Posted by: kathandroger | May 13, 2018

Frome, flowers and the Badger Barrier.

Modern travel is wonderful. About 80 euros for a return flight to Stanstead in the UK and another 80 for car hire for three days. Lovely little car as well, nearly new and nippy. I had ordered a Ford Focus, and was extolling the virtues of the vehicle as I arrived in Frome when I noticed it was a Vauxhall Astra! Daughter one was visiting daughter two having traveled from Australia and a few days were spent with the offspring in the West Country. What a lovely town. Steep cobbled roads with dozens of independent shops and loads of nice cafes and pubs. But the best thing is the friendliness of the inhabitants and the general ambiance of the place. It has apparently been voted the most popular town in the UK recently, but how that works I have no idea. From a walk in a Dorset bluebell wood, to lunch in a very pretty county pub, the visit could not have gone better. Sarah, the daughter from Oz, needs to come back for her “fix” of the old motherland, and she could not have seen it looking better; we even had hot sunshine and Clares’ three year old twins spent the day running around nude in the garden. I didn’t. And it only takes less than half a day to get back to France. The world is a small place.

The Badger Barrier seems to be working so far. The new chicks have now been given the run of the orchard and are clucking merrily. No eggs yet of course, but I reckon they will start laying in the next few weeks. They are still very timid, however, and don’t yet come scurrying over with wildly flapping wings when I offer them some scraps. I read that badgers don’t like nasty smells, and so the back gate has been draped with deterrents.IMG_3965
The rags are soaked in a selections of odious odours, Jeyes Fluid, Essence de Parabenthine, Diesel, and the contents of the male bladder. If Brock makes his way past that lot his sense of smell will be so confused that I hope he will forget what he was chasing. Oh, and the hole under the bottom of the gate has been filled with concrete…that should at least blunt his claws a little.

This year we have been a bit tardy with the vegetable garden. The autumn broad beans and peas are almost ready, and we have been eating overwintered lettuce, but I only planted carrots and the other roots a day or two ago. I reckon we are all too keen to start each year and I don’t think a week or two, given our cold weather recently, will make much difference. The chard and perpetual spinach have bolted, but are still edible, and it is easy to strip the leaves off leaving the plant in the ground.IMG_3967And somehow it seems to make the dogs’ ears stand on end.

Our local orchids are still everywhere. This year there seems to be a huge influx of Butterfly Orchids. Each time I see them I mean to take a photo, but forget, so first thing this morning I crept into the neighbours’ field and couldn’t find any in full bloom. This is the nearest I could find.IMG_3968
A bit further along the bank was a green orchid I have not seen before..IMG_3969
It’s not a Twayblade, or a Lizard, so I guess it is a Frog Orchid. Don’t orchids have lovely names?


  1. Man Orchid Orchis anthropophora. The white one further up is Narrow-leaved Helleborine Cephalanthera longifolia.

    • Thankyou Susan, I guessed that my wild stab at identification would be corrected! We have at least 6 varieties in 100 metres of scrub over the road…I have never seen so many.

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