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Monday, 21 May 2012

Oh Good Morning!

It was a busy Monday morning, Henry has his final school exams going on at the moment, he is coping very well so far.  He has always been pretty laid back if I leave him be.  He isn't exactly a ray of sunshine in the morning but he takes after his mother!  Euan has been cough, cough, coughing pretty much non stop, so he was bleary eyed.  The dog is a sweetheart and 'asks' me for food when she wants it, she likes breakfast and dinner.  The chickens also need breakfast and letting out.  If I don't get out there early the chickens make their feelings known and you can hear them loudly clucking!  For the sake of the neighbours I try to get out there asap.  I live in a very noisy street though, so I am not to troubled by the noise the Chooks make, it is my payback for other peoples late nights, dogs barking, kids yelling, teenagers coming and going at all hours, cars revving etc etc.  If you can't beat them, join them.  Any noise me and mine make justs add to the hub bub.  As long as we are not the noisiest I figure that is ok.  This morning look what greeted me in the garden.  Wow, the first Poppy of the year.  Isn't she a beauty.  It looks like there will be plenty more where that came from too:
I thought I just discovered a stray egg in the picture, but I remember now, I chucked egg shells around the base of my Camellia.
              Today it has finally felt like May, the Sun has had his hat on.  It was lovely to get home from work and have some warm sunshine.  It motivated me to get out in the garden at last.  I found the very last of last years harvest.
  What a whopper!  I think this leek may be as tough as old boots!
Here is 'Chicken Proofed' Alcatraz.  I have to remove the fences to do any gardening.  Last week Euan and I weeded the raised beds and the chickens gobbled worms as fast as they could, they slurp them like spaghetti and ate loads of them.  I put them in their coop as they are just too helpful in the garden.  I was out for about and hour and a half and the poor things did not stop whinging and complaining the whole time they were cooped.
The poor things.  It was only because I was in earshot and they really think they should be out if I am.  I was determined to sow some seeds though and get the bean poles ready.  I planted two types of beetroot, some dwarf  peas, swede, turnips and kale in the raised beds.  I planted some oca in a large container.  Oca is a new one on me.  It is like a small potato.  I will let you know how I get on.  I should have photographed it for you as it is a bit weird.  Check out this link for Oca to read more about it.  If you have grown it, tried it, cooked it, eaten it, do let me know what you think....

   I planted the potatoes about a month ago and the spinach is left over from last year.  My next job will be weeding this bed.  The spinach is soon destined for soup or curry.
Meet my Fartychokes.  Jerusalem Artichokes.  They are delicious and come back every year.  Sadly now we just enjoy them for their tall yellow 'sunflowers' as when consumed they have some most unfortunate side effects which have earned them their pet name.  In the name of good manners I shall just leave it there, nuff said!

This used to be the chicken naive!  It is a large pen and more than adequate for a chicken run, but it simply isn't good enough for my girls!  They need half of the garden.  The biggest half no less.  Rhubarb is supposed to be poisonous to chickens so they leave it alone.  My chickens did not read that page of the book and ransack the rhubarb, hence the rhubarb is now penned in the chicken pen.  It seems to be their favourite and they would scratch it to oblivion.
The soft fruit is looking promising.  This old blackcurrant bush is heavily laden again.  The raspberries are also coming along ok.  They are not fenced off yet...  I don't know what to do about them.  I am sure as the fruit ripens it will take a greedy chicken ten minutes to strip the whole bush.  The rhubarb may be set free and the chickens penned again.  It is funny watching them jump for the fruit though.  Chickens can do quite high standing jumps and 'boing' like they are on springs for ripe juicy berries.  
          When my gardening was done and I had watered thoroughly and replaced the fences, I went to the coop to find three noisy, disgruntled girls.  They were elated to see me.  I opened the door to the coop and they shot out like 'grease lightening'.  
I love this photograph!  I know it is not the most aesthetic part of my garden.  I like it up there though.  As soon as the door is opened these girls move like a trio of 'Road Runners'.  Beep beep!  Just look at the speed and gusto in their sprint for freedom!  After the impertinence of their incarceration here they are doing what chickens love to do best;
Scratching and pecking.
Here's to hoping this is the first sunny day of many.  xxx


  1. I got so many smiles from that post! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful garden adventures.

  2. Yay for gardens and chickens! I don't know much about gardening, but it looks like things are coming along nicely! And that has got to be the largest leek I've ever seen. Ever. I need to learn to like more vegetables...I prefer them cooked but Bryon prefers them raw. What to do? Do you have any trouble with those things with your boys?

    PS- best of luck to Evan and Henry here at the end of term!

  3. Fun post, my friend. I miss my chickens so much. After we get back from WA DC we'll get some more. I got such a kick out of the chicken Alcatraz! It does look like a war zone out there a bit.. LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Your garden is alive with activity, wonderful stuff!

  5. Lucy your garden looks great you put me to shame with all those delicious veges, my allotment still has many 'empty' patches! I had the same trouble with my rabbit and rhubarb a few years ago, she ate the lot, it was huge, she destroyed it completely never to regrow! Enjoy the sunshine. ♥

  6. Hi Lucy!
    I too, loved reading about your busy, busy day!
    the girls look so happy!
    Testing time with exams( same here) for my lot!
    Happy Wednesday!
    Maria x

  7. Your garden is looking wonderful and productive, and that poppy is certainly a beauty :) Great minds think alike, as we are growing some oca for the first time this year too!
    I wouldn't worry too much about the noises your chickens make...I love to hear chickens (much better than the peacocks that we also hear where I live!), and at least they are intelligent enough to let you know what they are thinking!

  8. Wow. What a garden. We have 3 acres of land and all my husband grows are tomatoes (hanging upside down - we have lots of deer running through) and herbs. Wish we had your green thumb and gardening skills.

    Enjoyed this post a great deal

  9. I hope my garden looks that great! I dont have chickens yet but someday I'd like to. Thanks for the heads up on rhubarb. I didnt know it was poisonous to chickens.

  10. I am so impressed at all the things you have growing, our seeds have refused to germinate and now we are too late for many of the things to grow. I do love your chicken stories, they sound like real characters.

  11. Lovely pics, what fabulous poppy! I can relate about the noise, the kid next door is like a hurricane, stomps around everywhere and buy can he slam the door so I figure we can't be anywhere near as noisy as that so we're fine :-)

    Lori xx

  12. Your garden looks great! That poppy is beautiful, I have a similar one with huge blossoms.
    The hens look as if they have come over their shock nicely.


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