Hergest Helly

Stories about my art and craft and home…


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Happy new year?

… or should that be “new year and a quarter”?  Hey ho – back to blogging now its spring.

I have been gardening like a demon – and loving it – even though my body is complaining.  Today I extended the chicken run behind the greenhouse…

greenhouse and girlies

The view from greenhouse…

… the grass won’t last long but they are having a lot of fun.

Those are beans in the foreground and a few peas in the pots at the back – more pop up every day – its like magic.

Happy days…

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Bye bye Ruby…

Ruby, our Black Rock chickie, died last night.  She was getting on a bit, no eggs since the year before last and she had been slowing down over the last couple of days so I popped her in the “sick room” aka the rabbit hutch and run we keep for isolating any hen that looks a bit peaky.

I hand fed her some grapes yesterday and she ate a few but she was not very interested and I knew what was going to happen.  I planned to take her to the vet this morning to have her put to sleep but she beat me to it…

Intrepid Ruby in January 2013

Intrepid Ruby in January 2013

Thanks for all the lovely eggs and the company Ruby…

Sad…


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Saturday gardening…

Another lovely warmish dry day… the weather this summer has been smashing and these late sunny summer days are a real bonus.

So my to do list for today in the garden:

1.   Finish digging 2 veg patches

2.  Transplant 2 raspberry bushes

3.   Plant out onions and cabbages (and leeks and beetroots)

4.   Rig up some netting to discourage the cats

5.   Sort out strawberry plants

Spindly onions...

Spindly onions… looking very unlikely to do anything at all…

Lady Truscott and Hinge (or Bracket) in the background waiting for more worms….

I was planning on planting leeks and beetroots in this bed along with the onions – but I was being a bit optimistic about the space required – there is just enough room for the onions (they should be 10″ apart – these are nearer 6″…. )  So I am going to dig another bed the other side of the shed – if I can find the energy!

(Yes, I know the netting is rather low and that cats are quite capable of jumping over it… I am just hoping it will do for now…)

And now the cabbages – these look rather sad and nibbled.  I have been checking them every day for the culprits and I have removed a couple of caterpillars… but now they are out in the big wild world I guess they will get attacked by all sorts of creatures – but hopefully they will leave enough for me to eat:

Cabbages...

Cabbages…

I am hoping the raspberries on the right of this picture don’t spread too much… at least not until I have finished with the cabbages.  Next year I might just have to let the raspberries do their stuff and not use the bed for veggies… I’ll see how it goes… I’m not going to fight with the raspberries – after all – there is NO contest between cabbage and raspberries!!

My last job was to sort out the strawberries.  I bought some big pots of end of season strawberries at a reduced price and there were lots of lovely runners on them – so I got those potted up and hopefully I will have tons of fruit next year – hoorah!!!

I felt like a “proper” gardener today… as I explained to the onions as I was planting them – so I hope they have taken notice and will GROW!

Happy days….


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Our four girlies…

Here they are…

My four girlies...

Our four girlies…

Ruby, at the front, is a Black Rock and she lays huge brown eggs almost every day.

Lily, in the middle, is a Cream Legbar and lays beautiful blue eggs.

Phoebe, the black and white one at the back, is an Exchequer Leghorn and lays perfect white eggs.

And Nellie – a Gold Laced Wyandott – lays pretty pale brown eggs (when she isn’t being broody!)

They have a nice run…

chicken run

The chicken run…

… all the way round the pond – and a great view up the ridge.  There are more trees on the right where they have lots of shade and places for dust bathing.  There are usually sheep in the field just beyond the run and its funny to watch the lambs being curious…

We used to let them free-range all over the garden and I loved having them all around me, but this year I am starting to grow more flowers and veggies and I know just how destructive the darlings can be and so we created a run.   They seem very happy and love the stuff growing in and around the pond.  And they don’t miss out – I share out the raspberries and pull up the dandelions for them…

Happy days…


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The tiniest egg…

I have 4 chickens and I am looking after another 3 for my friend Jess while she searches for a new home.

Lady Truscott, one of Jess’s chickens, has just laid the most beautiful little egg – so perfect:

Pretty eggs...

Pretty eggs…

Lady Truscott’s egg from the day before is the one at the top – her eggs are usually fairly small, but never this tiny!

These eggs were laid by, from the top and going clockwise, Lady Truscott, Lily, Ruby and Hinge (or maybe Bracket – I can never be sure with those 2).

So small...

So small…

I’ll post some stories and photos of my happy hens soon…

Happy days….