Last month I was in America and had an incredible day with Martha Stewart at her out of town estate in the Bedford Hills, about an hour from Manhattan. We loved her dining room aviary of Red Factor Canaries – which are played Brahms and Mozart night and day to keep them happy and they’re fed anthocyanin pigment things like carrots, paprika, cherries, cayenne pepper, beets, and sweet potatoes so their brilliant colour stays zingy flamingo-orange.
Then there was her copper pan collection – a good seventy strong – which had recently been sent off to be re-tinned; and Martha’s new stable block built to house her matching set of glossy sixteen hand black beauties.
More for the rest of us, I loved her idea of making a bird-feeder wreath using a cheap pine circle and wiring it with cones, which have been rolled first in peanut butter and then bird seed. I’ve just made one with silver birch and the by now skeletal Hydrangea petiolaris seed heads, which grows here on a shady north-facing wall.
I’ve pushed in the few remaining branches of plump Viburnum berries we have left in the garden and the odd teasel, adding Martha’s seed studded pinecones, as well as wired dried apple slices and monkey nuts to boot. Every time I open the door, there’s a triumphant flurry of garden birds. There are Blue Tits and Great Tits, Sparrows, Robins and the odd Nut Hatch, feeding upside down. They’re loving it and I’m loving them.
Thanks for reading!