|One of the big jobs...liming all the walls and ceilings in the poultry houses|
|They'll look great and hopefully knock some bugs flat|
And they are all coming up. All the beetroot, carrots, spinach, chard and some peas are romping away. I say some peas because the little....ermm....cat is still playing hunting in the trenches and there are gaps! These have been re-sown and in the heat himself has taken to hunting in the wildflower garden...left long for our bees. That's our excuse anyway. Today it has been cut as there are plenty of other flowers for the bees. Also up are most of the potatoes, the only ones with a no-show are the very early ones....but Dave couldn't resist digging one up to look and they are well rooted even if they have no shoots yet. I've also put the seed grown onions out, and today we started on the brassicas. All the peppers and aubergines went out and are under fleece, but the cues and the rest of the tomatoes can wait till the cold nights next week have passed.
|Our first pea pods, from the ones started in pots|
|A storm has boosted growth|
|Bella, not really helping the onions|
|First potato shoot|
|And the cat knocking the latest peas flat|
|Not pretty but tasty, over wintered carrots, with lettuce and herbs|
|The blackcurrants have lots of fruit set|
|Strawberries, not huge plants but plenty of flower, and now given a nice feed|
I have done the pots for the outside stairs, a couple of them have some short sweet peas I sowed but without keeping the packet so I don't know what they are and what they do. I have also done a couple of troughs for the wall with them to give a bit of interest. The cherry toms on the wall look as if they have maybe got a bit cold but they are flowering well so we should have some early tomatoes all things being fair.
|Unknown sweet peas|
|Cherry toms with lots of flowers|
Among the established perennials all are growing well and there are buds on the peonies and roses, the verbascum and lonely delphinium. All the herbs are doing well as are the bedding plants grown from seed. We even have slips growing on the sweet potatoes at last.
|The snowflakes are even better than last year|
|And Dave with knee high grass socks after strimming|
Other happenings in the garden....the birds are coming back in numbers now. There is a lot of noise in the mornings and as well as our usual residents and the swallows, the nightingale is getting louder, the hoopoe is calling, as is the cuckoo, and we have both heard orioles...not the starling mimic this time. We are also getting more vareties of butterflies, crickets (great fun for the cat!) and lots of small bugs, insects and beetles.
|Unknown (tatty?) butterfly, taken a long way off so a bit blurry|
And one of the Shumens is trying to go broody. And we are trying to persuade her it is not a good idea. Meanwhile Cagney and her little duckling are doing well. As long as there are plenty of bowls of water about for the little one and dust for mum all seems well. They spend most of the time out with all the others now, though still sleep in the crate.
|Teaching baby that chard is good to eat|
|Can just about reach the dirty duck water|
We have decided to sell the two white ducks, Spot and Spotty. The drake is harassing poor Spot, really giving him the runaround, so feel a home on their own would be better. They are such nice characters and I would hate for them (or Spot) to end up in the freezer. They have been reserved by the couple who had eight cockerels last year, with the proviso we will have them back if they don't get on with the boys.
On Wednesday we had a trip out to Ruse to pick up Dave's paintings, meeting the rest of the artists there. It seems no-one managed to sell much, not just Dave. Most of the paintings are now for sale at a reduced price (we can't keep them all!) and one has been sold already.
|In the paper|
On the way home we called in to a superstore called Jumbo for a nosey around. Had a great time and came out with two large carrier bags of goodies, kitchenware (including cake tins) stuff for the animals, flip flops, craft materials, bathroom stuff, bug control, stationary....all for around 35 quid! Good job there isn't one around here! It was a bit like a pound shop on steroids, the only thing which cost a little more were the flip flops at less than 4 quid.
|Flip flops x 2|
|Been trying out the mini 4"cake tins and freezing the results, using up eggs|
|And on the subject of using up eggs, the neighbours sent round some Easter bread which made a very nice, light bread pudding, went down a treat with a spoon of Chantilly cream|