I'm twixt projects this week ('twixt' the local estate agents love that word . . . "situated twixt Newmarket and Haverhill" it always makes us smile.) More time to do some extended lunch time gardening and enjoy being outdoors.
We're having amazing mild weather at the moment, so I decided to check what I was posting about a year ago and see what the weather was like in late October 2008 (frosty actually). But :-O ooops! I had completely forgotten! Exactly a year ago last Monday the Spice Girls moved in to live in our garden and started work as trainee under-gardeners.
I think that's what Ginger has been trying to tell me every time I go to the out-house to get my gardening gear.
OK Ginge' what would you and the girls like as an anniversary treat?
"To do whatever we want in the vegetable garden, please!"
There was certainly no hesitation when I opened the green door in the garden wall . . . LOL!
And they soon found lots to do . . .
I suppose I ought to give the Spice Girls a one year appraisal, have they been working hard?
Nutmeg is fast and nimble, she can even steal a crust of bread from head girl Ruby, this is admirable given that she is bottom of the pecking order! She also lays the most beautiful pale turquoise blue eggs. However she tends to go broody quite frequently and when she does her behaviour disrupts the whole flock - so much that they stop laying in the nest boxes and hide their eggs under the hedge to avoid a confrontation. Nutmeg needs to address this issue before next summer.
Saffron is a quiet and unassuming hen, but her character has developed over the months and she has an independent streak - laying her pale teal-blue eggs in 'the other nestbox' and standing up for herself against bullying from Phoebe. She has been broody and stubbornly refuses to leave the nest but her behaviour is tollerated by the other hens. She has also been through the moult and is now laying again. Safffon is still quite nervous, although recently she has been learning from Ginger to be more sociable, this is something she can build on in the future.
And last, but in no way least, Ginger - an extremely confident and quick witted hen, a born leader (but with Ruby still very much in charge her chances of promotion are slim). Ginger hasn't been broody or been through a major moult, she consistently lays large sage green eggs of very high quality. She enjoys learning new skills and has great potential beyond her current job as an under-gardener.
Well done Spices! We've enjoyed the past year, hope you enjoyed your anniversary treat :-)