The scarecrow’s head is coming off. At least it looks that way to me but Michael reckons it’s not and it’s just that his chest has sunk a bit. Whatever it is, I think he’s going to have to be restuffed before too long. The scarecrow, not Michael. I dread to think what the state of his insides will be – there’s probably a collection of disgusting small animals living inside his trousers (again – the scarecrow, not Michael! )
He was our first attempt though, and he’s not too bad looking. I think when he has his reboot I’m going to dress him as a fifteenth century archer; the clothes should be easy enough, I’ll just have to find him a longbow from somewhere. By the way that’s not some bizarre head we’ve given him, it’s the home brew.
I like the scarecrow for lots of reasons, not least because the garden at this time of year is a pretty gloomy sort of place and he’s the most colourful thing out there. Other people, more committed than us, have fantastic gardens whatever the season. Who knows, we might get there but it’s hard work and bloody expensive. But we’ve planted plenty of bulbs for the spring and my pig trough is full of cyclamen, heather and ivy. And look! Some holly! I don’t know how long it’ll last because it’s just a motley assortment of holly twigs I found out on a walk the other day but it’s pretty enough for the moment.
There’s a huge amount of holly around this year. Everywhere we go there are trees completely covered in red berries, so I’ll be carrying a plastic bag and secateurs on every walk soon. Between the countryside and the garden it’s a bit like living in a giant, open-air shop. After the elderflower in May (cordial), garden produce right through the summer (peas, beans, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes), we had blackberries and elderberries (crumbles from the first and jam from the second) and then rosehips (marmalade coming soon; apparently the seeds are very itchy – on your hands if you touch them and on a different part of you if you’ve eaten them. Best make sure all the seeds are out, then).
Finally – and bizarrely, given the weather – I picked a small dish of raspberries this week, the day before it snowed. It’s a pity we can’t eat holly!