Monday, 22 September 2008

Gardening with the ladies...

I have been seriously neglecting my front garden.. the grass has got to above ankle height the shrubs out of hand and there is more gravel in the flowerbeds than on the path. It doesn't help that whatever is wrong with me is making me feel exhausted and I hate that, everything seems to be taking twice a long.
It's no good,it has to be done..The sun was shining today and the ladies were restless,so the feathered army were allowed out early to help with some gardening....hmmm..I use the word 'help' loosely.
They followed in a troupe behind me,up and down as I mowed,scratched about and did some pruning for me..
I personally thought the bergenia looked better before...thanks girls..a little too harsh with the old snips there.

This is..or rather was..a really lovely large patch of alchillea terracotta.

and this batch of five frothy heuchera has practically disappeared along with the lovely dark leaved sedums next to it! I know the season is nearly over,but I've had so few flowers this year in the front..what a boring looking is meant to have great swathes of dusky autumnal colours round about now..and all I have is leafy shrubs from hen-height up.
Edward..(who Harry has been calling 'Nathan' for some strange reason lately..don't ask, he's odd, it must be something in the water) Anyway, Eddie/Nathan the incredibly naughty bunny,had us up with torches when he escaped the other night..thinking it was all a game tearing round the garden for 4 hours in the dark, eating things he shouldn't ,stamping his feet in defiance and making us all really cross, so I wont blame the ladies completely, I know hes a bit partial to these plants too.

a quick break for some preening and a little nap in the long-awaited sunshineyou just can't get the staff these days..
and then it's back to work......bug,slug and worm hunting...and some more pruning.
The conkers are all ripened and ready to burst from their spiky jackets.Descending on us like hailstones of the richest mahogany.There certainly isn't as many on the tree as last year, we collected 10 bin liners full then !
No longer do I leave a big bucket full of conkers by the gate and no longer do the passing school children come and collect them up shouting out when they find a huge one ..some of the schools round here banned conker fights for health and safety reasons....and the two little boys who collected them up with absolute glee to share amongst their friends a few years ago are now big 6 foot stinky boys with girlies, rugby and bikes on their minds instead.
My mother in law swears that leaving conkers in a dish in the corner of the room deters the spiders..we have teased her about these strange old wives tales she comes out with and I've got to say I've never heard that one before.. but as I'm not a great fan of those eight -legged fellows, I'll give it a try..she certainly never seems to have any in her house!


  1. What beautiful hens you have! I will definately be going to get some conkers to try and deter the spiders, I'm petrified of them.

  2. I hate spiders perhaps I'll give the conkers a try. Your hens are gorgeous by the way. Even if they aren't very good gardeners.

  3. If you saw our front garden, you'd think yours was marvellous! I have my other half for over zealous pruning not nearly so much fun as your lovely ladies. Our conkers are dropped and gone around here. Shame about the school ban, what madness, Harry loves collecting them.
    Hope you start feeling better soon. It is frustrating when you don't have the energy to do the things you want to.

    Hen x

  4. Awww I am so jealous of those lovely chickens, oh to have a garden.

    How on earth is it conker season already? Where has the year gone to?

  5. What a great idea! I´ve never heard it before, too, but as so many spiders want to warm up in the house now in autumn I will soon have a conker dish in every corner! Maybe if we trust enough in their power they will come true.
    Best wishes ! (Envy you a lot for the sunshine, here it is cold and raining all day long)

  6. I love your garden..nice to see the hens roaming about,enjoying themselves. ;-)

  7. Funnily enough my husband and I were debating the conker / spider theory this morning. I thought conkers were a moth deterent and that acorns were the spider deterent.
    Anyway we always seem to have both in the the house and niether have kept the spiders at bay here so good luck.

  8. Oh seeing your chickens lounging round like that makes me miss my hens badly. I wonder if I could persuade the dh to get rid of his parrots and get chicken instead - they lay eggs a bit more regularly....

    Have to try the conker idea. My house hadn't been lived in for 16 years before i moved here and the spiders were HUGE. Their offspring are still trying to take over.
    Anyway, off to gather conkers tomorrow!

  9. Sweet chickens!! cluck tastic!

    The post below this...have you heard of Vanessa Arbuthnott??? she does some lovely kind of a pinkie red.....sort of chickens and leaves and checks n stuff....if you have never seen her.....tho i expect you may be surprised!


  10. Send those hens over to us, we have no decent flowers to speak of so they decimate our weed patch with pleasure!
    Hope you're feeling a bit better.
    Julia xx

  11. I've added a link to Vanessa site...see what you think......x

  12. Who cares about the spiders when they look so pretty! t.x

  13. Gosh, your lawn is so green!! having lived in a drought for the last 10 years it is so nice to see green!! Your hens are lovely - so big and fat!! Isn't it funny how there are certainly more rules and regulations where ever you go these days - shame about the conkers. I remember my Grandmother showing me how to play with them on a string.... Ah, those were the days. Now, if I can find some conkers I shall try you MIL's trick too. I hate spiders.

  14. Living in rural Alabama, USA and being stuck with dial up internet, I had to let the pics on your blog post load for several minutes so I could find out what "conkers" were, lol! I kind of guessed from your description but wasn't sure. As with many things British, your word sounds a wee bit naughty and a lot more fun than chestnut.

  15. Looks like fun was had in the sun - certainly by the chickens anyway. I'm going to try the tip about the conkers in a bowl - an enormous spider ran over my hand the other day, which gave me quite a shock!
    Cathy X

  16. Methinks the ladies need a plant identification book for Christmas!

  17. I have neglected my gardens both front and back ! my heart is not in it...lousy summer to blame - we have had one decent bbq this summer.
    I have cut a few leaves off my bay tree...sorry I was thinking about your suggestion for conkers...I have dried them, added some dried lavender and put them into small cloth bags (made from scraps of Kate Forman!) hung in the wardrobe they have a nice fresh smell, bit of a change from plain lavender.
    Carol x
    ps love your hens.

  18. My husband is the one who makes plants disappear in our garden....2 lupins that cost £5.00 each have been dug up over the weekend. And I saw lavender abuse going least your girls give you eggs:)

    I have a sonic rodent repeller that also works for spiders too....but if I can get my hands on some conkers I will certainly put some in a bowl:)

  19. Hanging out in the garden with the hens sounds so nice. They're so beautiful. I never knew hens had so much personality!

  20. Those hens are really pretty, what fun hobby to have.

    I enjoyed going thru your blog, I will be back for more visits! Those hens are really pretty, what fun hobby to have.

  21. Your chickens look so happy! Its lovely to see them roaming around.

    I had to smile at your conker comments - my son and his friends have just rediscovered playing conkers (at the age of 20!!) - I think this has a lot to do with the fact that they are all waiting for pay day to arrive.

  22. I'm absolutely crazy for conkers but here they will only be ready around November or late October.
    I can't wait.

  23. Hi Sairer
    Great to see the girls roaming around, even though they haven't yet graduated from horticultural college! We pick up our 4 new ex-batts on Saturday so am really excited. Have got the extra house and run to keep them apart from the Buff Orps for a while but hope they will mix together soon. Carmen (Botanical Remedies)

  24. such pretty hens I really must get some for myself! Thank you for the conker tip - we have an extremely large spider taken up residence in the downstairs loo at the moment so I am going to be collecting conkers tomorrow and will report back!
    Lesley x

  25. What lovely ladies you have! They look very happy in your garden.
    You must let us know if the Conkers work..I love old wives tales.
    Jane. x


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