Friday, 18 May 2012

We have had a mixed month so far. May is normally very warm  with continued blue skies. This year it's been quite cool we've had a lot more wind and it's rained most days. We were surprised last week by a very late lamb, he isn't managing to take milk from his mother so I am bottle feeding him. It's more usual to have lambs in March. He's very greedy and looks like he going to be very robust. Most of our sheep are black, we have one white ewe who is quite old and that was our only white. It seems like magic to suddenly get a white one. The new lamb has speckled brown legs and ears.

This is the lambs mother, she is 4, our new lamb is her 3rd.  We don't sheer our sheep because of the very cold winters.  There are very few sheep around so we are pretty safe from disease. I like our shaggy sheep this one has been bleached by the sun.

I bought a packet of seeds 3 years ago in France. Here they grow wild in the hedgerows and the native variety is violet/blue colour. The one above is one from the packet.

I have been wanting some old bicycles for sometime now. They are often advertised around here on the internet but  they are  always a bit expensive or too far away. I found 2 in an old dump, very rusty one has a split frame and the other has rusted through wheel rims. I think I shall try and make a viable bike one day but until I find some wheels they are propped up in my garden looking poetic.

My seedlings are slowly trickling out of the verandah, some come back after I realise  I have been a bit optimistic. I have been enlarging my Potager as I was running out of room. It's filling up as fast as I can dig. I now have a plot in the orchard along a stone wall. It's a very sunny spot. This morning I was digging and I managed to snap my fork in 2, the metal part! This is why I am updating my blog. I am wondering what to do next.

Red Basil.

Found these boots in the secondhand shop, perfect fit, 3 euros. I was  in need of new boots too. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

1st May

We visited a lovely fete lots of plants, animals and crafts.  We bought 3 male Indian Running Ducks last year. I think we were hoping for at least one female but out of the 3 one died. The 2 that are now 1 year old are very healthy males. This spring the ducks have been chasing the female goose around too much. The Gander has got very good at defending her but I felt that I had to try and intervene somehow. I bought another duck, this time a female. She is also 1 year like our 2 here but being female she is smaller. It's not great though, we really need a few more females. They are quite expensive 26 euros this year, last year they were only 10 each. Anyway now we are back home I can't put the female out with the males as they jump on her and they could harm her. It's always good to have a plan. Today I made her a private run where she could be amongst her fellow ducks and not need to flea. It was  great to see her settling in today. I will have to put the males away while I take her to the pond or let her roam the garden freely. The goose seemed happier today, not being chased. I always feel very concerned about the animals, hope i'm doing the right thing. I just went outside to bring her in the house. She is in the seed room now where I think she will be safer tonight. I have to make her a secure pen with the other ducks soon.
The Indian Runners above and below are black with a wonderful oily bluey, green glint to them. 

Here's the female meeting our ducks for the first time. She has a speckled beak. They make very good slug predators, they don't fly so ideal in an organic garden. We have a spring fed pond that they love. 

Trip to the pond.

Thistle growing by the pond

I'm still busy in the germinating and nurturing of plants. It's still too early to plant things out. I have makeshift cold frames and I am potting up seedlings in larger and larger pots. I seem to spend hours shifting things in and out of the sun or rain. Night or day, cold or warm. I still need to find somewhere for it all to go in the ground.