Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The epitome of Nagden life!

This is what it's all about, summer days and high tides bring all sorts of boats past the bottom of the garden, the best of which are the Thames Barges. Our favourite is Greta as she lives in Faversham all year round and we get the most reliable waves in return for a great deal of shouting and waving and general mayhem from our end! But all of them are astounding in their sheer size and grace

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Not a peep

Yesterday was 'hatching day' but no sign of the little blighters. Lucy has been a dutiful Mum this far, let's hope that she can pull it off. Today there was one egg in her ark which had cracked but was full of grey slurry - I couldn't bring myself to investigate it too far. Hope the others may yet be okay but I'm not hopeful. I rang a poultry expert who said I should pick then up really carefully and listen to see if I could hear anything - but to be very careful in case they exploded! Needless to say I did put them to my ear but didn't know what I was listening out for. I think we will give her one more day - mainly to placate Georgia who is distraught - and then chuck them away. I have now caught the bug and really fancy having another go, but we will have to find someone else to give us some eggs.
Meanwhile Humbug has joined the broody club and sits clucking pointlessly all day long in the main hen house, so we will give her a turn I think and hope that Lucy can be persuaded back into mainstream life! And maybe even entice her into laying an egg!!!?

The realities of such a remote home were brought home to me today when my car started screeching at me, it's the clutch and the garage advised me not to drive it until it can be fixed, so I had to call on friends to collect the children from school etc. It was actually not too bad, like a Tuesday when I don't have to leave the house all day, but I didn't manage to get anything much done in the garden - despite a very long to-do list, as the weather at the moment is pretty shocking - April showers in May and very strong winds all the time. I have plans to re-arrange Georgia's bit of the garden and build her some raised beds around the Wendy House, perhaps smaller than her existing one so that it isn't so daunting, she seems positive about that idea, so we'll have to look at it this weekend.

Also on the kids front, Stan has started to take a few steps between objects. Georgia can entice him to go furthest by keeping his push-along trolley just out of reach. He is quite a cheeky character and has established some other 'trying' activities to add to his garden havoc - there is kitchen drawer havoc, undersink cupboard havoc and messingupmybrotherstraintrack havoc! Oh and finally 'look at me climbing the stairs really fast and then standing really close to the edge with no bannister' havoc!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Blooming blossom

May Bank Holiday weekend, the fields around us are gaudy with the sulphurous yellow of the rape and the hedgerows bursting into fresh, acid green. Our garden is really looking pretty and softening around the edges as all of the trees throw off their dormancy. The apple trees in particular are stunning today and driving through the coppiced hazel woods to get my now almost daily fix of Asparagus, the irrididescent bluebell carpets are such an English scene and bound up with so many memories of my childhood, Granny Creek and more recently with Di and Iain Brown, so whilst they lift my spirit, it's bittersweet as Di won't walk in her own bluebell woods again.

There is an orchard near to Raff's nursery which surrounds the Parish church and usually it looks stunning at this time of the year, a view I long to paint (yet another!), but this year they have sprayed the ground beneath with glysophate so the beautiful trees sit in a sea of yellowing foliage. It looks so unnatural and rather sad, there must be another way to deal with the weeds?

Yesterday was a busy day in the veg plot, I managed to get in two lots of climbing French Beans and some more salads, as well as turning the compost heap. Last year I didn't have much luck with the beans, they seemed to struggle so this time I have dug good deep pits and filled them with compost before replacing the topsoil and then sowing the seeds. I am risking the slugs by sowing directly but have some back-ups in pots in case they are all munched! This year there is a new peril in the garden.

Last year the wind upended my small portable greenhouse on more than one occasion, tipping out all of the fledgling seedlings and rendering them useless. This year the problem is more pernicious and comes without warning, it's called Stanley. Whenever we are in the garden relaxing and it all goes quiet, you can bet your bottom dollar that he has crawled round the corner to where the beautifully pricked out seedlings are and he works his way along the pots, tipping them out, or removing the labels, or just generally being a pest. I have moved them all up to higher ground, but he has ways and means...! I'm not sure it's a problem they have to address regularly on Gardeners' Question Time!

Today we are supposed to be having our first trip of the year to the Minnis Bay beach hut but I woke to the sound of steady rain on the rooflight. We had been promised a lovely day and it is at last beginning to brighten, but cloud is still pretty low and heavy. We shall see

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hatching a plan

Well, it's a typical April day, windy, sunny, rainy, warm and cold! I have been busy pricking out seedlings of Cosmos for Georgia's garden and sowing lots of pumpkins, squash and courgette seeds in small pots. It's my day for focusing on the stuff I want to do, Raff goes to a childminder after Nursery on a Tuesday and it leaves Stan and I with an uninterrupted day to divide up as we will. Time pressures are less and we have lunch when we feel like it, read books, snooze, garden and sometimes even clean the house! But not today. Last weekend was Stan's Naming ceremony and 1st birthday so it was a busy build up and now I think I have finally run out of steam. But one other job had to be done today and that was installing Lucy our broody white Pekin Bantam into the old chicken Ark which is going to serve as a broody coop. We have been give 6 fertilised eggs by a friend and we are going to see if she can put her broodiness to some use. Apparently it takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, so watch this space for a slice of Springtime fun.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The marshes are bursting into life, every day more leaves burst in the hegderows and the fuzziness increases. On Monday we had a great adventure, rescuing a new born lamb from the field at the end of the garden, its mother had abandoned it and it was getting very cold in the drizzle and familiar wind.