Saturday, 30 May 2009

J9's battle

J9 also got in on the action. She decided to tackle the corner by the greenhouse, which had become a tangle of weeds and brambles.

We've grown a fine crop of the afore-mentioned weeds and brambles under the lean-to, and the mini greenhouse, which won us a gold at Chelsea in the couch grass section.

The couch grass was coming up from under a load of slabs which some idiot had laid without a weed barrier. J9 lifted all the slabs (she's so strong!) and then got stuck in ripping up the carpet of roots. The weather was better than the day before.

I love to see someone enjoying themselves.

J9 1-0 Couch grass

Friday, 29 May 2009

Tha path to glory

Up at the top of our garden, we have a vegetable plot. This has been covered in old carpet and plastic for 2 years to kill off what the previous occupants euphemistically called their "wild flower meadow," which was actually a tangled mass of couch grass and weeds which proved impossible to defeat by mere digging. We have now designated half of that area for the chickens, and are in the process of laying paths and when that's done we'll make some raised beds for the veg. Now....
...this has been the scene outside our back gate since November/December 2007 when I dug out the floor for the new studio. I would have sent it all off in Somon's trailer but for the fact that various people have asked if they could have all the hardcore for building, and promised to take it all away, and then not done so.

So, while one half of my brain was thinking what the heck am I going to do with all the hardcore, the other half was thinking where the heck am I going to get enough topsoil for the raised beds.... Genius! Dig out the topsoil from the paths....

....barrow up all the rubble....

.....and fill the trenches with rubble, providing the ideal foundation for the brick and slab paths we're going to lay!! I told you it was genius.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Hello loyal followers! At last, another entry in what has become a sadly erratic blog, but I'm afraid this is the nature of things these days. I've been busy, partly with work and partly with other things that have demanded my attention. Four of which are poultry. Although in themselves they have nothing to do with the renovation of the house, they have galvanized us into a frenzy of activity in shaping their environment and what with the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, one thing has led to another and another etc and some serious butt is being kicked out in the garden. And since the garden is kind of part of the house, I've decided to blog!

Here's AJ feeding our new hens. Their names are Princess Layer, Hen Solo, The Bantam Menace and Hen Kenobie. Can you spot the theme?

They are very tame and will happily eat from your hand. We know a geezer in the pub who works at a chicken farm, and we rescued these when they were about to become pet food.

We bought them a house, and I built them a storm shelter. It is temporarily situated where we'll soon have raised vegetable beds. We feed them on organic pellets, and they also eat worms and slugs, which they fight over.

A little heavy on the rouge this morning....

Our reward is some great big lovely organic free range eggs every day, usually 2 or 3, but we've just had 4 eggs two days running! Clever girls!