I've nearly finished principal planting on the middle island out front. There's a revision to make (some roses need moving) and I'll be doing that in the next few days. I've also got to get in some currants. Mostly though it's done. The side bit I'll do in the next few weeks.
It's turning into a very busy Spring this year, but that work and expense will sort me out for years.
Ellie, my niece, loves birds. Planes too, but mostly birds. If it flies it becomes an instant object of fascination, though a bird on the ground is just as interesting to her. So yesterday I put a bird feeding pole into the middle bit and in so doing gave Ellie the first serious responsibility she's had in her fourteen months of life: filling up the tubes. She's also picked up a few new words. We sat on the floor and did it together, grabbing handfuls of nuts (or nuss) from a bag and dropping them into a wire tube. I screwed the lid back on and we went outside together to hang it from the hook. We filled two plastic tubes with sids (seeds), hung fa-ball (fat balls) from hooks and put sute (a suet feast) into a cage and together we hung all of these on hooks. She needed help getting the rings over the hooks, but her hand was on it so now she's got the gist of how it goes. I also poured out a goodly number of urms (mealworms) onto a wire tray halfway up the pole.
She laughed and had a right old time. We got as many sids on the carpet as we did in a tube! Anything that involves using her hands, getting messy and getting outside will always meet with her approval. So now she has a job: refilling the tubes whenever they empty. She'll learn about duty in a way that's fun, which is a great start. Meanwhile the pole is outside her window, so when she wakes up before her mum she can go to the window and watch birds instead of getting into cupboards and eating the sudocrem.
Now to see if we can encourage Bill to stay in at dawn and dusk...