We did a lot of work in the back yard this past weekend. Murphy the chook killer went home, so the gerls were able to roam wild and free in the yard. Evan4’s babies are almost the same size as the big chooks now. They still don’t look like chickens though. When they start growing their rubber gloves from the top of their heads… that’s when they’ll look like real chickens.
An apple tree in the ground. This didn’t happen without some Machievellian activity on my part.
David2 is my gardening guy this year. He’s earning $10/hour to pay for spending money for America and for the last few weeks he’s been working like a Trojan. A gardening trojan. But this weekend all he wanted to do was stay in his room and act like an emo. In normal times, I’d say fair enough. Live and let live. However, those five fruit trees needed to go in the ground. So when he went to his mate’s place for maths tutoring on Saturday afternoon, (because lord knows… there’s no way I could help him with that) and he texted to ask if his mate Dan and his little sister could come for dinner… I knew that my time had come.
I walked into Dan’s house to pick them all up and nonchalantly asked Dan’s dad if he had a spade because I needed some trees planted.
“No, no,” David2 whispered, but it was too late. Dan had raced out to the garage and before we knew it he was back, triumphantly and slightly dangerously waving the spade around.
Within half an houtr all 5 trees were planted. The boys had a lovely time digging holes and being manly. I gave the hose to Dan’s little sister and she watered everything in. It was fantastic.
We put the granny smith apple tree nearest to the chook pen, with the dwarf nectarine in front of it. The apple tree started off with a lovely thick mulch of pea straw around it…
… which the chickens have all but removed.
We put the cherry tree out the front. It’s under some power lines…
… but that’s ok. It’ll just give me incentive to keep it pruned, otherwise the possums will be hanging upside down from the power line to grab my cherries. (That sounds almost rude, doesn’t it?)
We’re also trying out this mushroom kit. We like raw mushrooms in salads, so I thought this’d be a bit of fun.
Speaking of a bit of fun, laying this almost circular egg certainly wouldn’t have been fun.
Maybe this would be, though.
While the cats were having a snooze on the sofa, Evan4’s chickens were having a kip in the undergrowth beneath the fig tree.
On Sunday I dragged David2 out by his dreadlocks and we planted two raspberries near the ballerina apple.
We also planted 2 blueberries and a black currant. (The black currant is on the left and it already has one little berry on it!!) Ignore the weeds in the background. The chooks will eat those…
At the front of the veggie patch I’ve put in asparagus. You have to prepare the bed thoroughly as they’ll be in there for the next 20 years, producing asparagus for us. You don’t harvest them at all in the first year, then sparingly in the second year, and then after that you can make yourself sick on them. I’ve cleverly lined the bed with tasteful garden ornaments so I’ll remember where the bed is. Apparently they look a bit frondy, like ferns, then the asparagus spears jut up out of the ground looking exactly like asparagus spears in the supermarket. Amazing. I need to buy more next year because I could only track down what were supposed to be 4 plants (but one of the packets only had ONE plant in it instead of two. At $12 a pop I was ropable when I realised), so I’ve made the bed bigger than we needed. The red sticks from the blackcurrant plant are marking where the 3 plants are, and where the rest of the bed is for next year.
Ingenious, isn’t it? I don’t see how anything could go wrong with this system. It’s foolproof. As long as nobody moves the plastic sticks.
While we were out there I got David2 to help me clip the chooks’ wings. Buffy and Willow were done ages ago, but the two newer birds had never been done. Jane is pictured here before her wing was scissored. She’s been following me around obsessively. She’s like an ungainly waddling stalker with a penchant for sunflower seeds. Whenever I appear she runs as fast as she can to greet me. She follows me into the house whenever someone leaves the door open and she flutters on top of things so I can pat her. This was all well and good, till I saw her fly on top of the chicken coop, then eye off the tree above it. Once on a branch, it’s only a short sidle to the next door’s fence, with the hungry labrador on the other side.
Hopefully this will put a crimp in her plans.