Curiously May arrives at Stanton’s door looking a lot like spring, only drier. Many of Spring’s jobs can be attempted now and two of these on the Stanton work calendar have been done on time. The chicken shed is still a construction site but developing slowly.
The orchard has been pruned the stems now bare and prickly like a school boys haircut. The resultant prunings collected, heaped and burnt in a larger field fire adding to a simple yet exhilirating country pleasure, that of the open air, cold night bonfire under the stars.
May at Stanton starts always with an illumination of the pine trees on the first day of May. Each year a bonfire worthy into a Lord of the Rings script is constructed and lit to highlight a certain person’s pagan birthday inclinations and to bring friends together with a red wine in a rural atmosphere.
Stanton knows the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Her seven chimneys twitch when sensing the new outdoor smell; an arousing mixture of smoke and fog carrying sounds of joyous conversation around the house
Some souls just stand and stare at the embers or the dancing flames alone with their thoughts: convicts would have done the same 200 years ago on May Day in this remote outpost of Georgian England.
They were creating a new life at Stanton, now we are maintaining and cultivating an existing life here with friends and guests.
Pruning of roses is a practical endeavour in May and the Stanton roses are the essence of the place. Trimming and shaping them is a cheerful job albeit a painful one at times plans are afootnow to order new Hybrid tea and Floribunda varieties with a view to planting a new rose garden overlooking the vegie patch and the chook house (called ‘Stanton Ovation’).
Corby grubs and aphids are noticeable around the house and will be the focus of a campaign to make them uncomfortable.
A start is to be made with plenty of detergent and water plus vegie oil, water and a hard working blender. If Peter Cundall were here he would be in “garden Army” mode just hearing about it all.
A new line of Tasmanian blue gums now squats at the Eastern end of the cherry orchard giving an Australian flavour to an English scene.
Trees in Tasmania are not placed singly as lonely sentries to a property, more phalanx-like as statements of an ordered world. Perhaps a line of majestic oak may be a Stanton look for its next 200 years.
May is an intriguing month as the end of Autumn comes in fast catching the unprepared. Winter is not far off and with it the fog and frosty mornings. Nathan, Stanton’s carpenter has a project to undertake before this grey weather sets in, turning a conceptual idea into an imposing wooden fixture. Winter is always about motivation and zest for life.
18 Jul 2010 admin