Welcome to our blog. It will follow the development of our garden from quagmire, after completion of our self-build, to a garden that reflects our eco-friendly principles. We are wanting to create a garden that meets our needs as a family but is also a wildlife friendly zone. Well that's what we are hoping, time will tell if we are successful.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Its a good life...

 The hot weather, we have been having, has been great for the plants. Those ferns and hostas next to the pond are starting to look great.
 We moved some of the chipped bark to create a path from the pond through to the end of the flower bed. When the plants grow it will be a quick way through to the patio.
 The vegetable garden...just turning green with tonnes of spinach, when they say perpetual, they really mean it! Soon we will take on popeye characteristics or turn Incredible Hulk green, one or the other....
 Meanwhile, the chickens have been here nearly a week and today has been a good day for them. This is Omlette who has finally managed to lay an egg with an intact shell. She may need renaming...
In fact, I had a surprise to find two eggs in the nesting box at the same time. That is a first for these ladies. It was a three egg day in total today. I was so pleased with them that I gave them some disgusting looking mealy bugs. They loved those. Now I know, that when I let them out into the rest of the garden, how I can entice them back into the coop if corn doesn't work...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Feathered friends

The last corner of the garden, behind the garden shed, houses our four new friends. They arrived only yesterday. I was told that they would be ex-battery hens but instead they are free range hens. They were going to be turned into pet food as they were apparently past their prime! They were part of  the lucky 1700, unfortunately another 6000 won't make it...

 My friendly neighbour and chicken expert, Nicky and I, went to the farm; the removal boxes made great chicken carriers, although they did need recycling by the time we got back!

This henwas the most curious and confident and I later discovered she was also an escape artist.

We had some very quick enforcements to make as she flew up onto the gate. I hope that it will now be high enough to keep her from doing that. She gets a funny look and stretches up her neck before attempting to fly through the chicken wire. I think she is curious about the rest of the garden. I've learnt alot about handling chickens from her already!

This (yes, very similar looking) hen has a completely different personality, preferring to be shy and retiring. She has been named Nugget by Sophie as she is the smallest.

These hens have no names yet either, I'm waiting for inspiration and contributions from my friends on Facebook!

 Last night, only one of the hens decided to roost in the house, the others preferred behind the compost bin! Fortunately, I managed to lift them all into the coop as they were sleepy.

It was an adventurous day for all of us.

In the morning, it was all worth it, with the first egg!

From Tulips to Onions

The front garden has undergone a transformation too, going from mostly mud to sea of Spring tulips (yes, some of them genuinely from Amsterdam) to

a mass of alliums! The only drawback is that the Alliums are in the onion family. I didn't think much about it until I tried to find the source of the onion smell in my study! The upshot is that the study recieved a much needed tidy up!

Garden update

 I can't believe that it's been nearly a year since I wrote in this blog. We have done quite a lot in the garden during this time.

At the end of last year, we had the deck area laid, it was great, just a little bit too cold to sit out.

We also had help with seeding the garden, it doesn't look up to much in this photo but it soon greened up!

Meanwhile, over last winter, we made some raised beds out of left over construction wood so that this spring I could start attempting to grow a few vegetables.

The tension wire fence has been great for starting the espalier fruit trees that I hope will eventually make a living fence in the different garden zones.

The pond area is looking more established this year but is still very green. On reflection, I could have sited it further away from the trees.

The overall garden is really starting to take shape now. I like this photo because everything is lovely and green and you can't see the weeds!