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Mike's Blog - Day 78

A pic of our most tame sheep, Smartie.

One of the first to be caught to get sheared, the fleeces on these sheep are extremely thick and it must have felt a lot better on Monday when it came off. She’ll probably be shivering today now it’s turned cold again, but nice to see some decent rain at last.

Claire started digging out the tulips on Monday that looked great on Day 27. I was worried they might be hard to get out as the ground was so hard and baked, or they had withered too much and it would be hard to find the old bulbs, but they came out well. We can start to plant the last of the bedding in there next.

I wasn’t able to get hold of Dahlias for that bed this year so its probably going to be a bit of a mess. We will just plant what we have left in the greenhouse to fill it up, and there are all sorts of odds and ends. I don’t know if block planting would be better or just mix the lot up, it will be colourful if nothing else. No Britain in Bloom judges this year so we can’t go too far wrong.

On the right of the tulip picture there is a plant on the top of the stone wall. It’s very dry there, but this Cistus /Rock Rose thrives.

Here is a close-up.

Its leaves are sticky, and there is a species of this that grows in Crete. “The sticky stuff” gets caught up in the hair of goats as they graze and people have harvested it from the goats hair for centuries. This raw material is called Labdamum and is still used today in the perfume industry. In ancient times it is thought it was used to help make the false beards the pharaohs wore, perhaps this is where the term “goatee” comes from for a chin beard!