Looks like the White Helleborine where the old tyre swing used to be will open in the next day or so. How accurate is that?

UPDATE: There are two of them and they’re both open now (April 20th).

I’ve got to go and make dinner in a minute, so I’ll make this quick.

Here’s a shot of the treehouse I’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks for our kids:


Here’s a detail of what you can do with mid-20th-Century coping saw and absolutely no training ever (in the background you can see our straw-bale grey-water system for the kitchen waste):


This is what the sand filter looks like this evening:


With mud taken from what will be a reed bed, above the willow trench, for the soon-to-exist solar shower:


Overlooked from a distance by some Lady Orchids:


And from a longer distance by a bunch of Early Purples (that I keep calling Purple Sprouting) by the veggie patch:


At the opposite end of which are some of those Burnt Orchids “anonymous” was interested in:


Round the corner from a field Her Outdoors has hand-sown with animal-feed crops for the coming winter:


Here’s Luna, our probably pregnant bunny:


And Starsky, whose the daddy:


Near some guinea fowl you haven’t seen yet:


And it’d be rude not to publish a cheeky photo of my Silky cock:


Right. That’s it for now. Bye.

In the last week, after putting in several days’ effort on some impressive leafage, our first Lady Orchid flowered on the slope just below the pig woods. And today I saw some Burnt Orchids (a personal favourite – ridiculously beautiful) outside the polytunnel, which must have come up in the last few days.

Not quite as scientifically precise as scientists might want, but maybe they just need to get out of the lab more.

Weather-wise (bearing in mind we’ll be open this time next year) this week has been mainly: Coldish mornings then baking hot every day, up to around 35C. This is Definitely Not Normal, unless it is, in which case next week’s forecasted lower temperatures with a couple of showers may or may not be abnormal either.

I just can’t do this science stuff.

There’s nature blooming everywhere at the moment! Trees are budding, the hawthorne have turned a particularly lurid spring green, the grass is lush and just now, up by the tractor shed, I saw the year’s first orchid. (I think it was waiting for the rain that started last night; it’s been very dry.) A bit early to tell but it looks like an Early Purple. I’ll take a photo when I get round to it.

If you can’t wait till then, click on the orchid label below.

Apart from being ill for a few days (and discovering I’m not very good at it – what’s the point in being this fit and healthy if you’re too weak to do anything with it?), I’ve been working on the first guest yurt platform…


…the outdoor kitchen/eating area…


…and the compost toilet.


But I couldn’t help noticing that the pyramid orchids are through.


(For precision-oriented nature watchers, Her Outdoors said they came up about a week ago.)

Following the recent “Day of the Orchid” date-based écovallée scientific study, we saw the first Burnt Orchids today. They could have come up yesterday and not been noticed. But it won’t have been much before that.

More on this, later.

Today we saw our first Early Purple orchids poking through the ground, between the veggie patch and the tractor. We think it’s a bit later than last year, but can’t know for sure. Next year, I’ll be able to tell you with something approaching scientific accuracy.

(Reading “Song of the Dodo” at the moment, after a few years of resistance. Predictably, it’s brilliant. Makes island biogeography a subject you’d want to queue up to study.)