And well do I know it – school holidays and yet again have children climbing up the steep bank in the woods to my back fence, invading our privacy and upsetting the dog. I politely ask them to go back to the park, informing them that it is private land but I have obviously upset a couple of toerags and twice now have had raw eggs lobbed into the garden. The first lot during half term narrowly missed me as I was gardening. Today I heard the thud as a missile hit my greenhouse to find egg running down the glass. Not much fun trying to clean it off before it dried in the sun. Of course, no culprit to be found. Strangulation is on my agenda!
Aside from dodging eggs, the garden has had my full attention lately. Its starting to look good, especially as it has now had a mow and I’ve cut the lawn edges. Weeding still continues apace. The chickens are great at keeping down the little weed seedlings although some of my plants are looking a little ragged from their ministrations – not too much damage though.
I usually let them out while I garden. It so amuses me to have five greedy little pigs bustling around my fork, squabbling over every worm and bug. I have to be so careful not to spear one of the chooks – they literally stand over the spot where I dig, heads bowed in eager anticipation. Mimi is the worst as she is the bravest – I once lifted her up on the spade into the air. She was totally unpertubed. I am hoping they will be keeping the slug and snail population down, although I’ve already had a couple of rows of turnip seedlings munched. My prevention tactics involve baking all the empty egg shells (and we have plenty!), then crunching them up to sprinkle them around the plants. The jury is still out on whether it works.
Still sowing vegetable seeds – today was sweetcorn, peppers and dwarf beans. I created my bean frame a couple of weeks ago, digging a trench first and burying a bucket of my bokashi waste. Hope that works – have never tried it.
Rose the chicken is still in solitary confinement although she had time out for good behaviour today and had a good few hours free ranging with the others. No pecking, and at one point her and Polly had a very pleasurable sun and dustbath together – really cute to see as they rolled over and over, purring and nuzzling each other.
In fact, this is her second outing. Jess needed record chicken sounds for her work so Rose was drafted in to provide them. We brought her into the conservatory which proved a bit too noisy so decamped to the lounge where she took up residence on the arm of a leather armchair. Her burblings were recorded and she was put on the ground, immediately flying up to land on my back as I knelt on the floor. As Milo had already had a good hard peck on the head as she walked past I was expecting the same (or something worse!) but she just stood up proud as punch, seemingly quite settled with her new vantage point.
More antics today from the chooks whilst freeranging. Rose found a dead frog so a game of chicken relay commenced, taking it in turns to grab it and leg it across the garden, the others in hot pursuit. So funny to watch but I couldn’t have beared to see it torn apart so had to do a rescue and lob it over the back fence. Not long after that I hear tremendous squawking and Milo barking, to find a beautiful heron standing next to the pond looking for fish. It didn’t stay too long, once it had discovered the pond doesn’t have fish! Although it could have had a feast on tadpoles.
Nathalie has returned from a few days in New York with college. By all accounts she had a good time. Apparently she was drafted in to do some stand up improvisation at a comedy club and couldn’t get out of it – so threw herself into the job with gusto – what happened to shy little Nathalie?! Shame no-one got some video – would have loved to see it.