Sunday, 8 March 2009

Tulips, snow and a pain in the hoof

Aren't these gorgeous? My lovely husband bought these for me yesterday in Narberth on a little family shopping trip. I adore tulips and these are absolute beauties.

It's been a funny old week really, full of little ups and downs. My concerns about the girls and Welsh and school and everything else to do with that have been rather overshadowed by one of the ponies - Itsy - going lame.

We made an urgent call to our farrier who happened to be in the Preselis anyway and he rushed over, trimmed away part of Itsy's hoof and found an abscess. So since then we have been poulticing and bandaging and Queen Itsy has been enjoying all the attention and the extra cuddles. She is sound again and now we're putting dry dressings on the affected area. She had a visit from the vet too, but only for a tetanus jab. We caught the problem so early it didn't need antibiotics.

It's a familiar problem for us as my old Thoroughbred Jamie used to regularly get gravel, to give it its correct name. At least once a year we'd be poulticing and bandaging and injecting him with Streptopen. I hope Itsy isn't going to make this a habit!

Just when we thought spring had sprung winter arrived back with us this week, albeit only briefly. At the back of this picture, behind the trees, you should be able to see the tallest of the Preseli Hills, but it's been on its holidays this week. We have had quite a bit of misty weather and when that happens the hills just disappear. I think it finally had enough of the weather, packed its bags and headed off to the Maldives. Who could blame it?

But maybe spring is finally arriving. From where I am sitting now I can see snowdrops, teeny native Welsh daffodils and a hellebore shyly coming into bloom. I've planted my onion sets and transplanted the garlic from the polytunnel, so things are beginning to come together again. The garlic this year had to go into individual modules inside as the ground was so wet in the autumn I just couldn't get it planted. Over the winter months it grew into very healthy mini garlic plants and I was very impressed to see such long, strong roots on the plants too.

The other thing I have been doing this week is building a dry stone wall to edge the border and the lawn in the back garden. This means scouring the farm for slates that have risen to the surface over the winter and plundering the big heap of rocks that Mum had piled up ready for wall building purposes. I'm quite pleased with the effect - I'll post a picture of it when it's finished.


  1. Gorgeous tulips. I bought some pink ones yesterday for my daughter's birthday table and have them on my desk today, where I can get the full effect.
    A dry stone wall - I am impressed. I hope you'll post photos. We have stone to spare here, and I've often looked at articles on dry stone walls and thought I'd like to try (or put the Great Dane to trying!)

  2. Sounds like you've been keeping busy. Don't worry too much - Itsy's only had two abscesses in her entire life - one as a 2 yr old and one about 3 yrs ago. I bet it's a front foot, as she had heat in it before she came to you. I mentioned it to John (farrier) just before she came down to you, and he said he couldn't find anything, but it would surface eventually . . . I mentioned it to your dearly beloved too and said to keep an eye open. 3 months is a while to brew up though so perhaps a different bit of gravel now! Your fields are far better drained than ours (which were like a swamp), so you should be OK I would think.

    Glad the drama queen is on the mend now anyway . . .

  3. Beautiful tulips - certainly a cheering sight on a rather bleak day.

    Dry stone-walling is quite a project - I think part of the art is only picking up each stone once, so a good eye for size and shape is a necessity. Would love to see the finished project.

  4. Lovely tulips and they go really well with that gorgeous table cloth too!

    Haven't done dry stone walling but I did build a "little" wall in the front garden with left over bricks from the extension. I laid then front to back longways and on the diagonal, so that when you look at the wall they are in diamonds. They lock together because of that format and it's a really solid wall, if i say so myself. x

  5. I love tulips too. Can't wait for them to be out in the garden. I can't believe you are building a dry stone wall - you are a woman of many talents!

  6. Walls are built that much quicker if you only pick up each stone once; part of the skill is in assessing which one to pick! Look forward to seeing the end result.

  7. Those tulips are ravishing, Mags. Poor Itsy, sore feet (I think I have an inkling as to how she feels). I could see how much snow you had over your way from my study, it looks very beautiful in your post but I'm glad it didn't hang around.

    And then you throw in a bit about making a dry stone wall! You're a very handy woman to know, Mags, with all your skills. I think that's a bunch of beautiful flowers every week, eh, Brian?

  8. Gorgeous tulips, my favourites too. Gorgeous tablecloth. Hasn't the return of winter been a shock? My veggie beds are all being rebuilt so there are no overwintered crops for me to transplant, a real fresh start this year.

  9. Absolutely love the tulips, think they are my favourite of all (until another one comes along, I am bit fickle I fear).
    So impressed at the dry stone wall. That is quite something.
    Hope Itsy is on the mend and the school issues are resolving themselves.

  10. Oh I love tulips too Mags. Hope winter has finally left you now and sunny (!) spring is on its way xx

  11. Thanks for calling to see my purple coo! Your tulips are perfect. Spring is well and truly on its way!!


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