Sunshine, helpers and visitors. 

Monday morning: Up early this morning as the pigeons were scrabbling around on the metal roof making a right racket, still it enabled me to get ahead so washing on, bread on the go, tonight’s dinner already prepped and an early morning call with my Mum who is away on their canal boat all before 7.30 😀We are approaching the season of red mite boom, those little blood sucking vampires that feed on my hens, the weather conditions, rain, humid then sunny will see them expand rapidly in numbers unless they are kept in check. I can already see evidence of them in the boxes 😖 the hen sat on the quail eggs will be very vulnerable and so I shall be cleaning the boxes out with jeyes fluid and smearing petroleum jelly into all the cracks and crevices I can find. Normally we would move them right out and creosote the whole hut but with no where to move them to that’s not an option this year so other methods of control will need to be put in place instead. The petroleum jelly will act like a trap as they won’t be able to move in it, we sometimes use diatomaceous earth but in all honesty I don’t think it works that well, some people swear by it, I’m not one of those. I have swung the ducklings run around to a new position this morning as they had trashed the grass they were on, need to clean out their hut as well.

Jobs to do: Clean nest boxes, spray and jelly, clean, ducklings, pick asparagus and rhubarb to put out for sale, dig up a couple of bits of ragwort in the paddocks, selectively spray a couple of bunches of docks in the paddocks, mow the walkway down to the back paddocks, they have buttercups and the horses don’t eat them off. Feed the dogs, sort the eggs, put the bread in to cook, hang the washing out etc etc

Well I decided to do the hen house before it gets too hot, that was an orrible task, although i hardly saw any red mite so they haven’t got a hold yet, it’s the detritus that I spotted and doing it in the day when they are tucked up asleep is the best option. Normally if it’s rife you can feel them crawling on you but I didn’t so hopefully Ive done it in time. I have a number of hens gone broody now so I chose another to hatch the other quail eggs and wired her in, no point wasting electric when you have a willing volunteer 😀 the other hens got chucked out of the hen house and I collected up the rest of the eggs, best not to leave them in there it just encourages them to sit. A nice long cool drink before I set about the other jobs today. 

Collected the post and was surprised to see live plants in there, I did think when the others arrived that I had ordered chrysanthemums but they were Cottage perennials well I obviously ordered both lots as the chrysanthemums have now arrived as well 😀

Potted up those quickly they were quite dry, I’ve realised I am at my happiest potting up and potting on, planted some runner beans to replace the ones that got caught by the cold although they are showing signs of coming back, going to be inundated with beans lol

Tuesday: Did the animals then pottered around in the garden for a couple of hours, had Mia in the afternoon, then spent the evening, cutting asparagus, cutting the grass on the walkways and digging up an awful lot of docks with John. It started off just digging up the couple of bits of ragwort but we thought while we were at it might as well do some docks and thistles. The mower is playing up a bit so John had a look at it, well the only things he knows how to do is check the oil and clean the spark plug lol didn’t make much difference as it is still misfiring 😝

Wednesday: The temps are set to climb today so I need to get done quickly then I shall be mainly shade hopping in the garden, of course this means there are areas I won’t get to they will have to wait for cloud cover 😝I have been trying to work out where I will put the remaining veg plants, I might as well use all of them but it means my crop rotation plan has gone out of the window as I use every little space to plant veg. Hopefully it means I will have bumper crops this year and will need to sell quite a lot of it fresh as I’m not planning on freezing as much this year as I did last year, some of it is still in the freezer especially fruit! 

Thursday: As the temps are set to be high today, I got up early to get on, did the animals and then some watering in the greenhouse and tunnels. Then I decided to clean the utility/boot room 😜two hours later it looks a lot better and smells good for a change, I washed all the winter coats as they should dry quickly today. No point doing that room unless I wash the dogs as that’s where they sleep so much to their disgust (but it’s not winter, and we are not filthy kind of looks I got) they had a shampoo, you would think they be happy but I can bet my last pound they will find the nearest dirt patch to dry off in 😖 As it is there is cloud cover out there so it’s not too hot at the minute. We have guests staying next week, Dad and Sue will be here so I need to get some cleaning done beforehand, cleaning is nearly always the lowest priority these days, I used to scort around trying to do everything but I realised life’s too short and the dust always comes back so now it gets done as and when necessary 😀

Popped out to collect the post and had a lovely letter from Mum and Ken who are on the canal in Warwickshire, love an old fashioned letter in the technology age it somehow seems more appropriate to sit down and relax and read it rather than reading on the hoof as it were. I know Mum will be reading this when she can get a wifi signal so, thank you for the letter 😀 and enjoy the canals, a lovely relaxed pace of life. 

Did some watering in the evening and a bit of weeding, had to sort out the electric fence as the horses have spotted long grass that they can reach if the battery is running low 😝 Up at 6am this morning finished at 8pm…..pooped now. 

Friday: Many hands make light work as they say and I had plenty today, I set them to work on various tasks, I run out of shade too quickly when it’s blazing sun and so it’s great to have others that can work out in it. If I spend too long in the sunshine, and when it’s like this I mean more than 10 minutes, I begin to get very tired as the antibodies rear their lovely little heads and go into overdrive so it’s better not to tempt them 😀 Shelley and Josh cleaned out the ducks while Charlie gave Kai a good brush and cleaned out his kennel, I did some indoor work then we spent a pleasant couple of hours sitting in the garden with Sam and Mia.

I did water the garden in the evening but needn’t have bothered, thunderstorm and rain early hours of the morning.

Saturday: A damp start and a great day weatherwise for me, saw a very large buzzard sat on the fence at the back on my morning rounds, I was able to get plenty done in the garden, hoeing, weeding, note to self, when weeding near the gooseberry bushes wear gloves, ouch! Planting up more veg, I am planting it in every available space I can find this year. Shelley and Josh came over and Shelley cleaned out the rabbits and guinea pigs, Josh watched me do the weeding then had a sleep, then enjoyed helping out, well mostly riding in the wheelbarrow 😜. I pulled a stick of rhubarb for him to chew on and he liked it lol, amazing, can’t wait to introduce him to other fresh veg, not the strawberries though, he gets a rash from them but raspberries are fine so I guess he is going to be raiding them 😀 Hopefully we will get a bit more rain overnight. 

Sunday: Lovely sunny morning, John got on with the animals while I got ready for our visitors later today, fresh bread made and a batch of brownies, plus a boiled ham for sandwiches. John also dug up a large patch of docks in the paddock and legged ringed and moved the ducklings into the big pen with the other ducks. They had got too big for their little run. Ducks are easy to introduce to each other, they don’t fight so they will be fine in there until they get sold on, I have a buyer but need to wait and see what sex they are first. 

Still trying to get footage of the fox, but he has had a laying hen that had hidden in th straw overnight and now one of my male geese at the back 😖. We had moved them into the jump paddock to eat the buttercups, they have been fine for months without being shut away, we are down to one hen in the orchard pen, two jumped ship into the laying flock a couple of weeks ago, two sleep high up in the trees and spend the day free ranging and so only one that sleeps on her own on top of the rabbit enclosure, I did have 14 chickens in there! We are going to make the fence on the side he is getting in, better it’s a bit flimsy at the minute, then I shall be on the hunt for some new bantams 😀


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