The rain arrived. It was raining allllllll week, or for more than a week, complete with some thunderstorms and hail. Some of us have been getting a little stir-crazy. However, today has been just beautiful and next week is looking promising too.
I have been ducking out between showers to get a few bits and pieces done. I inspired myself with thoughts of planting and played hookie from the tedious jobs like dealing with the demolition mess and chopping up wood, even housework, to plant some nice things. I planted some hellebores under the loquat tree.
I started a tidy-up and re-do of the path garden along the side of the house. Proper plantings had been waiting until we got the side fence and gates put up. That still hasn’t happened. Also, I have grand plans to re-do the badly cracked concrete path at some point. And when I say re-do, I mean rip it all out, re-design the path line with some curves in it and make a new path in an entirely different, yet-to-be finalised way. So, while there can’t be a proper planting plan until the garden edge line becomes known, I’m still going to make it look nicer, with what I’ve got, instead of using it as a temporary bed for random plants.
A flax (Phormium) that I didn’t even like the colour of was pulled out. The hydrangea has been moved to the front yard. The Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ has been cut back quite hard, as it had gone a bit bonkers. It has been layering itself, so I potted up a couple of rooted pieces. I will do a post on layering later. The Cordyline ‘Red Fountain’ had gotten rather large. I really like it, so I have attempted to pot up some pieces that I cut off the little trunk. I have plans for these elsewhere. I planted two Carex albula next to the cordyline and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. In that part. We also weeded the garden beside the front carport.
The Little Fulla and I have been weeding and tidying the edge of The Plum Tree Garden in short bursts. I planted a Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’ and a Pimelea prostrata and potted up some rooted pieces of another layering subject, Coprosma ‘Pacific Sunset’.
We planted out the leek seedlings while they could get a good watering. At one point I gave up trying to have The Little Fulla outside on the soggy ground, as he was purposefully getting himself wet by crashing on the grass and finding dripping water for his head, then got cold, then, for the grand finale, he lifted up a screen and dug a trench through the tiny beetroot seedlings that were just starting to emerge from their seeds. He didn’t realise there were seeds in there, but I was not impressed.
The Husband has been trying out a new bread recipe in the breadmaker that uses pumpkin puree. The first batch went very wrong, resulting in what quickly became known as The Turd. For some reason, The Husband had halved the recipe. Moving along, we’ve had a few good loaves now. This pumpkin yeast bread is very nice and we have plenty of pumpkins that I need to turn into puree, so this recipe is a keeper. Instead of using brown sugar we use honey or glucose with a bit of molasses, and instead of vegetable oil we use olive oil.
One day The Husband was having pasta withdrawal and so he made his own, which took a while without a pasta roller. I am still figuring out how my body works with gluten, but I have been able to eat bread again, so I’m very stoked about that! I still need to investigate some issues with pastry and pasta.
I made some pork stock with some pork bones that had been gathering in the freezer.
The kitchen whiteboard had gotten into quite a mess, so I cleaned the whole thing and re-did it. There are sections for Preserving tasks, Indoor tasks and Outdoor tasks, as well as plenty of space for grocery lists. The indoor and outdoor lists are just a few of the ten million things that need doing, and are really more to give The Husband ideas of what needs doing, because I store all the other things in my head. And on my phone. And on my computer… The meal planner at the bottom is a general guideline to help us think what to make and help me decide what to get out of the freezer when I go out to say goodnight to the chickens.
The chickens are still under investigation for egg-eating, but it’s not as dire as I’d feared. I’m trying to cut them some slack, since they are new layers and they don’t have any older role models to follow. Having multiple pens is proving very helpful; I’m so glad I got them done before the rainy period set in. There are a few good hens and a few I’m still uncertain about. But with more housing options, this time I have time on my side.
I still miss Mr Darcy. I did prefer him to any other rooster. Some of the hens keep squatting for me, though at least they are getting more used to being patted because of this. My hopes are riding high on Frodo hatching Mr Darcy’s babies. The time is drawing nigh!
The eggs are technically due to hatch tomorrow evening, although it could be one or two days after that. I candled Frodo’s eggs on Day 12. The Husband has a very bright little LED torch that has found a new purpose in being a great egg candler. Out of 11 eggs, there was one definite dud, one of Josephine’s. There were also two of Josephine’s that I wasn’t quite sure about, as it was hard to see through the thick shells. Being unsure, I left them in there, just in case. That left Frodo with 10 eggs to sit on. I am excited and nervous. The last hatch had some troubles at the end, including spraddle-legged Orphan Annie who almost died. Annie is now a beautiful hen. There were A LOT of eggs last time though, 14 that hatched. This time we’re looking at a max of 10, which is a more sane number. C’mon Frodo!