Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Race to the Egg

Angel has taken to laying her egg in a nest of her own making on the edge of the woods. 
Now that we have made the fencing more secure around Chicken World she has obviously found a way over the fence at the back, and each day she makes her way there and lays her egg.
Angel with Caldwell II.
Not bad for our oldest hen an egg virtually every day, she's a hard working little thing.
I really didn't mind a stroll round the back of the sheds and reaching through the wire fencing to pick it up each day, she very kindly lays it just within reach, the only drawback is that Rosy wanders through the woods numerous times each day and she has just discovered this source of free food. 

 It's handy when you find a mid morning snack laid especially for you.
Now it's a race to the egg each day to see who wins me or Rosy ... and I have to admit that I have lost every single day this week :-(
Sue xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

'Our' Sheep

Yesterday in the comments, Sue from Frugal in Suffolk (simplesuffolksmallholder) asked if we still had our sheep.
As you can see from these pictures taken yesterday we do!!
She's a brilliant Mum and I'm glad she has her lamb for company, but our neighbour has yet to come and pick them up.  I guess he thinks that with free almost secure grazing he's on to a winner.  I'm tempted to make out an invoice for looking after the sheep and for the grazing costs on one of our company letterheads and stick it in the post to him :-)

So cute.
The dogs both go down to the fence to say hello to their woolly friends, but Mummy sheep is not impressed and usually takes her little one to the far side of the field until we have gone.
Yes, I did say both dogs. 
Although we still have the sheep, Mavis, our little rescue Jack Russell has 'done a runner'.  Last Friday Lovely Hubby decided he could trust her in the paddock while we were working, without putting her on her long staked lead ... BIG MISTAKE.  After lulling us into a false sense of security she suddenly made a beeline as if for the house but instead went up and around it and vanished over the top of the hill.
LH trudged the fields and roads looking for her and we drove in both directions but there was no sight of her anywhere.  We have messages on local Facebook pages and all the neighbours have been asked to look out for her but we in fact are holding little hope of seeing her again.
Her one mission since being here has been to make off, no matter what we did and what bribes we offered, although she was happy indoors with us and on walks, she just wanted to bolt when ever she was not on a short lead. 
It feels strange here at the moment but life is so much easier, the other two dogs have settled back into their grumbly, sisterly relationship and the doors and windows can once again be left open.  I can open the door to the postman without first having to catch and pick up a struggling dog and when we go out to the car I do not have to put one dog onto a lead for the 20 yards or so to get to it.
I just really, really hope that if someone has picked her up to keep for themselves, and we think this is the case as there has been no reported accidents and no phone call, (she is both micro-chipped and has a tag with my phone number) they look after her and love her ..... as we briefly did.
Sue xx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Planting Again

The fruit trees we planted last weekend are doing well.  As you can see the Cherry trees are in full blossom and it's been lovely to see the odd bee buzzing around them.
This Friday saw us planning the hedge planting.
We had decided that Laurel hedging would be the best, interspersed every now and then with an Olearia, for a splash of colour.  This gets tiny white daisy like flowers in June and July so should look lovely and fresh.  We laid the plants on the ground to get an even spacing .....

... and then went along digging holes, filling them first with water and then with the Laurels.

There are a couple of gaps as we are waiting for two more Olearias to be delivered.
Behind the Laurel hedging we planted five more trees, three Whitebeam, which have white flowers in May and then fiery orange berries in Autumn, and two Rowan or Mountain Ash, which have dark green leaves which then turn purple, and then have deep rose coloured berries in the Autumn.
So hopefully we should head into Winter with a blaze of colour along the fence.
All these have been planted with the intention of slightly hiding the polytunnel from view or at the very least masking it in a lovely display of leaves, flowers and berries.

Then we planted four more Laurels on the near side of the fence just to balance things out.

And then a few more were placed in gaps in the hedge that is near Chicken World.
And then on Saturday we called in the big boys!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pesky Birds

A couple of weeks ago just as they finished flowering we moved all the Snowdrops from the end of the drive to a more permanent place, ready for when we alter the splay of the drive as the bank of earth they have been in for years will be moved.  As this isn't happening for a while, we need planning permission to do all the work we are doing at the same time, I decided to pop a bit of colour into the now empty bed.
I carefully alternated yellow, blue, red, and pink Primulas that I had picked up from B&Q at half price all along the bed and it looked really colourful.

With a couple of yellow ones left over I thought I would add them to these Daffodils in the rocky bank on the opposite side ...

... it looked simple but nice and fresh.
Now the pesky birds have been and eaten ALL the  yellow flowers, leaving just the other colours.  I'm not happy at all.  :-(
I'll be back tomorrow with some photos of what we have been up too this weekend and it involves NO yellow flowers for birds to pinch!!
Sue xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sometimes ....

Sometimes it pays to wait!!

I've been wanting this jumper for months.  It's from Cotton Traders and I've seen it hanging in the outlet in the motorway services every time we pull over for a coffee and in the garden centres when we visit the ones with outlets and cafes. Just hanging there saying 'buy me, buy me'.
I was good I resisted :-)
Well this week I went to the garden centre in Altrincham with Mum and guess what there it was again!  Just three of them left .... one very small, one very large and one just the right size .... my size and it was reduced to £18.  So channelling my inner Goldilocks I decided it was fate and bought it with a big smile on my face.

Then on the way out there was a big bookcase full of books donated for charity.  Help yourself said the sign and please pop £1 in the donation box for every book you take.  I have wanted this book since the day it came out but knowing I had such a backlog of fiction books waiting to be read I had resisted and then there it was.  My £1 was popped in before you could say 'would you like it'.
And how highly appropriate that on the day I tell you about this I can offer my sincere condolences to the family of the wonderful Sue Townsend who has just died.  She brought much joy and entertainment to so many with her marvellous books, including the wonderfully hilarious Diaries of Adrian Mole.  Taken from us much too soon.
RIP Sue Townsend.
Sue xx