Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A mixed week...

I'm having a bit of a funny week, its been warm, misty, down right freezing and almost every type of weather in between. And, chickens have been more than a bit cheeky in both coming into the house, hopping into the car when you fancy getting on with something and generally just being menaces - their summer free range days are over (soon).

They are now driving me crazy - can't turn around but you find 5 'mountian-goat-like-chickens' on top of the piano looking very innocently on. Waiting for a tune, no doubt? And the second photo is a chicken LEAVING the house - lol. Pesky chickens and thier adventuring, but they do make me giggle.
I managed to get the tomato window boxes filled at the weekend, prior to planting, for our great 2011 tomato growing adventure. We've planted 10, another 10 to go - 2-3 in each box and they will be planted for growing upstairs in the living room. But, whilst filling them with chicken looking on, of course, it wasn't long before 6 of them had a pad about in the compost, before we got it inside, just to check it was OK you understand, very pernickly chickens it would seem!

The sun at the weekend brought out alot of things quickly, which meant a walk at lunchtime in town around the normal route - with el hound. Peedie - trotting down the path quite the thing whilst I nosied into folks gardens to see whats up and growing well.
The spirea has just burst out into flower, this does well here, early, suckering and pretty robust and a scent to die for.....
Of course, the star of shrub land at the moment here is flowering currant - looking gorgeous and everywhere around the island - very beautiful and a great early flowering shrub - hardy where we are.......
Another flowering beauty at this time of year are Primula denticulata (or Kirrie dumplings as I know them from central scotland) - they are all over the place, purple, through to white and almost blue in some cases - gorgeous - here's a look over a garden near the college where my desk is......
Aren't they wondeful? I love them! One thing that grows well here, and is cut back to the ground in mainland scotland is Fushia magellanica - buds up and growing about to go bonkers..........

And I've been tidying up my veggie plot at work  during teaching at the weekend, (in the sun! wierd weather here) - and lifted alot of a gorgeous alpine strawberry - white fruits, taste like bubblegum - yummy collected the seed from fife but it didn't come true red, it came white and they are all like that - and really prolific - so I listed them on eBay and as if by magic they've mostly sold. Yay for flowers helping to pay the bills in our little homestead!
Next, of course I've a hedge to plant - 1000 mixed species of willow (salix) cuttings (hard wood) about to go into the ground, you'll be hearing my salix symphony quite soon - or should I be asking for some salix sympathy?
After I'm done? I'll be achey thats for sure!!!! But aren't they gorgeous? About 100 cutting in each pot of water! A forest on my table, well at least a 150 m, 1m wide hedge..........! They are being soaked for 24 hours prior to planting to get the stems ready for planting - helps to active the preformed roots inside the stem which this species has - quite unlike other shrubs - clever little willows! By this time at the end of the summer, each of them will have grown into lovely little shrubs about 1m tall.
All in all, a productive, chicken infected, mix of a week!
Hope your week been good!


  1. A good week I think - very productive despite the chooks! Sorry, how very Australian of me, I mean hens!

  2. your hens are a hoot! i thought my dog was bad following me around; i can't imagine having those hens under foot all the time. i so enjoy reading your blog posts. they are always funny, entertaining and full of bits of info. glad to hear the weather is doing nicely there. it's lovely that so many flowers are out.

  3. Your chooks are very funny! I love their little characters. And how they tilt their head sand gaze up at you. THe willow are terrific, what will you do with them all?

  4. love the willow bundles is it all local ?

  5. Your willow looks really beautiful. The hens are clearly being over indulged - spare the rod and spoil the chicken ;-) I love "Kirrie dumplings", but have had no luck at all getting them to grow for me. I've had three lots of plug plants now, plus two attempts at growing them from seed, all a disaster! But I WILL not give up...

  6. How very co-incidental. Early this morning I emailed a grower in Washington state inquiring as to recommendations for willow cuttings for my pollinator gardens. The catkins will provide spring forage for bees, the plants for windbreak and hedge and canes for garden art. There's darn few places to buy willow cuttings in the States. Canada has a few. The UK, however, is rife with them. The States/Canada will stop shipping cutting at the end of April, so I hope I'm not too late. Please tell me all about willow.... ;-D I need help.