This happened last Thursday:
It actually is Thursday right now, as I’m typing, so we’ll see how accurate this is.* We live in hope! March has been a historically sunny month, the kind of month that does raise one’s hopes, and then April comes with the rain and the fire is still burning and we wonder if we’ll ever see sun again. And then by the end of May, we’re sweating and running around trying to keep everything watered. We’ll see how we get on this year. You can’t count on much of anything weather-wise anymore. You just have to watch the skies and listen to the birds. Birds always know what’s going on.
For all of my life I never knew that yellows come first in spring. Maybe it’s just here they come first, or maybe I’ve been happily oblivious. I wonder why it happens this way? The yellows, not me being oblivious. That’s just one of those immovable facts that doesn’t need a scientific explanation.
Yellows signal that it’s time to really dig through the seed box and see what I can find. In this photo I was on a mission to get some green crops planted for the chooks. I can’t tell you how nice it was to clear the books off the table and spread out these packets instead. Alas, it didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. Back to the books!
But first, I planted the lettuces and other yummies in the chicken run. I made a “raised bed” to protect the new growth from my little feathered predators. The girls were very upset with me for putting seeds in the ground and not letting them scratch them up and eat them. They’ll thank me later. Once the leaves start to push against the chicken wire, I’ll remove the box so they can have at it. I hope to get a few of these going — one more for lettuces and one for long grass. Grasses will grow through the wire and keep growing as the chickens graze, so maybe two or three of those would be best.
I also planted three rose bushes, two in with the chooks and one by the fence in the secure garden. I don’t really know anything about growing roses, but I do know my girls will love having flowers in their run. We’re going to dig up a buddleia sapling from mum’s back garden and put that in with the chickens, too.
This is part of my plan to create habitats, not only for the chooks but also to make up for the habitats we’ve destroyed in the creation of our garden. Next up I’m going to build an insect hotel. Not that they need one…
We may be looking at signs of spring, but the nights are still cold. We haven’t used much wood at all so far this winter, but we thought we’d better get more just in case. Dis built a rather large insect hotel in our still unfinished woodshed. There’s even a small bed of hay for the field mice. Or the neighbour’s cats, which is more likely.
We may be looking at a huge change in the hamlet in the not-too-distant future. One of the four houses in the hamlet has been empty for several years. This year it is, so we’ve been told, going up for sale. We’re a little worried about having new neighbours. We are very insular here; our three families know each other, we know each other’s routines, we know how this hamlet — which has a life of its own — works. Will new neighbours be happy to integrate into this pre-existing ecosystem? Or will they storm the place and insist on changing things? Everything changes, of course. I just hope we can all get along. The house is unlikely (I think) to sell immediately anyway. But you never know. We intend to tell prospective buyers it’s haunted, which may or may not be true.
The garlic has sprouted and the onions have not all washed away. Our little drainage ditch (now renamed Onion River) works! Here is our Lulu, sitting by the shore, keeping the birds from pulling up our future harvest.
I wouldn’t want anyone to think that life in this hamlet is all flowers and neatly stacked wood and a good view. Here is the long view of our garden, a more realistic view of the work yet to be done.
I started tidying up that pile of shite in the right of the photo (yes, that is a sink, destined for the woodshed), but there’s nothing I can do about mum’s old trailer. For the longest time, a caravan was parked there so this is a great improvement. Still, I’ll be glad when that thing gets moved.
All in all, while I’m still working hard on these books and will be for a while, and then when they are done I have another pile of work in front of me, I’m pleased with the little bit of progress I’ve made in the garden this week. If that weather forecast is correct, I may sneak away from the books and plant peas.
*It was not quite accurate. High temps reached 23 degrees celsius, possibly more. Saturday we had apéros outside for the first time this year and I got a slight sunburn (which means Sunday saw my first real hangover of the year). Next week’s garden post will be full of what we did during these blissful days, and if this keeps up, we may even get the shed finished by then.