A DELICIOUS scent wafts through the kitchen. A large pan filled with lemons, elderflowers, sugar and water calls out for a stir every time I walk past it to the pantry.

I am trying my hand at making elderflower cordial after deciding there is no time to lose before the white flowers lining the hedgerows on my afternoon walk with the dogs, discolour, fade and die.

In truth I have been spurred on by my friend Stephanie’s news that she has just finished bottling her latest batch of elderflower cordial. And memories of a refreshing, elderflower-infused sparkling drink concocted by my friend Julia.

As I had almost left it too late to pick the elderflowers, I have now made two batches of cordial and frozen a bagful of flower heads in the hope when the elderflower harvest has passed, and all my cordial drunk, I might resurrect summer flavours.

The dogs are a little impatient when I interrupt their walk to scour the hedgerows.

They love their daily excursions, no sooner hearing the Gator starting up than Millie, our little Jack Russell, is pawing at the door and Moss the spaniel and Fizz have leapt into the back.

At home Fizz , a sheepdog, has a new favourite watch point. Usually she is to be found behind the front gate, but now she guards the paddling pool in the paddock that is used by the ducks, hens and geese.

Eight ducklings hatched out under a large black hen, the youngest birds in the paddock have started to explore their surroundings and rather spurned the green plastic pool in favour of the real thing. The discovery of the paddock pond has brought them joy and sheer panic to the hen.

While they paddle and dabble, she paces the pond surround clucking her disapproval and imploring them to get back to dry land. They ignore her.

Meanwhile our remaining gosling (the others have died) has suffered a set back. Whether as a result of a fall out with a rat or crow, it is now blind in one eye.

This has put a brake on its independence and, despite the fact that it is now almost double the size of its foster mum (a hen), it still follows her everywhere, pitifully peeping away if she is not in his immediate vicinity.

Four more goose eggs are due to hatch soon. Let’s hope we have better luck with them.