"Brought away Mrs. Snooke's old tortoise, Timothy, which she values so much, & had treated kindly for near 40 years. When dug out of it's hybernaculum, it resented the insult by hissing."
Gilbert White 1780
Most of the weekend was spent raking, weeding, pruning and beating back the brambles. Satisfying toil against unruly nature as Richard Mabey puts it. I'm not leaving it very ruly, but want to get the big work done now rather than turf some little critter like Timothy the Tortoise or Betty the Bumblebee out of his or her hybernaculum in the middle of winter. With the help of the azada (which I can't recommend highly enough) I've grubbed up an area big enough for the planned hen run. This would have taken three times as long using a spade or fork. And then I built an almighty compost heap (my best ever) and moistened it with lashings of dilute widdle. However, rather than illustrate that, the picture below marks the progress of the oats sown 6 weeks ago.