Well, the squirrels did’nt eat all the crocuses! A sweet little cluster of purple heads have started to appear by the silver birch and dotted into the lawn. They don’t last long but are a lovely little treat if you take the short cut down past the mulberry tree at the moment. We currently have a resident pheasant who has so far escaped the camera but he’s clearly enjoying sitting on the garden wall where he’s able to survey things from a good height. The swans are very active at the moment, flying low over the garden and on to the fields beyond. I don’t think we could ever get bored with the wonder of them flying overhead. The other day we were on the bridge over the Wye and five or six flew over us (and one flew under us!) – magical.
There’s a general sense of Spring being in the air. Mel has been spring-cleaning the office and now has zero-tolerance of anything being dumped in there for repairs or on its eventual way to somewhere else! Sweet peas and various kinds of veg seed have been sown in pots ready for planting out later in the year. We’ve also bought some plants for starting to plant up the kitchen yard for this year. This week Steve and Dave decided the time had come to take down an old and ailing fir tree by the corner of the barn. It’s been cut fairly high and we plan to grow a clematis through it so it will live on as a piece of natural sculpture. Mentioning this was really only an excuse to include a picture of Dave in his balaclava – there’s a very brisk wind coming up the valley at the moment!
Having said farewell to Manda Scott’s two shamanic groups last week who we loved having in the house, we’re joined this evening by Burgs and his crew for a seven day meditation retreat. The meditation retreats are wonderful to have here and we hope to be able to sit with them this week.
Anyway, more from us soon!
Mel & Steve
Poulstone Court Retreat Centre
Well, we haven’t got to the blog for a few weeks. Mel had several weeks of flu last month and was out of action. Still, there are silver linings to most things – she discovered she wasn’t indispensable and also lost a few Christmas pounds!
Despite the nocturnal bulb eating forays of the local rabbit population, we still have at least some lovely bulbs bursting into colour – the snowdrops are coming up amongst the dogwoods and around the place, and crocuses and daffodils are beginning to appear. There should be lots of colour in a week or so. We also planted some bulbs in rows up in the veg patch for picking for the dining tables, and as we wait for the group to arrive today, the tables look lovely with daffs and helibores on them.
We’re starting to get busy in the veg plot. Gail’s bringing up manure from the compost area and has been planting onions this week. Steve’s mowing the lawn today for the first time this year which always smartens the garden up after the winter. After weeks of mainly greyness, it’s a lovely Spring day here today. Hilary is on Iona having a much deserved rest and so the lovely Ellie, who some of you may have met last year, is cooking for us for the next few days. We have two shamanic groups coming in this week back-to-back so we should be busy. Since last writing, we’ve had a large group of lively masseurs (and masseuses!) here doing the residential part of their training and we’ve had a seven day silent meditation retreat since then. Quite different energies – which is one of the pleasures of running the place!
Gail’s also quite an accomplished seamstress and has recently made roman blinds for most of the bathrooms, recycling some old curtains that had been languishing in the housekeeping cupboard for years. She’s also adding thermal lining to existing curtains which should make things cosier after stepping out of the shower in the winter months.
That’s all for now. Time to meet and greet!
Mel & Steve xx
Poulstone Court Retreat Centre