Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.
Yesterday did end up a dirt play day after all. Between the heavy rain of Sunday night and the heavier rain and thunder storms of Monday afternoon and night, we had beautiful clear skies and delightful spring temperatures. On our way home from errands in town, we drove past our driveway, along the top of our property to go down and see if there were any more new calves on the next farm. We saw no calves, not even any of her cows, they must have been over one of the hills we can’t see from the road, but I spotted large patches of ditch lilies (the tall orange day lilies) up and thriving by the run off creek along the top of our property. After we bought the land, before we started building, we would come up on weekends every few weeks and clean up trash and plant trees in the rocky area that we would never be able to graze animals or hay. Along the creek, we planted River birch trees, they like the damp of the creek and along the creek edges, I put in 3 or 4 small clumps of lilies that I had brought up from my Dad’s garden. Last summer, I wanted to dig some of them to put in the bed that has other day lilies in it down at the house, but the weeds and blackberries had gotten too big for me to want to walk into that area. The weeds haven’t grown up yet, so with bucket and shovel, I went up and dug a good sized clump.
After walking them back down the drive to the house, I debated where to plant them. I have had bronze fennel beside the side garage door on the east side of the house and on the other side of the door, is a bed with Dutch iris, day lilies, and lavender. The chick weed has begun and is growing and spreading like wild fire in that bed. I decided to make a little tribute garden to the man who loved his gardens and flowers. The bronze fennel was dug up, a trench dug from the stoop to the south wall of the garage, a good layer of compost dug in and the shovel full of day lilies planted there, the bed edged with stone from our property and mulched down heavily with spoiled and rotting hay.
Since that looked so good and the soil was damp enough to make weeding not too onerous, I tackled the other side, finding the sprouting iris and day lilies and weeding around them, taking buckets of weeds and grubs to the chickens. A thick layer of newspaper was laid down around each plant and a hefty coat of hay added.
I still have about 3 feet of that bed to do, but I am waiting to see if the perennial sunflower is going to come up. It started raining before I could finish even the part I started, but it will also have a trench dug and stone edge put in place. We aren’t wanting for stone of this property. All of the foundation and chimney stone came off our land.
While pulling back the chickweed, this little lizard climbed the stone and tried to hide. I love finding the lizard’s and toads that eat the insects and show that the gardens are healthy and unsprayed. It will be happy with the thick layer of spoiled hay that replaced the chickweed.
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to a T-shirt that amused me. I showed it to Mountaingdad and asked if he would wear it and he said yes. It came today…
I’m glad he has a sense of humor, he didn’t even give me a hard time when I had him put it on and model.
The chickens relished the buckets of goodies that I gave them yesterday and so far, they haven’t flown over the low fence around the bed in the middle of the garden. It amuses me that all 8 of the hens will take turns using the same nesting box in the coop. There are 6 nesting boxes and it is rare to find eggs in any except the right hand most box, sometimes just outside of it.
This may be a problem when one or more gets broody, as they will lay eggs in the broody hen’s nest. Last year, I marked the eggs under the broody hen and checked every couple of days to remove any not marked ones. This year, we hope to have a brooder coop to separate them. When one goes broody, she will be moved to the brooder coop and over a couple of days, given a dozen eggs to hatch. The brooder coop will have a floor this year, so hopefully, the chicks will survive whatever predator was getting under it last year and doing the damage. I don’t want to lose 50 chicks again this year, I would rather increase my flock and have some for the freezer instead.
About 20 years ago, my Dad made himself a little wooden wheelbarrow to fill with potted flowers in his garden. I commented on it and a couple years later, he gifted me with one he had made just for me. That little barrow has lived at 3 houses, the one we raised our children in, the one year rental after we sold our house and started this one, and here. One of the handles was broken in the move and I did a makeshift repair on it. A year or so ago, the broomstick axle broke and the little barrow sat forlorn and damaged by the garden. Today, I am going to refurbish it and it will have a place in the breezeway perennial garden filled with shade loving flowers this summer.
I plan to enjoy every rain free daylight hour for the next few days. Monday we are going to see another stint of winter, snow flurries and freezing nights and all. Soon it will really be spring and the Camelot like days of warmth, the evening rain showers will return.