Another busy few days outdoors, we have been blessed with a few very sunny but cold days so it has been perfect to try and finish all the groundwork. The raised beds have been ongoing for a while now but I can finally say the end is very close. We put a few in last week and needed to fill them with a soil-manure mix but our stocks were frozen.
The gravel that I spent hours moving one day in January was finally spread around the beds, giving a nice satisfying crunch as I walked around surveying my new domain. Of course the One ton bag which I optimistically thought would do the whole job didn't go far at all so its back on the phone in the morning to the merchant to have another two tons delivered.
This morning we set about putting in the last four smaller beds in front of the greenhouse. These are for my Asparagus, Rhubarb, Strawberries and Herbs and will be permanently planted.
We have run out of soil though, so as well as the gravel it we will be ordering a ton of topsoil as well. So thats 3 tons to be moved in my one wheelbarrow. I think its going to take me a while!
So the final view across the beds
10 raised beds made out of 36 scaffold boards, a tub of screws and a gallon of wood preservative. A satisfying job very nearly done, just the gravel and soil to spread and I can declare the garden landscaping officially finished.
And now to get on with raising plants. The seeds I planted last week are now starting to sprout, the Broccoli appeared very quickly and is now getting a good size
Today when I looked the tomatoes had put in an appearance
And the strawberries are growing rapidly
Now on to the final part of this entry, and it is the subject matter for the title, of course it can only mean more chicken stories. Firstly, the day after my last entry the postie arrived, still in shorts, (but wearing a woolly hat, scarf and mittens) and delivered the coloured leg rings. This meant we could finally name the birds so here they are in no particular order
So they had names and it was time to make them truly free range. Jim constructed a rather clever run which led them straight from the hen house onto the lawn without them having to go through the allotment. I was bit concerned that all my hard work would be ruined later in the year by a trio of hungry chickens. Now they could be directed away from the nice green shoots and no damage done, or so I thought!
The first time we let them out we decided to keep time in a small area just to let them get used to freedom before they had the run of the whole garden.
The gate was opened and off they went, pretty quickly actually, led by Margot.
Well that was easy, no problems and with the fence in the way the plants are safe. Off we went inside for a cup of tea and a bit of a sit down feeling rather pleased with ourselves and then, I looked out of the window. The birds, who apparently couldn't fly and certainly (we were assured by the lady at the farm) shouldn't be able to get over the fence, were sitting on top of the chicken house. Oh B@$£%s. Shoes on and down the garden at speed to round up the unruly birds.
Bid for freedom thwarted, it was out with the scissors and off with the feathers on one wing of each bird so that they are now unbalanced and when they try to fly nothing much happens. I will though be watching out for any suspicious tunnelling activity, we don't want Tom, Dick and Harry in the garden!