Saturday, 7 March 2009

A day in the garden

Spent the day in the garden today- fixing up some more trellis to the top of the fences, and tidying up the garden.
The chickens got a good run around which i know they really enjoy! I dont know what they are actually eating but they are constantly picking at things from the soil and the plants. Ive had to chase them off a few plants like my Digitalis ferruginea and the Gentiana lutea- and im dreading when the hardy orchids come up in! Do chickens eat emerging fern fronds? I guess i will know soon enough.

Cleo seems completely relaxed around the hens, however India still seems to get excited aorund them so im not completely happy to leave them all alone in the garden.

(left to right) Hermione, Susie, Cilla and Cleo the Chocoloate Point Siamese.

I was tidying up some of the pots on the window sill when i noticed the Echeveria agavoides looked like it was sitting strangely in the pot- when i moved it the whole plant came up in my hand- that could only mean one thing- VINE WEEVILS :( I hadnt treated my pots last year with Provado and obviously these grubs have been eating away at the roots all winter. I doubt the plant will recover which is a real shame as its one of the hardier echerverias available.

However I did feel a feel alot better when i fed the grubs to my wiling helpers!

I've been tidying up my carnivorous plant barrel and was pleased to see some flowers beginning to form. The plants remain pretty much evergreen but by the spring the older traps begin to go a bit brown and its easier to cut them off now before the new leaves emerge in the spring- as trying to cut around new leaves always leads to mistakes and i always seem to cut off new leaves by mistake!

Flower buds just emerging on the Sarracenias

The hens are really settling in which is really good to see, Susy and Hermione are happy to feed from my hand but Flo and Cilla are more reserved and prefer to wait back until you scatter food for them. Cilla the Barred Black Rock, who always seemed to be the underdog is beginning to asert herself over Hermione and Flo, through mock threats and runs and some pecking. I know this is normal behaviour with establishing a heirachy but its not nice to see and I hope things settle down soon- it makes it worse as Hermione and Flo just take the pecks and bullying without retaliating which makes it seem worse!

Oh well this is all part of understanding chicken behaviour! Strange creatures!
Oh and lastly my Tree of Life poster came in the post today! You could order it for free as part of the Darwin season on BBC2. Ive stuck it up on my kitchen door! Really pleased with it! :)

Off to Crews Hill tomorrow and hopefully start picking up some plants for the new beds im planning. I need shade lovers, butterfly plants and some grasses for a prairie bed ive decided upon as the new theme for the main bed this year.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Owen, although sorry to hear about the vine weevils :( Have been lucky here and only had them once, but they're awful things. At least they made good chicken food!

    I've got a few Sarracenias at the moment although I'm still reluctant to cut off the old pitchers, as they're looking pretty good! Will check to see if there's any flowers forming though, didn't think they'd be forming this early. Keep us posted on yours!


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