren’t far behind.

Another gloriously sunny day – I remember May last year was very hot and dry, before summer was washed out. I cleared out the last couple of piles of brash in the nursery and Lisa got stuck into weeding the flower beds. A significant achievement for me was to get all of the willow bundled up and all of the harvest from three years ago pulled out of the grass. I didn’t get all of the willow away from the plots – 20 bundles was all I could face – but it is all stacked in one high pile now so it’s going to be easier to get at and it’ll keep most of it out of the grass.

Another job I finally got round to was mapping out exactly what kinds of willow we have where. Lisa never planted with the idea of selling the willow but more for burning in a bio-mass stove on site, so didn’t keep track of what was planted where. But I’m quite into the idea of building living willow sculptures. Her business partner in willow, Liz, had marked out the broad categories. We had four main types: Viminalis Gigantica, Q83 (a vim. triandra mix), a yellow one and a purple one, before we got in a load of fancy ones from West Wales Willow. Trouble is although the coloured ones are obvious you can’t really tell the difference between the Gigantica and the Q83 when they are mature. However, now they are younger the gigantica is very obviously darker at the tips and has a lot less shoots off the stool. So I’ve got the map on paper just got to get it electronic and Liz is going to be a happy bunny – we both appreciate this kind of thing!