I have to say it is taking all my inner strength not to load post after post complaining about the weather. So, I have been looking for the bright side. Finding up beat and exciting things to share. Doing things to bring sunshine into my world like making lemon honey, the joy of sowing seeds and taking a disproportionate number of photos on the rare sunny day. But it is exhausting trying to keep a brave face on.
I went away for the weekend and tried to forget about the garden for a while and all it did was rain incessantly. I was a little worried about going away leaving my tender seedlings – some still ungerminated under the watchful care of Hubby the Un-Gardener. His track record isn’t so great. Last year he left the greenhouse shut up on a sunny day and forgot to water and fried a multitude of things.
This year he was more than diligent – he took notes when I was showing him what to do, he set alarms and even sent me photographic evidence of him doing what needed to be done. It was with great relief that I came home to see tiny tomato seedlings with outstretched leaves. This is my solace knowing someday soon these small plants will be basking in the heat of a summer sun – looking to me to quench their thirst. This day will come.
However, there can be times where the consistent wet conditions can be a benefit. At this time of year I let the chickens free range about the place for a bit of a change in their lives and they love it – although I do wonder why their first instinct is to go to the front door an poop all over the deck? We have three wonderful acres for them to roam and explore, but they would rather be up by the house – making a mess.
Well – late last week I banished them back to their own place – a large compound that for some would be considered free ranging in its own right. Because I’d had enough. Someone had been scratching about in my garden and pulling out my onions! Some had been damaged irreparably.
This is where my not wanting to waste anything actually came in handy. Some would say I was hoarding seedlings, but I’d convinced myself that the left-over onions seedlings, once fat enough could be used in some kind of cooking session – whatever it would be – it would be delish. So fortunately, I was able to grab the fattest seedlings still languishing in the seed tray (from June!) and pop them in the gaps. I muttered terrible things about the chickens lack of respect for my garden and my onions.
It was with a sense of peace over my onions that I went away for the weekend, although I was still a tad worried about the seedlings in the greenhouse. But upon coming home and sloshing about the garden to check on things, I found complete carnage in my onion bed again! And evidential poop to point the finger at the true villains of this situation. The Pukeko – the quirky but deadly onion destroying swamp hens! Fortunately for most of the seedlings a weekend lying on the surface of the bed in the pouring rain was enough to keep them with enough vitality to allow for hope that they will survive and once again I popped them back in to the wet earth. I did need to raid my seedling stash for several more replacements for the ones that had not only been unearthed but completely mangled as well.
I need a fence.
And in spite of their innocence the chickens are still behind bars.
Come again soon – the sun is trying to shine weakly through large dark clouds, maybe this is a sign for better days.
Sarah the Gardener : o)