Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Garden and Chicken Update

A garden after the rain is as beautiful to me as one in dazzling sunshine.  Each bloom is ever more noticeable and the drops of rain that delicately cling to petals, leaves, bracts and stems add a gloss and sparkle comparable to the finest diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.  Epimedium x warleyense is no exception and is dazzling right now.  Amongst the amethyst Anemones and deep plum Fritilaries this plant really adds a beautiful and delicate contrast.  It was given to me at least two years ago by a very good friend and is most certainly a new favourite now that it has flowered.

Elsewhere in the garden there is a frenzy of growth.  The once bare garden, mainly made up of herbaceous perennials, is now filled to the brim with lush growth.  The majority of the Daffodils and Snowdrops are over only to be replaced with Tulips, Hellebores, Forget-me-nots, Pulmonaria, Euphorbia and Fritillaries.  The Alliums appear to be rushing to throw up their large flower spikes and the Angelica is not far behind.  It feels as though Summer is not far away at all now.  I wonder what effect the hard winter had on the garden as most plants are flowering stronger than before.  On top of this it appears that plants have broadcast seed far and wide and I will have quite a task on my hands weeding what’s not wanted, although I think most of the seedlings will be saved and grown on.

On the allotment things are also looking promising.  Most of the cutting garden is planted and the Peonies are coming in to growth.  The late-planted bargain Daffodils are also poking their heads and flower buds above ground and should flower shortly.  I had little hope for these but they appear as stubborn and determined as I am.  The alliums (Onions, Shallots and Garlic) and early potatoes will all be grateful for the rain and I’m hoping to see lots of verdant growth shortly.  I’m hoping to plant the second early potatoes on the weekend, although I’m almost certain they will be late to go in as I am so far behind with sowing the rest of the vegetable seeds.
One thing I am part succeeding with at the moment, however, is the chickens.  I say part-succeeding as following their initial squabbles and racist tendencies I had to rejig the flock slightly and this resulted in me keeping the Araucana pullet in my bathroom as an emergency measure.   It has been interesting at times but she has really grown to become incredibly tame.  I plan to keep her in a separate run close by to the other girls in the hope that they will one day accept her back in to the flock.  Despite all of this the girls are now laying well and I’ve since received my first white and blue/green eggs (the picture doesn’t do the colour justice).

Spring is most certainly here.


  1. Wonderful photo of the Epimedium, I really like that.

    I had thought about getting a couple of Aracunas, as I love the egg colour, but was worried about integrating them with my ex batt thugs.

    Keep us posted with how you get on

  2. Thanks for the photo comment Zoe!

    Apparently Araucanas are very gentle birds and that coupled with a big fluffy head makes them brilliant targets for bullies. I wish I'd known that before buying her :(

    Anyway, how are your girls doing? I see they've been having lessons in horticulture?


  3. Hi Ryan, first of all I want to say the photo's are great, I love the rain on plants as well, they always shimmer and shine and as you say even better than jewels. Those eggs look amazing I am so envious. I would love chickens, but I'm not prepared to give the time they need, so sadly I doubt I'll ever have any.

  4. Beautiful pictures! Water droplets are so pretty to photograph. Add them to plants, even better!
    The eggs are gorgeous.

  5. Love your photo!! I'm going to check the specifics of the epimedium in hopes that I can put it in my garden.

    Just a comment on the eggs. Put them in the egg box small end down. That will keep the yolks from breaking plus if you intend to save them for hatching (provided you have a rooster) it keeps the air bubble intact in the large end for the developing chick.

    Araucana's are gentle birds and do tend to get picked on esp. if added to an existing flock. Better luck is had if you purchase your flock all at once as chicks.

    Thanks for a great post!

  6. Very impressive post. I can appreciate the amount of effort that went into it. You have a very good feel for getting the right information out to the people. I am also very impressed with the website as a whole. Keep up the good work

  7. Lovely post, full of the wonderful feeling of this time of year.
    Time I think to have stock living in house full time and watching telly with you and so on!

  8. I'm so jealous when I see blue/green eggs. Our Araucana has never laid anything but brown. Poor me!


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