The gardens at Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!

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23 May 2011

Chicken Wars

AND ALL ROUND BIRD CHANGES

Lulu (and Al)

Priscilla



After collecting our 3 hens from their  luxury hotel at Sarah's (http://www.newlandgrange.com ) following our short trip, it seemed a very good time to introduce a couple of newcomers to our mini flock.  

Well, that's what I thought.  However, the resident three thugs thought otherwise.  Despite having stayed away from their own territory for nearly a week, they are just too territorial for the continued safety of the new girls.  Poor Lulu (a Sussex cross) and Priscilla (a Blacktail) have had their lives made total misery and so they are now separated and have the Hennery to themselves whilst the other 3 have the Hen Pen. The girls also have a new pin-up on their gate.  We moved Chanticleer to a more fitting position.  Maybe he will distract the older girls from their persistent aggression?

Wol also has a new home - up in the pear tree.  It's been a while since we cut these out of an old oil tank and they have rusted perfectly.  There is an owl box in the same tree but no residents - until now!  Hopefully, Wol will discourage any more buzzard attacks on our hens!  Amelia was too heavy for the last buzzard to carry off.
Wol (looking quite thuggish!)



Chanticlere
The weather has been atrocious. Gale force winds have meant that the lawns are covered in leaves and, with the absence of rain, the ground is drier than ever.  With everything in full leaf; the wind is immensely damaging.  Not quite as damaging as dropping a can of water on one of the Genever tomatoes - GRRR!  The new Beech hedge around the Hen Pen requires constant watering as does the veg plot but, the young lavender hedge around the summerhouse is doing really well and putting on lots of growth.  If I'd known that the weather was going to be this cold, I'd never have planted Runner beans.  They are coming up looking pinched and cold! 

I've saved loads with the success rate of my Pink cuttings - much smugness!  I planted out just over 30 really healthy plants around the terrace wall and, if we ever have any seasonal weather, we might enjoy their perfume later.

FLOP OR CHOP?

The next question is to (Chelsea) chop or not to chop?  With the Open Gardens Weekend creeping ever closer, exactly how brave am I?  Last year, I had few doubts and, to Chris's utter disbelief, was proved right - even more smugness!  Plants were sturdier and bloomed later but just as floriferously. Certainly, far less need for staking. Maybe just the hardy Geraniums and the Lysimachia's this year?  After all, it's better than 'flop'.  Somehow, I never seem to get around to staking when it should be done.

Or, shall I chop more........................................?  



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