It's the weekend after Easter and most of my nursery sale plants are still patiently waiting for their planting moment in the sun. They've been well watered by the rain - so where am I going to plant them all?
Another Dahlia, Another Bee
Saturday April 14th
As usual I have questions - take the three silver thistle-leafed plants with hand-scrawled labels 'Artichoke'. Are they invasive? Edible? Sun-Loving? I'll guess the third, and cross my fingers about the first.
But there is much more to do than dig holes and plant. There are piles of greenery to be shredded, and piles of gum tree bark and leaves to be burnt. The fire ban was lifted yesterday - that means that I can clear the Hump and the scruffy area behind the pond, and the edge of the Wattle Woods - hopefully with help! This is a huge task.
Then if I haven't lost all my energy I have a pile of donated bricks with which I want to create a - wait for it - a playground for my chooks. It will be called Henworld. Please don't laugh.
Bricks for Henworld
Henworld will cover an little area outside the hen house run, and will have zig-zagging little hen-paths, maybe some steps, maybe a pyramid with a perch for rooster on the top - the soil planted with herbs, hebes, grasses and patches of silver beet. There'll be little archways to run through, garden perches with pieces of wood balancing on brick towers, all enclosed in a Hebe hedge. Hee hee. Everything will be built at hen scale.
My friend shakes her head - hens do not play, she tells me firmly. They scuffle and peck. We'll see, I tell her! Even bird brains enjoy a challenge, surely!
- Harvey Gets a Home :
- The little grey kitten went off to his new home last night with two lovely people. They've named him Harvey. All the best, Harvey, with your new life.
Good luck to you, Harvey the kitten. I miss you purring in my ear, and my own adult cats look enormous.
Right. It's time for some hot morning coffee and some hot weekend gardening action. I've had a week full of mountain walking (two fabulous day trips), swimming, and cafe socialising. My garden needs me - and I must mobilise non-gardening partner before he sneaks away.
Much, Much Later, Apres Gardening, Tired Out...
Ha! I've just had the longest autumn burn-up ever - it's been going for nearly seven hours. I've cleared the gum tree rubbish from the Wattle Woods fence-line, the little path is cleared, and the little stream is just waiting for water. The shredder has munched up the shreddables. I've planted a bucket of daffodil bulbs in the Dog-Path Garden, where they'll be visible from the back lawn. I've also found a space in there for the two Brachyglottis shrubs. How's this for a euphemism - I will now quote the fine print at the bottom of the label.
- 'Professional advice: A fine choice for non-quality soil.'
- -Brachyglottis Shrub.
Sounds like the perfect shrub for me - but I'm not sure I'd own up to having non-quality soil, and who's that word 'professional' trying to impress? Anyway, they are in full sun underneath a towering Cordyline and behind some scruffy little trailing Rosemaries. The big print says they are lovely in beds. Oops - sounds naughty.
Non-gardening partner has been brilliant, finding the lost rake and helping me shift rubbish. He finished off the fire when I got too sulky. He's also mowed the lawns, and the autumn coloured shrubs across the water (a Cercis and a Berberis) look beautiful against the deep dark green grass. I love my garden, and now I am looking forward to semi-designing Henworld. Hee hee.
Sunday 15th April
I woke up early trying to design Henworld, my hen's playground. Should I incorporate it into an existing garden, or launch and dig yet another new area? Soon there will be zero lawns to mow! The best thing will be to go outside and become one with the chooks - clean out the hen house, walk around with them - I'm sure the answer will be obvious. Dances with Chooks...
Also today I'm going to clear and burn more piles of gum tree rubbish. It will be another smoky and shreddy day. Then plant more of the sale plants - hey! Today has just turned into an exact copy of yesterday. Talk about repetition!+5
Henworld is circular, three quarters dug, and already a success. I've had all the hens scuffling around 'helping'. My white cat B-Puss has been providing entertainment. He hides behind a tussock grass, wiggles his tail, and then leaps onto rooster. The bird squawks and jumps out of reach, and then B-Puss nonchalantly sticks a leg in the air and washes his bottom, classic cat body-language. Then the sequence is repeated.
- Hello Hen :
- Goodness the grey striped hens - Barred Plymouth Rocks, thank you very much - are wonderful surface scratchers! They are also very nosy.
If any of my relatives ever think I'm behaving oddly they should look no further than the gardening company I keep! But I am in good company, for it has just been proved, using DNA, that chooks are definitely related to that dodgy dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dare I make the connection - Henworld with Jurassic Park? Hee hee.
I need to make a list for the afternoon, before I am overcome with my own cleverness. Get back to earth, so to speak.
- Shift compost.
- One of my long forgotten piles of stuff has turned into compost. It is needed for the Dog-Path Garden where I will...
- Plant the variegated Carexes.
- I love these foliage grasses. Then I will...
- Finish digging Henworld.
- Remembering to take photographs. Then it will be time to...
- Burn more rubbish.
- Smoky stuff. Hmm...
There. That's my afternoon all sorted. And don't let that last entry fool anyone - it's dry gum leaf rubbish, it has to be burnt, it will take absolutely ages, I will probably get really tired and sad, I will start sulking, and there will be no more cheerful chirping in today's journal. Phew!