English summers are the best when they are like this. And it seems to be staying like this for a few days yet so let’s enjoy it.
Last weekend I organised the flowers for another wedding – and it was fab thank goodness. Lots of lovely comments and lots of lovely English country flowers. Great time for year for the best choice of pretty things. And the smell of sweet peas filled the place. The cakes looked good as well!
I really enjoy putting flowers into the Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton, its a lovely old building with a warm feel and the flowers bring it to life.
Meanwhile back in the garden I’m on pins. Lots of things are about to open up – the lillies which I love and my present to myself from last year’s Chelsea flower show. A packet of black double peony poppy seeds. Now some of them are about 3 feet tall and the flower heads are about to pop. I could almost sit there and wait but I must do some work worst luck.
It looked like rain yesterdayand when it did rain boy did it rain. Always the optimist I decided to dig out a path alongside the house which meant some serious work, so in some ways I was quite pleased when there was a shower. Good excuse for a cup of tea. But not when it kept on doing it and on and on. So I had to give it up as a bad job in the end, but I reckon you can see the shape. Lots to do so it’ll be a week before I can move to the next phase I suspect.
Anyhow this morning I’ve got work to do and the clouds are as black as night again. thank goodness this afternoon it’s mostly talking to new clients – 2 gardens to inspect and a wedding to discuss.
Hens confusing me a bit. Thgere was a soft shelled rather mottley looking egg in the coop last week, but Elsie and Ivy continue to lay every day. Elsie in her nesting box as she should do but Ivy has taken up a spot in a flower bed. Still at least I know where to look. But one of the others, and I fancy it was Daisy was found sitting on 3 eggs in the woods. I lifted her off and she didn’t seem too worried but we’ve had no more eggs from her – unless she’s hiding them. One of them laid 3 in the drain as well but I’m sure that was Ivy.
However they’re all pinking up nicely and looking well, and of course they’ve only been out of captivity for about a month (apart from Elsie of course) so I have to let them get into a routine and back to normal chicken activity. Speaking of which, normal chicken activity involves so much digging and pecking. I’ve got a bit of temporary fencing and it’s moving around the garden almost daily in an attempt to keep them off the flowers or the lettuces or whatever takes their fancy this week. Hostas yesterday. The hostas have been there since before they arrived and they didn’t show a spark of interest, but suddenly they’ve completely stripped one of them.
I discovered them taking an afternoon nap in the shed doorway yesterday. I didn’t know hens took naps, they seem to be constantly trawling the garden for titbits but not! Daisy had been left behind and was a bit slow to find her perch.
Even though it’s taken a while I feel I have achieved something lately. I’ve got a veg patch, a herbaceous border (well loosely) , I’ve put in a shade bed – and the hens have taken it out again – and I’ve got things growing in the greenhouse. Not bad if I say so myself.
It all looks a bit rustic but then you know what it looked like to begin with so anything is an improvement – and believe me this is a big improvement. The carpet in the distance is sitting over my next targetted area for clearing. All the way underneath is it just thick with nettles and bindweed and wherever I am clearing anything away its rapidly being taken over by goosegrass.
The hens are a help and a hindrance. When I’m digging so are they – which truly is a help, but when I am not digging they are still digging. Which is a pain. Daisy is an avid digger and appears by my side whenever I get the garden fork out, but Elsie likes to operate on her own exactly where I don’t want her to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planted the irises.
This week it’s done nothing but rain and so everything seems to have come to a grinding halt. It’s so muddy and although I did earth up the ptoatoes I am not sure I should have in this lot. And of course workwise it’s not good either because that comes to a halt as well. Better weather is on the way they say…..
Back to hanging baskets tomorrow. I thought it was all over but no – 4 more to do so up early to get some plants, a spot of work and then back to plant up. It’s a bit late in the day but we’ll give it a go.
Meanwhile if anyone has any bright ideas for deterring hens from bits of the garden other than having 6ft fences everywhere I’d be grateful.