Thursday, December 10, 2015

Porlock Marsh

Every two months we receive an email from Exmoor National Park Tourism keeping us updated with the latest news. I thought you would love to see this extract showing a YouTube video of the Tides at Porlock Marsh

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rob and Len

At the end of October Rob and Len took part in a Hunter Trial at Pontispool Equestrian Centre, nr Taunton. It was a beautiful autumn day, which you can see by the colour of the tree in the background of the photo. They had a great time and now Jo our stable help who regularly exercises Len for Rob when he is away will be entering some dressage competitions over the winter.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Old Chicken Shed

This October has been glorious, beautiful warm sunny days and we have been without rain for the majority of the month. I decided as the weather was so good I would do as many outside jobs as possible before the onset of rain and winter. I have therefore been out with the creosote brush. The front gate is looking very good and I have just finished the old chicken shed, which isn't used for chickens but storing all the garden seats for the winter. I will bring the seats out in the spring and then give the a coat of Cuprinol.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Burrow Farm Garden

This autumn we are having a splendid array of colours in the garden. The summer's on and off rain has been perfect for some of the herbaceous perennial plants. The Kniphofia is looking the best it has every been and obviously enjoys a lot of moisture. I always thought they were happy with the ground being relatively dry, but I must be wrong.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Ploughing completed

Derek has now ploughed the three acre field and with a few adjustments the refurbished plough did its job. The earth has been harrowed and this weekend the grass seed was sown and hopefully with good weather this September we should see the grass sprouting by the end of the month.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mallard Family in the Garden

At the end of June we had a family of Mallard ducks arrive in the garden. The female must have laid her eggs somewhere in one of my flower beds because suddenly one day there she was strutting around the garden with four baby ducklings. Unfortunately one has since died. We do not have a pond so I have put our a cat litter tray for them near the bird feeder. They are doing very well and I am now putting our special duck food instead of bird food. Hopefully they will be big enough to fly away soon as my garden is looking a trashed mess as they like to take short cuts through the flower beds and I feel very guilty if I disturb them with any weeding I want to do. Mind you they aren't too distressed by the lawnmower. My neighbour opposite has a lake, so I guess that is where the mother originated.

Hemlock Weed along the Stream

Since the exceptional wet spring of 2014 the poisonous weed Hemlock Water Droplet has taken over our stream to such an extent that we are now having to dig it out. It is also known as 'Dead Man's Fingers' because of the 5 roots which look like parsnips. It is extremely poisonous to animals and man. It is very hard work to dig up so we are spending an hour each weekend working our way up the stream. It can be killed by 'Round-up' in the spring when it is small before it flowers, so I will look out for what is left in 2016 to spray. We are taking it away to make a heap and will burn it in the autumn.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Indian Runner Ducks

Two weeks ago we bought three Indian Runner ducks from the agricultural market at Wheddon Cross when they had a poultry & duck sale, along with farm bric-a-brac. Unfortunately very few ducks were sexed so we have taken a chance when buying these three and just hope they are not all drakes. I am not sure what colour they will be when they are fully grown, as their downy baby feathers are a chocolate brown, but the new feathers underneath could be brown or black. We'll have to wait. At the moment they are in a small run and kept in the old chicken shed at night until they are big enough to go on the main pond and join our other ducks.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Summer Project

This year I am planning to work my way along the back of the Old Dog Kennels and Duck house and around the walls at the end of the Medieval Barn pointing all the stonework. I have finished pointing the Kennels and am now working on the walls at the end of the Barn. I am pointing up the areas of stonework that are not contaminated with Ivy. The plan is to make as much of the stonework stable before I start taking down the stones and removing the Ivy. Work is going quite well, but I think it will take me all summer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Orchids in the Bog Field

We have a five acre field which is very wet and we can't cultivate it, so we allow a farmer to graze his sheep on it during the winter which really helps maintain it and encourage the wild flowers. This June while walking around the field I noticed a group of wild orchids which I have never seen before and are obviously very happy multiplying in the field. I 'googled' wild orchids and found information about the orchid growing in our field and apparently it is one of several Dactylorhiza orchids, known as the ‘spotted orchids’. In the UK it is locally common in southern England and it favours marshy ground.

The Plough

This year we have decided to plough up the three acre field as the grass in this field is not very good for making hay as it is the thick grassed variety. However we don't have a plough! I investigated the cost of a contractor to plough the field in the autumn, but because it is such a small area is would be expensive. So we decided to buy an old three furrow plough which Rob collected from Okehampton and brought back for Derek (my brother) to repair and update as he would be doing the ploughing. We were also given an old plough for spare parts.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cottage Kitchen Wall

After removing a very large and overgrown Forsythia shrub which was growing in the corner and over one of the cottage kitchen windows, we now have to do repairs to the wall and painting. The plan is to finish this by Easter and I have purchased an interesting Hydrangea to go in the corner, one with green and cream leaves, so I hope it settles into it's new home.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sparky's Oak Tree

Sadly last summer we lost Rob's horse Sparky with a very sudden colic attack and although he was rushed to Bristol for an operation which he came through, his stomach did not start working properly, so after three days we had to make a very sad decision.
This winter we have planted a very splendid 12ft Oak tree which we bought from a tree specialist near Taunton. We have planted it with his ashes at the end of a hedge line where we can see it every day. Sparky a once in a lifetime horse. xxx