A few days ago the ground at the top of the garden had drained enough for Dave to start rotovating. Half the potential potato patch was done while Dave was followed by an appreciative thong of ducks and chooks, hopefully hoovering up the bad bugs as well as juicy fat worms which we would rather keep. Unfortunately we soon had to move the fence to keep the dogs off the next bit to be turned over as they were bringing far too much mud into the house with having the door open. So the poultry are banished to the half of the garden where the thugs will be grown (pumpkin, courgettes, that sort of thing) where the ducks waddle up and down, now also going into the centre, poking away at the mud to see what they can find, looking comical with mounds of mud on the ends of their bills. And it seems they are finding plenty, going by their dangling crops at the end of a busy day. They are not eating huge amounts of feed really considering there are seven large ducks and a dozen chooks. The chickens tend to stay off the muddiest bits, keeping to the edges more.
|Make sure those trenches are straight!|
|Er...it hasn't been dug for you little man...remind me why I don't 'do' cais!|
Unfortunately I put my back out just at the wrong time and Dave has had to get on with sowing a few peas and broad beans while the ground was workable. Bit of a telling off from the neighbours for being too early for peas, but we'll see, we may be lucky. We have a few peas in the cold frame to put out once the soil has warmed properly, we don't want to put them in and cloche them as we might need the cloches for the seeds if it turns cold again. It's hard being patient! We also managed to get some red onion sets at the market so a hundred or so of those have gone in. I think I have been here too long, I was shocked that at just over two pounds a kilo the red onions are so much more expensive than the white onion sets. We got half a kilo and used half of them, now feeling a bit mean!
|The cold frame is greening up|
The big after winter tidy up has begun, Dave has his pruners to hand and has attacked the grape vines, roses and perennials and weeded the borders. It has since rained and become soggy again so all that work was done just in time. The seedlings are all doing well and more perennials and veggies have been sown in their little mini greenhouses. It is time to get more tomatoes and cucumbers on the go so that we have nice, well grown plants for April, The corridor upstairs is proving a valuable space, with seedlings growing nice and straight due to all the light...admittedly not too fast as it has been cold up there, but we don't need to move seedlings away from the window at night any more.
|The rspberries mulched and tidied with some spare stones|
|The first batch of tomatoes and aubergines|
We don't have a great many resident winter birds here, but those that have twittered through the cold days are now singing loudly, trying to outdo each other. Regular visitors apart from the tree sparrows are great, coal and blue tits, black redstart, magpie, jay, collared doves, woodpeckers and the occasional goldfinch. There have also been hawfinch and sparrow hawk this year, but no sign of chaffinch or serin, but that might be because I have my back to the window!
There is also movement in the fields, new plants sprouting up everywhere. I love the changeability of this time of the year, every new bit of growth gives such pleasure and promise of things to come. Some of our perennials are also starting to move
|The lettuces have perked up again|
|.....and the other two take over when she goes inside to cool down|
|Our boy Sevi strutting his stuff|
|Next door's cat. he's only young and seems to want to join in. but I'm not sure he would enjoy a game of chase with Bella!|