Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still rescuing the garden

I had a day off on Friday and we were very lucky with the weather (despite the fact that (i) I had the day off, (ii) I had hung the washing out on the line and (iii) I was wearing my gardening clothes. A triple whammy if ever there was one!!)

So we both went out into the garden.  I carried on rescuing the flower beds. The second bed in the middle is now dug over and the side paths have been uncovered.  There remains yet the patio to rescue. And then absolutely everything needs weeding.  I may have dug the beds over and created a weed Everest up by the house, but there are dandelions, nettles, buttercups and wild strawberries still loitering in the beds, not to mention the pernicious and largely indestructible morning glory that is vigorously trying to strangle the whole garden.  It has a new lease of life now the buttercups have been beaten back!

In the meantime, the Under Gardener has de-grassed all around the fruit shrubs and raspberry canes.  They've all been tied back in off the path. And they have now also been netted against the birds.  He found a great tit trapped in the netting one day last week. He managed to get it out unscathed, but it wasn't very happy with him hanging onto it and trying to get its head out of the netting.  We think now that everything is properly tied together it should be harder for the wild birds to get caught.  Now we are pondering how to ensure that the birds don't get absolutely all of the cherries and plums - the trees are too tall to net now and while we don't mind sharing, we would like to get some of the harvest ourselves!

Curry, Udon and Ramen all appear to be thriving but poor Katsu isn't very well. She went off the lay a couple of weeks ago and seems to be quietly fading away.  We don't really know what's wrong with her. We have been putting worming stuff in their feed but that doesn't seem to be helping.  She's getting steadily thinner and more listless. I think it won't be long before we only have three chooks.

The Under Gardener has ordered a small duck house which is due to arrive this week. He has also been building a small run.  We need to get some feeders and a paddling pool and then we'll be all ready for some ducks.  They have baby ducks and chickens at a place in Clay Cross, just up the road from us. We are hoping to go and get two ducks and two chicks this weekend. We thought all four could live in the duck house and run for a couple of weeks until they get a bit bigger - and until the existing hens get used to having them around. That will all be very exciting!

Things all seem to be going quite well in the kitchen garden, orchard and allotment. The sunshine and showers we have been having for the past couple of weeks (quite typical of June weather in Derbyshire) seems to be suiting all the plants quite well. I can live with sunshine and showers.  Let's hope it continues like that (the showers overnight would be OK with me, but I'm not fussy!)

Plantings up on the allotment as at 18th June

Plantings in the Kitchen Garden, as at 18th June

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