Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Muntjac Deer and Three Pairs of Wellies

This morning I strolled out early and the action started straight away. A Shelduck flew away calling. The way it flew suggested I had just flushed it off our land. As it flapped its way across the wheat field, I saw what must be the largest rabbit I've ever seen bobbing up and down, disappearing into the fast-growing cereal crop and then springing into the air again.

As it got closer, I realised my mistake, for this was no rabbit. It was a muntjac deer. Another new mammal for the farm, though not a particularly welcome one if sightings become too frequent. I don't think Gerry could quite deal with this threat either. Muntjacs are an introduced species which has thrived in this country. They are the size of a medium dog, with strange little fang-like tusks.
It headed towards the dyke and I never saw it again.

Job for the day was to tart the place up a bit. Though the scaffold is still up and piles of rubble still lie on the ground, we have been gradually getting back to normal. So it was somewhat of a luxury and a turning point to be able today to turn our attentiions to getting some hanging baskets up.
I had grown several trays of lobelias, petunias, nasturtiums and  black-eyed Susan. A visit to a local factory outlet garden centre, on our way back from droppiong my car off for a service, yielded more plants.

It was a good day for this job as drizzle and occasional heavier showers made the polytunnel a perfect place to be planting up hanging baskets.
Anyway, here's a couple of them. They should really start to bulk up over the next few weeks.

I used the chance to refresh a pot of growing herbs
with a lemon balm plant to release its scent as people pass
by and some garlic chives to ward off nasty bugs.

Then our creativity really got going, as I remembered a plan I had to use some old wellies which had failed hopelessly in their primary function in the garden. I just filled them with compost, pierced a few drainage holes and cut out some extra holes to insert plants.

For a while I've been trying to think how I can have small patches of herbs dotted around the veg garden. I wanted some near the veg beds and some at the entrances. But in the ground they would soon be swamped by grasses and weeds, or otherwise I would have yet more areas to keep weed-free.

You've guessed it. Wellies! I now have a welly at each of the gates into the veg patch, each planted up with  mint, chives, lemon balm and nasturtiums.



There's even a welly hanging in the polytunnel filled with salad crops.

Next job is to plant up the old bathroom suite. Toilet, cistern, sink and shower cubicle!

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