Monday, 18 February 2013

Ottilie born on her mums birthday 23rd January,isnt she beautiful.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Spring is coming at Botany Farmhouse February 2013.

Still here,spent the winter building an ark as water rushed around the house,the wettest winter we have ever experienced in our thirty years here.There is very little you can do in a wet January apart from toast yourself by the woodburner with many a good book.Been very busy with the wood pile in the summer so feeling smug this year we have plenty of dry wood,the old Massey tractor has a shiny red new bonnet,the circular saw has been sharpened and the log splitter serviced, so all is well.Graham has even double glazed the windows(the temporary sort) because its grade2 listed so we must be prepared to freeze,have to resort to practicalities like lining curtains with heavy wool blankets to keep everything toasty.Have made a lot of curtains out of old silk saris that I bought from Dorchester market and hoarded.I love the old silk ones with silver thread work,the dining room is resplendent with a pair in a sort of lilac turtledove colour ,suitably mournful for January.
But its February and the birds are singing and people are beginning to beat a path to our door so the hibernation must cease.
February  good news, we have a little granddaughter Ottilie,born on her mothers birthday,I wish for a really girly girl so I can indulge in buying sprig muslin dresses,lots of flower prints and lace,which her mum always hated!
"Babes" my very tame deer is still very much alive,I cant go into the woods without being mugged for an apple,pictures to follow.All that rain has meant an explosion of snowdrops and daffodils.

Plans for 2013,no ambitions really.Looking back on the year, whats happened?.Sold the camper van didnt use it enough,went to Venice yet again,24th November this time,the week previous watched the St Marks webcam nervously
with Venice experiencing the worst floods in years.Arrived to a week of cloudless blue skies,warmth and sunshine,didnt have any body to play with this year so rented one of the boys little houses again in Cannaregio,had a blissful week.If anybody fancies Venice, Jonathan and Alasdair,,cant recommend them enough and thanks to Gail and Martin that stay with us for telling us about it.La Serenissima keeps luring us back for more.
Als found me a teal blue Audi convertible for the summer(very old,come on this is Botany farm!)car auctions had to find a secondhand hood,it leaked but now looking forward to the summer,not so Graham who does not like my driving,much domestic,might attract a toy boy but dont think I could cope with one.
Oh yes,I nearly forgot,my nephew got a gold medal for the sprint kayak,everybody staying had a delayed breakfast whilst we watched with bated breath.
New food things,to delight or otherwise,taken to making different sorts of granola,bored in January,thank you Nigella but it is really really nice and bloody expensive and I eat it(full of calories)Grahams got bored with proper attempts at sourdough and found a quicker method which tastes pretty good,one of our oldest customers has a bakery chain,when we first started breadmaking a long time ago,he would turn up with his own bread,he no longer does,nothing was ever said but we have taken it as a compliment.

Another year to look forward to,same ethos,same prices,loads of the same people,thank god.Blogging on.

Love to all

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Botany farmhouse New Years Day 2012

I have been a very bad blogger,I had not realised how bad, until several Botany Farmers telephoned to ask whether or not we were still in business,retired or moved out.Well we are still very much here and its New Years Day, its grey and wet and I am in blogging mood.

2011 started with the most ferocious winter we have ever experienced but the wood pile coped and the severe cold produced one of the most beautiful springs ever.It is the farming fashion now not to cut the hedges as often so there was the most magnificent display of catkins from the Hazel and flowers from Hornbeam that we never before realised was in our hedges and host upon host of golden daffodils.

I reached 60 this year and Graham 65 so we spent late January in Venice,again fiercely cold but with sun and cloudless blue skies and oh so very quiet,we even had "Tintoretto" to ourselves.Went to France,Tarn and Garonne early summer to visit our son who was living there.

Grahams winter project is an old camper van to mend,very low mileage but parked up for 7 years and lived in so a bit grubby and in much need of his carpentry skills.Think we will try a few forays in the spring and see if it suits.

Venice started this years obsessive interest for me.Saw in an antiquarian shop a string of beautiful old trade beads,made in Venice from the 1800s and used as currency in the African continent,hugely expensive in Venice but a few weeks later a fell over an old trade bead necklace in Dorchester market.Now I know what I am looking for, find a few more concealed as something else on so keep buying as ever,Graham remarks with rancer that at least they dont take up much room.

"Babes" my very tame but wild Sikha deer is still safely around, avoided getting shot or run over.I was looking out of the bedroom window in October when she crept onto the front lawn followed by a very young admirer,it was very much,dont worry,it is quite safe here,this is my private space ,then proceeded to mate with him for a quarter of an hour.My friend Richard the gamekeeper,chortling, told me that we were very privileged to witness this event!

New Years Resolution as ever MINIMALISATION(probably not achievable),get control of Botany landscape keep it tidier,grow more,get control of the bloody rabbits.

High spot of Christmas saw a Red Kite in the field(I know Im sad)but they are so fab and we have loads of Buzzards but I have only seen just one ,over the Bestival site in the summer and one in January last year probably when the food supply was in short supply so there was a need to look further.

Well,heres to 2012,we are still open,still in need of company and extend our good wishes to all the friends we have made B and Bing over the last 25 years.

HAPPY 2012,Thanks and Love to you all.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

May at Botany farmhouse.

Manic May, our guests mused that this place was reminiscent of "the Darling buds of May"Primrose has left home and Ma Larkin is stressing as everything is breeding, growing and needing food!

My quite tame Sikkha deer has given birth at the right time of year for a change, normally she has a bad habit of producing in September when the stags are rutting,so she thinks its a good idea to use my garden because they wont come after her.Its a responsibility I have to fend off dogs and lay the law down to my testosterone fueled youth to drive carefully down the track to avoid mowing her down,I have my rewards,last year she let the tiny fawn gambol around the lawn as I was gardening.I knew she had had it this year because as I was inadvertently gathering sticks in the wood she crashed out of the bushes barking at me,making it clear that that my presence was unwelcome I retreated.Some guests staying in the end bedroom with the window open at night explained that they were woken in the middle of the night by strange squeaking noises,at first light they
looked out of the window to see a tiny fawn hidden behind some flotsam and jetsun

The whole place chirps at the moment we are with greater spotted woodpeckers in quantity,five regular eaters, fighting over the food and now one baby with its distinctive red cap.Graham and I/s quiet coffee was disturbed last week with the arrival of this exotic bird,the like of which I have never seen but I have been told by the better birders that its an escaped cage bird but what?? anybody know.

We had a day off on Sunday and strolled down the path to Arish Mell which was so full of flowers,lots of orchids and a vivid blue cloud of vipers bugloss.

Botany wilderness now,just one insectivorous ugly duckling to white swan!

Friday, 9 May 2008

April Botanyfarm.

Louis has set up this blog, have not blogged before,was quite sure nobody ever reads the stuff but lots of Botany Farmers have complained at the empty space so.....

Oh to be in Dorset now that April is spring bursting around you,just before you get to Botany where the heath stops the beech trees form a welcoming soft limey green tunnel.I was standing in the garden last night marveling at the numerous different shades of green,that includes my liking for blackberry/aubergine coloured leaves,give it a splash of bluebell blue and a dash of vivid siberian wallflower orange and wow but pride always goes before a fall here,a bit of warmth coupled with sea misty wet and there springs up nettles to waist height overnight.I usually use the excuse of a nursery for peacock butterflies but I have come to the conclusion after 30 years here that peacock butterflies are very picky about where they lay their eggs and use a very small proportion of the prairie.
I have spent weeks eagerly anticipating the arrival of the swallows,I know very sad but if you own a rural B and B you dont get out much!it always makes me cry that they have got back safe.We always have swallows nesting in the barn and the woodshed and four house martins nests on the house.I have been here when the martins first arrive,they are like kids visiting a holiday cottage that they know well,the first thing they do is to fly along the house inspecting the state of their nest.It always amazes me that even though the family nest has been wrecked by the winter rain and the Jones/s next door is still perfect,they will set too and repair theirs and not squat!
Like the nettles there is always a down side I spend the summer apologising for a carpet of bird pooh.Now they dont come any more because of the swallows I think.Two years ago we had a strange pair of swallows that spent their life on the telephone wires by the back door,they then decided that my kitchen outhouse was where they were going to nest whatever,the interior was plastered with little turrets of mud,we spent the summer roasting because we could not leave the door open.When the house martins came they harassed them, they had one brood whereas they normally had two and left because of the aggressive neighbours
The swallows returned last year,I think they must have overwintered with a very accommodating Moroccan family,they returned tame and fearless,not satisfied with the outhouse, they would both fly threw the kitchen and pitch on the sitting room door,I would have to clap my hands and shout at them to get rid of them.Back they went to the telephone wires and this year they drove the house martins off fiercely defending their garden.They and four others have had to make do with the barn this year.The barn is alive with them Graham has just bought himself a retirement present of a beautiful shiny blue painted canoe now sheathed in plastic to avoid the pooh.Mixed blessings as ever.
We also have a plague of bloody rabbits that are growing as quickly as the nettles(the only thing they dont eat) we have bought one of those chinese rabbit cages that we bait nightly and daily repatriate two miles up the road onto the army ranges.Rabbits breed so prolithicaly Im not sure if we are keeping up so I was absolutely delighted to disturb a stoat in one of the woodsheds,he is very welcome to all he can eat.
I love flowers wild or not so and the wood is a blue haze of bells but the plant that has given me the most pleasure so far this year is a hybrid anemone that I have never grown before.I planted the corms in February, its called Bordeaux,it has claret coloured petals with a middle disc of regal robe purple and its a stunner,picture provided.Very easy, Botany downside, bloody mice love them,need fiercely defending in infancy.
Love to all Botanyfarmers