Sunday, 8 May 2016
Gardening in May....oh and more sunsets...
So let's start with a beautiful sunset on a calm evening in May......
And now move onto battles with hens in the garden! Hee hee! Every year I attempt to grow some vegetables and fruit. Most years I lose much of it to the hens. In the past I've covered things up with netting till seedlings grow but the pesky hens would find ways in, and then get STUCK needing to be rescued. So, at great expense this year, I purchased a chicken fence which is supposed to keep chickens IN. However I am using it to keep chickens OUT.... they have the entire garden and several acres, but oh no, let's have a dust bath in the middle of the peas and have a snack while we are at it... So.....
Robust netting with robust poles and pegs. The netting is big enough to not be a problem in the wind but small enough and tall enough to keep pesky hens out! Though I do suspect they might discover they can fly over the wall.... we'll have to see. The fence will be rolled up and put away in Winter, but for Spring & Summer, it stays! S came round to help me put it together as she has the same netting successfully keeping her hens IN.
Hens spot The Fence, as does Button. None are impressed.
These two are definitely clocking the fence to identify weaknesses!
This is me INSIDE the fence. There is a cunningly disguised gate for me to sneak in and out.
It's also quite unobtrusive and not that visible from the gate.....
So, INSIDE the fence is a patch of wildflower seed, courgettes (under cover), salad leaves, ruby chard, broad beans and peas. Oh and some shallots. Though either the mice or starlings had uprooted a couple of THOSE today! There are also two gooseberry bushes and a black-currant bush. I rarely get much fruit off them as the pesky hens love them when they are tiny. So far the wild birds haven't investigated too closely, but I may need to put netting over the fruit bushes to keep them away.
Outside the netting is the rhubarb and the strawberry patch. Strawberries need to be undercover too but that's doable as I have a custom made "hat" for them. And in raised tubs are carrots So, all we need now is some decent weather!
And now back to evening sun.... these ewes and lambs were showing an interest when I went for a walk along the shore the other evening. Only because they thought I might feed them! The grass is very slow growing this year (well except in my garden!) so they are getting plenty of extra rations and equate a human with food!
Meanwhile the beach had a rosey glow from the sunset.
It's May but in Orkney the daffodils are still very much in flower! The rosa rugosa and willow trees are greening up nicely though.
And in other news, a pair of crows had built a nest in the willows by the house. Poor things are desperate for anything resembling a tree. Often in Orkney they nest in the heather on the ground! Anyway I wasn't that keen on having a crows nest by the house and it was on the way to the washing line. But I think the chickens scared them off! They like to gather under the trees during the day for a preen, chat and a bit of a crow (the cockerels, obviously). I think the crows served them an ASBO (anti-social behavioural order) and the chickens retaliated as the crows didn't have planning permission. Anyway the crows seem to have abandoned the nest, thankfully. It's early enough for them to build another in, hopefully, a more convenient place for all concerned!
And to end today's potter, another sunset!