Animals, Gardening

My Girls

                                               

The joy of having lightly scrambled eggs that have the colour resembling the bright orange sun that sets at the bottom of our garden is so great compared to the pale insipid eggs you get from the supermarket. Even though they claim to be organic free range they never seem to taste as good as my girls’ eggs.

Let me introduce you to my Girls. Posh (the greedy one), Pecks (R.I.P), Jazz (the fluffy one), Fajita (the bully) and Pigeon (the dopey one). They must be enjoying the lovely spring weather as – Hallelujah! – they are starting to lay eggs again.

But they don’t make it easy for me! Their favourite game to play is the egg hunt. They love finding their special place for laying unfortunately for me they don’t always agree to use the same place. So individually they find their little spot and that could be absolutely anywhere from flower pots, behind statues, in hedgerow and even under our log store. The neighbours must think I’m clucking mad crawling round on my knees with my head poking through their hedgerow cussing and cursing. And once I find their new hiding place, they’re already plotting where to lay next!

They have a lovely house – it was my daughter’s old wendy house, hand built some 20 years ago so, it’s done rather well. Anyway I made them boxes inside the house lined comfortably layered with sawdust, straw and newspaper for laying but it seems these girls like a bit of rough.

I must say it’s rather therapeutic watching them pecking away round the garden while we eat our meals on the patio. The girls will often sit at our feet waiting for a few tit bits – talk about ladies who lunch! And as far as the beauty routine goes, regular dust baths are a must and don’t get me started on the sunbathing now it’s getting warmer.

They may be very mischievous but the holey primulas, dislodged shingle and the odd accidental dip in the pond, my garden wouldn’t be the same without them.

                             


Gardening, Quotations

Gardening Quotes to Think About

Gardening has inspired writers the world over, and many great minds have turned to the garden for peace, pleasure, or as a creative outlet. Here are some gardening quotes and sayings that we think you may enjoy.

Nature never goes out of style, gardening quote against fall leaves

“Nature never goes out of style.” — Anonymous

Earth laughs in flowers quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson writer against peacock and tulips garden

“Earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

A gardener learns more in the mistakes beautiful garden quote by Barbara Dodge Borland

“A gardener learns more in the mistakes than in the successes.” — Barbara Dodge Borland

He that plants trees quote by Thomas Fuller against pine forest nature photo

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.” — Thomas Fuller

Do you have any favourite gardening and nature related quotations? Share them with us in the comments!

Gardening

Growing watercress in raised beds

Raised beds are the ideal way to grow one of my favourite crops.  I just love watercress and, as someone who is lactose intolerant, it is a very important source of calcium. In fact, it contains 270mg of calcium per 100g – that’s twice as much as milk!

salad munching dachshund
Photo credit: tz1_1zt via Flickr

Watercress in very easy to grow and does not need to be grown in water. My raised beds are filled with the right moisture retaining soil, rich in humus. I have just started to add a little lime to make sure the soil is slightly alkaline, thanks to the advice of Andy McIndoe on the Alan Titchmarsh Show. As the watercress grows it has a rambling habit which is neatly contained inside the walls of the raised bed. Any watering is also more easily retained within the walls.  All in all it is the perfect place and I have at least 4 beds growing summer and winter, some watercress and some land cress. Lets hope I will be self-sufficient this year, thanks to the more tips from Rebecca Bevan from Wisley.

Gardening, Hiring Help in the Garden

And just little Topsy, it grew.

The work has now expanded and is transforming ¾ of the garden; transforming in a good way.  It’s just that, although relatively inexpensive, in terms of labour, the whole job has still cost a small fortune. It’s one of those buying things you sometimes do in Ikea or a pound shop where all the things are such good value for money that you end up buying them all, get to the till, and then faint. I really would never have dreamed of putting this amount of money into the garden.

And I am also not going to feel even more uncomfortable about having done it by adding up all the expenditures to know EXACTLY how much it has cost. I want to be able to just get to the bit where I buy the plants, the delicious bit, without really knowing. After all, I have already got to the squirming stage without the real pleasure, to offset it… And it will be wonderful, like a new garden again after 30 years, I will have fun out there, breakfast, parties, padding pools, I will lounge, sunbathe and, and……no, I will just enjoy working in it like I always do. I will look at it and drink in the beauty of it, you just can’t put a price on that. Perhaps this is not so exciting a stage anyway as it is all the hard landscaping of wall and path preparation, all mud and cement.

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