I have to admit we’ve really enjoyed lockdown – runner beans, courgettes, chard, spinach have been planted and hopefully our guests will be sampling them throughout the summer. Long walks in our wonderful woods and fields have uplifted and amazed us with the huge diversity of plants, insects and butterflies.
Our nettle patches have rewarded us with nests of Peacock and Small Tortoishell caterpillars, the latter should hopefully make a lovely show in late Autumn, before winter hibernation. The Peacocks, Red Admirals, Commas and Gatekeepers are out in full glory with the summer sun.
Our resident hares have remained and are even tamer than before – 3 were only babies last year and it’s lovely to see them as young independent adults.
There are 2 chicks hatched this year – both boys to add to our cockerel collection, child guests really enjoy petting them. We love to hear the cockerels crowing, and the hens are laying well despite their old age. We’ve enjoyed watching a big hare gambolling in the fields as we took advantage of the glorious views from the comfort of Bumble Barn’s lounge, watching the clouds drift by and the grass rippling like a green ocean as far as the eye can see, listening to the spirited bird song. We discovered a beautifully crafted wasp’s nest in this drawer with little and large very docile wasps – we’re happy to leave them alone as they are good pollinators and pest eaters and seeming to like climbing hydrangeas. An old wasp’s nest in an old shed, has been taken over by cuckoo bees, while the bee hotel Malcolm made is nearly fully occupied.
We were so lucky to find a Bee orchid on the near-by bank, which explodes with butterflies as you walk by. So many different wild flowers with numerous orchids abound there as the red kites soar above. We’re so happy that guests can now come and enjoy what we’ve been revelling in this year.
The local George Inn (www.thegeorgeonstonestreet.co.uk), only a few minutes walk away is now open (booking essential for drinks and meals) as are many of the local attractions with tickets needed to be purchased prior to visiting. Many of the beaches are still quite secluded – Botany Bay, near Margate, is fantastic with its amazing cliffs and chalk stacks.