Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ya Snooze, Ya Lose

The light of day grows longer, so early mornings now don't feel quite so bleak. I am able to get going a bit earlier with the morning chores. February seems a bit early to be checking the garden for signs of life, so I accidentally spied the daffodils poking their little pointy leaves out of the very damp soil the other day on the way back from the mail box. Thinking that that one clump might be an anomaly, I looked further to find that most of the daffodils and tulips have broken through. Oh yes I am most happy.

I had a bit of time to kill Thursday, so I wandered through my favorite garden center. Right now not much is going on there, either. I did buy these wonderful tea-towels. I tired to resit but the little blue bird called to me. I won't use them because they are so pretty; instead, I will place them on the oven handle to admire and enjoy. Every kitchen needs a spot of red.

In all fairness, I must acknowledge the artist: Cynthia Dunn and you can find more of her work at Sullivans, an online store.  They are too pretty to use, don't your agree.

After having breakfast with the relatives Saturday, we had a work day at home. The Head Gardener set about to clean the hen house, taking a while get it done. While he worked on the house, I herded hens. I even let Chanticleer and his lady out. They hadn't be allowed to wander all winter and they did enjoy their bit of freedom.

The hen house, all cleaned, ready for a good night's sleep for the girls. With liberally sprinkled diatmaceous earth to prevent mites, they should be nice and comfortable. The nesting boxes are clean and ready, too. Six of the 7 hens are laying most every day now. A couple have some featherless rear ends, which could be due to mites.


This big guy didn't get roam free because we worried that the two roosters would fight. He is a handsome Cuckoo Maran and is looking for a home. We thought we had a home for him, but the guy backed out. We don't need two roosters.

With the work done, I went back to the house, thinking that at the HG would soon follow.

Looks like the Head Gardener will do some garden work this week.

Top of this year's TO DO list is this project to get the garden put back together after having the water main repaired. We need to get it done before rain soaks the garden bed and washes it way--like we will have that much rain. Well, we could. He will have to soak the soil where the hole was filled to settle the ground than lay sod, a project for sure.

I asked what he had growing here along the side of the chicken pen. He couldn't remember. We had some bulbs in the garage left over last fall or ones that I didn't get planted. I know that I had picked up pack of summer blooming daffodils. Maybe that's what he planted. I hope. I added the old white fence that I have used for years to keep the dogs out of flower beds; this time to keep Boone out of the beds next to the chicken pens. I want to plant strawberries there. The cottontails dig holes to den and hide underneath the chicken house and Boone tries to dig in after them. I have my Edith Warford ires planted there and I don't want him to ruin them.

 Leaving the HG to finish up his work, I wandered around the yard  looking for signs of spring. Mind you, it is only the end of February, so one would wonder just what might be brave enough to show signs of life. Besides the spring bulbs, I found plenty:

I am always amazed at the amount of green plant material that survives sub-0 temperatures and layers of snow. Look here: Johnny Jump-ups blooming.

I checked the Eastern Red Bud to see if she made it through the winter. Look at all of her buds. Fingers crossed that we don't get a frost that will kill the buds. I may string Christmas lights in her branches to help fend off the cold if does freeze.

Be careful where you step because daffodils and tulips have appeared. So excited.

The blue columbine are getting an early start, too.

A busy day. I found myself in my favorite chair where I promptly fell asleep. Waking up feeling refreshed, I went out to find the HG.

While he was no where in sight, it was obvious that while I snoozed, he tilled. Thus, no photos. Ya snooze, ya lose.

So there you have it: the Garden Spot ready to plant. First in potatoes St. Patrick's Day along with peas. Since we tore out the hideous blackberry bush that never produced, I will plant sweet peas along the trellis. 

The HG surprised me with six baby chicks last week, too. They are kept in the office in a Rubber Maid tub with a heavy wire lid and a heat lamp. Visitors are surprised when they realize that they don't stink. They are so cute. I enjoy hearing their "peep, peep, peep." Just like I enjoyed herding the hens, listening to them cluck as they poked around in the lawn and dirt. 

Six of the cutest little girls--we hope: 2 Blue Lace Wyandottes, 2 americaunas, and 2 Black Jersey Giants. I have wanted black hens for two years. We were supposed to have had two last year, but they turned out dark brown and we lost both of them. These hens will be large and black and lay large brown eggs. When I look at photos of them next to the americaunas, they do look like giants. They will be fun.

I had fun photographing them. My plan was to put them all in the same big bowl with the checked cloth, but you can see why I didn't.

Even Boone gets into the spirit nurturing the little chicks, though they are safely secured underneath that heavy top. When he comes in from his outside kennel, he checks the chicks before doing anything else. I have had to surrender my guest bed to him, for he has found it to be a nice nap spot. 

A busy week. Taxes, doctor, and maybe I'll cut back the roses. Seems a bit early to cut them back, but it will be warm. I love spring. 

Thanks again and always for visiting. I'll be over this week. I hope your are finding my comments at the end of the week way down at the bottom of your list of commenters. I am slow to get around. Have a wonderful week.

oops I forgot. Mosaic Monday will return next week.

But if you are looking for more to read, check out my dollhouse blog that I have just updated:


  1. Your days are busy yet I can't help but think they bring you much joy. Gardening gives us purpose, we work hard to nurture what we love. And with your farm have much more work and hopefully, much more satisfaction. The tilled garden would have me jumping up and down with joy!

    I have my tea towels for spring tucked away and you reminded me to bring them out. I, too, keep them on the handles of my stove and off my island under a few pretty spring plates. I nearly bought another at Marshall's the other day and had to refrain. They are all so cute!

    Are you working on top of all your morning chores? I know my daughter spends most evening reading and grading papers as well as weekends. I couldn't accomplish what you do on your farm and have a job as well try as I might.

    Don't fret about getting around for visits. A full life is much more worth it.

    Jane x

  2. Oh the dish towels are simply darling - a good start to spring. Love the baby chicks, and all things sprouting - and look at that tilling - a gardener's delight.

  3. Hunting out those tender first glimpses of spring is so satisfying. You are getting a wonderful start on your garden chores.

  4. What a lovely post! I would take your cockerel if I lived locally, he's handsome and the little chicks are delightful. Your HG has done a great job on the potato plot - we had an allotment a few years back but couldn't maintain it - the thing I miss most is the potatos we grew - 100 times better than the shops as so very fresh and full of flavour. Your tea towels are very pretty, you could starch them and frame - I have one put away for this purpose but waiting for the right frame to turn up. Betty

  5. There's always plenty going on in your corner of the world - I love your new chicks and your veg patch looks beautifully tilled, let's hope you have a productive year. Nice to see Spring arriving in your garden too. Have a lovely week my friend

  6. Your chicks are darling. My daffodils have been up for about a month and I am starting to see buds! Can't wait.

  7. You have a lot to do when Spring comes! What a lot of work to have a beautiful place like yours. And I love those sweet tea towels. I'm going to follow your link! Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

  8. I checked the redbud the last time I was up and it had live buds on it. There were a few little branches that didn't but it looks like it will leaf out of Mother Nature is kind to us this spring.

  9. My goodness, your veggie garden is ready to plant already! Hubs built new raised beds in the fall, but we haven't yet filled them, especially because we aren't completely sure we will be still be living here. Hopefully there will be news on the job front soon.

  10. Those are lovely tea towels! I see you have alot of activity with chicks and upcoming garden jobs! I'll be planting potatoes around St Paddys as well.

  11. Your busy in the garden Ann! Oh how I wish I had a gardener like you to do all the difficult chores :-)

    Sweet photo's of the chicks!

    Madelief x

  12. Oooh... baby chicks!! So cute! Happy almost spring!


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