Posted in Chickens, Gardens

Snapshots of my July garden

My title was going to be Snapshots of my June Garden – then I realised it was actually July. How quickly time flies! I bought a lot of plants earlier this year, planted them, then forgot about them. Until they decided to remind me with their presence…

Patio Corner – can you spot Dottie?
The Pond Garden
The Gravel Patch and Goldenrod Corner. The spare chicken house is essential, awkward to place elsewhere and not particularly attractive, so flowers have been planted around it
Mabel vandalises Goldenrod Corner
Roses in the Chickens’ Garden
Posted in Gardens

Garden Makeover 1: Goodbye Decking, Hello Patio

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The decking in my garden served as a patio, container garden and convenient place to keep the guinea pig hutch and other miscellenia. It was already there when I moved in nine years ago and I was fond of it.

It was, however, also the home and hiding nest of a family of rats who would often come out and steal food from the chickens and wild birds. Now, I could tolerate a small number of rats if I had a massive garden, and lived far from neighbours, out in the countryside. But rats don’t know how to use birth control and my garden is tiny and far too near neighbours. If there were complaints, would the hens get the blame?

It was time for eviction.

Oh, and just in case you think removing the decking is a drastic way to get rid of rats, the decking, which has been there for at least 10 years, probably much longer, was rotting and far from looking its best. It needed a complete revamp, with new planks installed, or a total removal.

So Simon made the first move in removing the planks with the help of a crowbar. A much harder job than expected as the planks were so firmly stuck down. Eventually, by the end of the first day, he had removed the side and floor posts.

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It was a mess, but it needed to be done.

Then the remaining posts were loosened and taken away by Dad.

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Slowly, over the week, Dad worked on the decking, a little at a time. Digging out remaining stumps and donning gloves and cleaning up ‘what lies beneath’ (including a rat’s nest).

We thought a path continuing from the rest of the garden to the back door was essential, as was a path to the chickens in the side garden. Perhaps a little patio, just right for a table and chairs on the right, and a vegetable/herb patch to the left.

A membrane went down where the path would be and golden flint stone placed on top. Moonstone had been the option for the previous path but no longer seemed to be stocked by the nearest JTF, the nearest store.

The plan was to finish this part of the garden during my week off, but after a glorious spell of sun and heat, the rain decided to come back. Good for the plants, not so much for working outside. Thanks rain.

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But there is always tomorrow and every time I look out at where the decking used to be, instead of seeing a mucky mess, I’m thinking: ‘Things are starting to look interesting….’

To be continued…