Well another big year is coming to a close. Day jobs have kept us busy and the months have flown by, but there has still been plenty going on in both the City and Country Gardens:
After a flourishing Spring season with the garden providing pretty much all our vegetables, it's now in pre-production mode for Summer. Tomatoes, beans, capsicum, radishes, potatoes, corn, cucumber and berries are all growing. Rocket, lettuce, sorrel, beetroot, rhubarb, strawberries, basil, zucchinis and squash are being harvested now. And leeks, broad beans, garlic, celery, peas, silverbeet, kale, broccoli and fennel have all finished but were marvellous throughout Spring.
There have been big changes in the City Garden. Our feathered companions of the last couple of years are no longer with us. I hasten to add that nothing bad happened, but we decided that sadly the garden is really too small to cope with full-size chickens that lay eggs every day, eat everything is sight and then poo everywhere. And while the bantams were basically pets, making less impact than the big white chickens, they didn't lay many eggs and we felt weren't getting enough greenery in their lives. Two families with big gardens, excited children and a commitment to giving them loving homes to our rescue and we are now literally "empty nesters".
It's so sad not having them there in the backyard, interacting with them all everyday, but at the same time it has provided the opportunity to re-establish a vegie garden, save my fruit trees from chicken-demolition, and once again utilise the backyard as another room, moving seamlessly from inside to outside without dodging chook poo!
Possums still remain a threat, so the vegie garden is encased in wire to try to keep them out. So far I'm winning that competition, but it's early days! And I decided that the nectarine tree that they savaged last winter was not going to adequately recover, so it's been removed. The soil in the garden beds that I've put the vegetables in is in great condition now, thanks to two years of building it up with chicken manure and the straw from their house, and there's more sunlight without the nectarine tree, so the vegies are thriving.
And in the corner of the garden remains the lovely house that we built the chickens. We didn't feel ready to let it go, so perhaps one day...
Best wishes for the festive season and for a bountiful year in 2015.