Friday, 20 February 2009

Chickens, Gardening and Springfever!!

The last couple of days, while I've had a week off (Ihave such a great job, that means I get all the school holidays off!) I have been doing a bit of gardening. I thought it was time time to tackle my overgrown borders before everything starts growing in again. Trouble is the soil is terrible, it is practically pure clay. It makes digging it twice as hard as other soil. Every fork full weighs a ton, it sticks to the fork and mostly stays in large clumps. In about a total of five hours digging I have dug over and weeded such a small amount.

It does look amazing though, it lifts the whole look of the garden. I've dug in well rotted chicken and rabbit litter and tried to convince the girls not to feed all my precious worms to the chickens. I am hoping the more compost I dig in the better the soil will get, but I am also guessing it will take some time.

The weather has been quite good for the last couple of days and I am hoping it will stay dry for a while so I can get some more done before I go back to work. The chickens have had a great time digging in the freshly uncovered earth and compost and the cats have been enjoying the sunshine. I think they are starting to feel spring in the air. Little clumps of snowdrops are appearing and everyone seems to have a bounce in their step.

I am also glad it is mild at the moment for an entirely different reason. We didn't have a cat flap, so hubby made a whole in the 'dining room' wall, lined it will tiles and attached a cat flap to the outside. Now, seeing as how he's a builder it was never quite finished. (Anyone who's been married to a builder knows that they don't finish their own house!) But it was perfectly operational and did a good job..... until one of next doors big fluffy cats decided to visit. She came through the cat flap but before she could get out of the tunnel into the dining room she met Harley. Harley was non too impressed and expressed his disapproval of the uninvited guest as only disgruntled cats can. Mocha attempted a hasty retreat and being a rather large puss with a lot of excess fluff, must have got caught up. She ripped the cat flap off and the tiles all collapsed. I now have a cat hole!!. They love it!! Much quicker when you are being chased by your brother!! Stretch (our neighbour) has promised to fix it for us, but for now at least it is mild and dry!


Janie said...

Lol, hope the good weather holds out until you get the cat flap fixed. I know what you mean about a builder's home projects never quite getting finished. My daughter's hubby is a builder, and their kitchen remodeling took forever and still doesn't have all the trim done... But what is done looks absolutely fabulous!

Stiggy said...

A cat 'hole' - priceless!

I'm a carpenter by trade - and it's the same here - things never usually get finished totally!

Still - at least we KNOW how to do things even if we don't actually 'do' them!


Berthddu Suit said...

Exactly it Janie. My hubby works away so he does have that excuse, but no matter what he does it is always really well done just not quite finished!

Berthddu Suit said...

No Stiggy, 'At least we know how to do things' doesn't wash, it just makes it more frustrating!! I just threaten to pay someone to come in and finish it, that's usually the fastest way to get it done!!

Shrinky said...

Yup, winter is on the way out (fingers crossed). I cut some daff's from the garden yesterday, they opened fully overnight - a cheeful bunch of sunshine to light up the room. Home-grown flowers also bring scent into the room, doubles the pleasure, doesn't it?

Good luck with the digging, you are far more industrious than I am!

Carolina said...

First I thought you had dug a well rotted chicken into the soil, which freaked me out, but then I read it again!
Nice that the signs of spring are showing, we just noticed our Alliums peeping up through the horse manure I've spread over parts of the garden. Made me happy too! Enjoy your weekend!

Tattie Weasle said...

Don't you worry about the clay - just remember that roses and all sorts much prefer it and that it retains more mositure so less watering when we get a dryspell!

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RSPCA said...


I’m posting on behalf of the RSPCA to raise awareness of its urgent campaign to protect the welfare of UK meat chickens. I think the campaign may be of particular interest to you so I hope it is OK to contact you in a comment.

Right now the government is considering new EU legislation that may increase the number of chickens allowed in rearing sheds.

We desperately need people to join us in urging Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister for Animal Welfare, to make the right choice for UK chickens. More info is at

Thanks, and again, I hope it has been OK to contact you via your comments.

Stefan, on behalf of the RSPCA