Never leave your chickens unattended in the vegetable plot.
Lots of things have happened in the last month; I started sowing again, doing general gardening and Houdini and the Hurkies have been so bad? Let’s start with the misbehaving hens...
JP and I have been away for two weeks visiting friends and family in the Netherlands. I had been telling my parents (also keen grow-your-own-ers) that we were looking forward to eating spring cauliflower in just a few weeks’ time. Before we left the cauliflowers I had sown, had grown into healthy, sturdy plants with small heads forming inside.
But when we got back home.... the vegetable bed had been destroyed. Completely and utterly wrecked! Trashed! By the chickens!
Strangely enough Houdini and the Hurkies mysteriously vanished after I made this shocking discovery. The soup we had that night was delicious, though....
I’m joking of course. It could’ve done with a little more salt. No, seriously, we don’t kill chickens, not even after they have gorged themselves on our spring vegetables! But to say I was very angry with them is an understatement! Thankfully our neighbour has agreed that we can use a patch of bare land next to our garden to house the 6 little menaces. And that’s exactly where they are now and where they’re going to stay. Maybe this year we will be able to create a fenced off area within our own garden for the hens, but we’ve got so many other projects on the go, that I’m not sure if we’ll have time to fit this in as well.
One of the projects we have this year involves replacing more grassy areas (or should I say mossy?) with flower borders. We’ve found it very difficult to grow and maintain a nice lawn in Scotland. The wetter weather and the fact we also have tons of stones in the ground, don’t help either. We’ve already built a massive, elevated pond with all the stones and rocks we’ve dug up and now we’re creating a little pond next to it. With waterways, more bridges the whole shebang! Basically, we are extending the ‘Beechgrove Garden Bog’, to make our garden more adventurous. We’ll just have to wait and see how many more midges the extra water attracts.
It’s nice that the growing season has started again and to be honest, the weather hasn’t been that bad overall. I know we’re not out of the woods just yet, but it seems very unlikely we will have snow lying for more than a few days now. Everything is still indoors: I’ve sown tomatoes, chillies and aubergines in January and they are coming along nicely. I’ve also pre-planted onions in the greenhouse and sowed the Dutch ‘kapucijner’ peas at the start of March. Needless to say Houdini and the Hurkies are not allowed in the greenhouse, so I’ve still got some kale left to harvest. The weeds will have started growing too, so I can always eat ground elder (which is quite tasty actually!), nettles, sorrel and dock leaves.