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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Chickens

This rather gorgeous little point of lay hen is a Crested from Heidi's Happy Hens.  We were determined to restock the chooks since we'd suffered a few unavoidable losses (from soil eating, of all things) and were down to Nessa, the ex battery hen and Isabel the White Star. For ages and ages I had wanted some form of Cotswold Legbar hybrid, partly because of the beautiful feathers and punk haircut, and partly because they have an 80% chance to lay a blue/green egg.  So now we have Rosie!  She hasn't starter to lay yet, I think it's a tad too nippy still and she's still maturing.  I am hopeful though!  The other chicken is a Copper Black and her name is Mabel.  She's beautiful too, and should in time lay darker brown eggs.

Here they are in the cat carrier (best way to transport a couple of chickens!).  The cat carrier is also ideal for freaking out people at the vets who peek in hoping to see a lovely cat *evil grin*

Here are all 4 chickens in the Omlet Eglu (with run extension).  They need the bottom of the run levelling and re-filling, as you can see they have performed some major excavation work!  Also please note, white chickens do not stay white for long!

"Whatchoo lookin at?"

Monday, 4 March 2013

Spring! Better luck this year

So, this blog really had bit a bit sad and lonely for the last year.  After last year's perils of torrential rain and flooding over much of the UK for most of the summer the ground was saturated, the slugs were everywhere. Literally no man standing after planting out your seedlings and leaving them overnight, and as for direct planting, pah!  They even ate all the developing pumpkins off a bought pumpkins plant.  I had even gone to the trouble of applying the trusty Nemaslug! I was not impressed.  But all is not lost, with every new Spring comes fresh opportunity and a new wave of hopefulness that this year there will be a bit of sun....even in England.

Turn the page and we find ourselves in March.  I have high hopes for March, even though a cold snap is promised near the middle of the month.  Undeterred I have made the majority of my seed purchases and made a hefty start to the weeding.  So what am I planning to grow this year?  So far the list is something like Leeks, Tomatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes, Courgette, Runner Beans, Peas, Potatoes, Kale and Chard.  I might end up putting a few patches of extras in though, my seed box overfloweth!  Again I am hoping to combine vegetables with pretty herbs and flowers in my perpetual thirst for an Alice Fowler style vegetable garden (seems I have made it harder for myself with long wide beds).  There are still some plants in from last year; strawberries and chives.  I've also planted this years Garlic (late!) as well as 3 of the biggest cloves of last years Elephant Garlic.

I must also mention that a very sad thing happened at the end of November 2012, Lenny, my oldest Greyhound died.  I am still pretty gutted about not seeing his furry, loving face any more, but consoling myself with the thought that he had lots of love from us, and a good long life full of seaside trips and castles and gardens since he was 8 (when I adopted him from kennels).  I have had him cremated and am keeping his ashes for now, when the others go I will mix their ashes and find a place to scatter them together.
A Greyhound should be free to run with the wind, as they did in life.  R.I P. my lovely little Lenny ♥