11 November 2013

Burgeoning garden

I should really be recently returned from watching Anna in her school fun run, but the rain came down and the school website told me the run is postponed until tomorrow. This is, however, a great thing for our garden, which is burgeoning in the rain after a long dry spell.

We've had a bigger problem than rain, though. We have had a CHICKEN who, for days in a row, had a little breakfast browse of the garden, with a notable focus on lettuce and strawberries. This annoying creature seems to be bottom of the pecking order and always has been. She takes refuge from vicious beaks by perching on whatever she can. She'd come to realise that the elevated position provided by the open coop door was an excellent staging post for flying/climbing over the roof of the coop and out into the garden.

Chicken-pecked strawberry
Fortunately I eventually twigged to her maddening strategy and a few days ago I meshed over the door top so she couldn't land on it. Which is why, finally, I have been able to plant new lettuces. This is spring, and salad season, and buying lettuce from the Farmer's Market is really not defensible when there's healthy soil in the backyard.

Sheltering the lettuces under an old net curtain from the strong, hot sun. 
Jack's Halloween costume is now keeping the carrot seeds moist
until they sprout. It's a hessian sack that had a brief life as an
executioner's vest. Not sure why the photo has spun itself around.
Greek oregano, given to us by our neighbour.
Normal oregano - another herb I can just grab a handful of
for a tomato sauce, or pizza.
The sad, aphid-infested state of our artichokes. I must get out
the pyrethrum spray. Never before have our artichokes had a single
sick day in their lives.
Please, no more cauliflower. We're eating it, but
we're sick of the glut.
Last year's calendula flowers bloom again.

A couple of nights ago I lost faith, as I do every year, that the previous year's beans will pop their heads up above the soil and live again. So I mustered the children outside, and minutes before it rained we pushed new bean seeds (which are of course themselves beans!) into the ground. They each planted under a different climbing frame, so they will be able to watch 'their' beans emerge, and then of course eat them! They love them raw. And roar (with health, I mean).

Even as they poked them in, I could see last year's beans sprouting. Oh ye (me) of little faith.

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