Posts Tagged gardening

Weekend Summary

Saturday was the day of the Annual Village Fete. I absolutely love the fete which is held on the church lawn a stones throw away from our house. They set up a few old fashioned games for the kids, like hooking ducks out of a paddling pool and there are cake stalls, a wide array of old tat for sale and a plant stall to name a few. The best bit though is the brass band which trumpets through the air and summons you from your garden to come down and look around.

In the 3 years that we’ve been here my garden has benefitted greatly from the village fete. Each year I leave laden with 50p plants that I immediately set about depositing around the borders. This year I bought a large tub of Canna Lillies and two pots of Cosmos before jumping in the car to drive to town to pick my Nana up. I thought she might enjoy sitting on the lawn with a cup of tea listening to the brass band.

At 5pm as they began to clear away the plant stall chap walked over to where we were sat to see if we were interested in any left over plants. I reached in my pocket and found only 85p. In return he gave me an Anemone and two Impatiens which I’ve planted in a container just outside the patio doors of the living room.

On Sunday evening we decided to let the chickens out of their coop for the first time to freerange. With great intrepidation we watched as they hesitantly tiptoed carefully through the open coop door and out on to the patio where they began tugging at little blades of grass and weeds growing between the paving slabs. The three of us sat in a triangle as the girls made their way into our space constantly eyeing the ground and pecking at bits and pieces. Every so often Susan would scratch the ground with her feet accomplishing nothing other than flicking some dried blades of grass into the air. They pretty much stayed together and had no problem walking right up to us and eating out of our hands. They did draw the line at being stroked and if you lifted your hand just above their back they’d sort of ‘limbo’ away from it. As it began to get dark they made their way back to their coop making it easy to just close the door behind them.

Also yesterday saw the back of that heap of a Mini owned by next door. I celebrated it’s departure on the back of a trailer with a little dance behind the large shrub I was busy pruning in the corner of the garden at the time. As far as I’m aware the rest of the clan should be following next weekend. It’s not a moment too soon in my book either as we stepped out side to wave Wil’s mum off, next door emerged with a basket full of kittens some stray cat they found had given birth to under their bed. She then went on to tell us about this other cat they’d bought to replace another they had put to sleep a few months back bringing the grand total of vermin in their house to SEVEN. YES, SEVEN flipping cats. And there I was concerned that if I got some chickens they might be a bit noisy. Seven wretched cats trumps my two awesome hens on the annoyance scale by 10. Not feeling so sad about the unfortunate break down of next doors marriage now because if seven cats were about to start shitting in my garden there would have been some full on war breaking out in the not too distant future. War, and a paintball gun.

Today I took a day off work to try and catch up with a few things around the house that have been left untouched through lack of time. One was the large pile of filing I need to get on top of (but first need to purge some old crap out of my folders before anything else can fit in) and the other was some weeding in the garden. First I had to see Cameron off on his school trip, so at 8am I gathered in the playground looking much like the other mums this time wearing badly fitting jeans and t-shirt along with bed head hair, no make up and pillow marks on the side of my face. As the coach rolled away to take the kids on their school activity holiday I breathed a sigh of relief for a week to myself in which I can eat cereal for dinner every night if I want and NOT HEAR ANY MOANING. A euphoria that was halted as I looked around to see various mums wiping tears from their eyes. Glancing down the road I found the bus was still in one piece and hadn’t crashed and burned. I came to the conclusion that mums who cry over their kids going away for a week is as incomprehensible to me as kids who worry about staying away from home for a night is to Cam. We will both have an awesome week and I won’t worry about Cam being gone for 5 days and he will be safe in the knowledge I’m not soaking my pillow unecessarily. I asked Wil if there is something wrong with me, perhaps I don’t love my kid as much as those real mums do? He said it’s fine and that I’ve clearly done a smashing job of raising an independant kid who’s more than capable of standing on his own two feet. Aside from that he was one of the few 11 year olds I saw this morning who were not embarrassed to give me a big kiss and hug in front of all his friends.

So I came home with the intention of making a start on that paperwork, although I made the mistake of sitting on the doorstep of the patio doors to eat my breakfast where I made a visual plan of which areas of the garden I was going to attack first. No sooner had the last mouthful of porridge gone down I was face first in the flower border ripping bind weed out.  At 4pm Wil was asking how much longer I was going to be out for and I told him that depended how long the girls were going to be busy, and nodded at the two feathered behinds sifting through each trowel full of soil I turned over.

Gardening with chickens is ace.  They followed me all around the garden and when I started digging and pulling up weeds they sat watching the soil for any movement or tasty grubs that became uncovered and quickly jumped in to grab them. When they’d eaten enough they just laid down on the grass and sunned themselves for a bit. It’s not so dissimilar to living with Wil.

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Testicular Euphorbia

That’s what the latin name of this plant should be. I’ve never had a good close look at it before, just admired it’s prettiness from afar. But upon close inspection with the macro function on the camera I was shocked to find it sporting a rather manly set of gonads!

More pictures of my favourite flowers in the garden on my Flickr – just click the image in this post.

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Rainy Bank Holiday

\'Watch me take this one and then watch it crumble into my face\'Well it’s a long weekend with the holiday Monday therefore queue torrential rain, gale force wind and temperatures low enough to make you drag your biggest jumpers out of the wardrobe. What a miserable affair this countrys weather is, I absolutely hate it.

Yesterday was the same although in the afternoon I got dressed up and went out in the garden to shovel my fullest compost bin into the borders – in the rain. And then I cut one of the hedges and I grimaced but looked like I was enjoying it if only as a two fingers up to the weather god. Ruin my entire bank holiday? I don’t think so.. look I’m CUTTING THE HEDGE.. In YOUR FACE! Only, it was in my face, quite literally as the tiny wet leaves and clippings repeatedly blew into my eyes and mouth and down the front of my jacket. I found most of them later in my pants.

Cameron spent the entire day under the cover of the garage door where he spent *worthwhile* time constructing a Guinea Pig leisure centre and spa out of wood and anything else that appeared useful. Such as motorcycle parts. I kid you not. The small shonky 4 sided box loosley tacked together with 8″screws and lined with a plastic bag fixed to the sides with sellotape is sat right in front of me. The grand opening of which hindered by foul weather. The rest of it is still on the garage floor – a larger four sided box surrounded by a wire fence which has been snipped off at the top being left to resemble razor wire provoking a reference to California State Pen from Wil when we were summoned to appreciate the hard effort.

Meanwhile Wil got in a shitty mood and stood in the garage with his hands in his pockets just waiting to bark at the next person unfortunate enough to say something he deemed sarcastic and vindictive to him, like “you’re gorgeous” or “would you like a cup of coffee?”. My comment about him finally reaching his dream of having a garage full of bikes went down like a hog roast at a barmitzfer so I disappeared and continued planting some herbs in a window box.

This morning we were awoken at 0800 by the sound of metal being pushed through a saw powered by a generator which then filled our bedroom with exhaust fumes via the open window. No, it wasn’t phase 2 of the GP pleasure park, just the builders who had arrived nice and early to continue work on the house being built over the garden hedge. Cameron got up and proceeded to wire the guinea pig cage up with his mini CCTV camera. I walked into the living room to find Minky’s MASSIVE face plastered up close and personal across the 42″ flat screen and then I got conned into playing a game of Jenga.

This is Foxsden taking advantage of ‘quality family time’ – get me some sunshine QUICK!

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