Esme reicarnated

It is pretty quiet in the garden with only three chickens which is both good and bad. I love planting but the chickens sadly doesn’t see the difference between weeds and flowers… But as sure as I’ve already ordered new seeds I’ve started looking for eggs to buy. I am really happy with Hedemora and whatever mix race the new hens are but we’ve decided(well my daughter did) that we will be shallow and order fertilised eggs from hens that lay different coloured eggs. So now it’s just to wait for one of the hens to become broody. I paid a visit to Fotö where the 4 hens live that we sold before the fox came. So surreal, I think of them all gone, so to see Buffy, Vera, Captain Pugwash and Renee Biggs is like they’ve come back to life. They are very happy over there though! Sharing their home with the wild goose Gizmo. Gizmo was found as an egg(yes I know it’s illegal to pick eggs from wild birds but a kid found it and if they had put it back it would probably have been shunned). They hatched it in an egg hatcher and we saw him when he was just 2 days old, tiny fluffy thing with flippers. Now he’s huge! They are not friends but tolerate each other. Gizmo must like his home thought because his wings aren’t clipped and sometimes he’ll do a tour of the island but he always comes back.
I am naturally very careful with closing the chickens in now after our fox visit, they usually head inside as soon as it starts getting dark but the last two nights that I’ve gone to close the hens in they have still been outside. Tonight I watched Lottie try to fly up in the cherry tree but she failed. She is definitely Esme reincarnated! I know that in a few weeks when it gets warmer I will have to climb that cherry tree every evening to collect her. Wouldn’t surprise me if she learns how to cockadoodeldoo as well as Esme did.

Under attack

IMAG0886 IMAG0887When I finally seem to manage to keep the chickens out of the front yard… I’ve filled all the flowerbeds with new soil and planted some spring flowers. Started making a windshelter with old wood from the barn. The front of the house is rarely used because it’s always so windy there. My idea is to put up some wood or a net and plant lots of climbing flowers and peas. I’ve also planted a couple of small apple trees that I want growing along the fence and  blueberry and black currant bushes. So happy to have at least half of the garden looking nice again and then my husband bumped into a deer early this morning going to work. All my tulips eaten. The deer isn’t naive to the island. A few of them walked on the ice(or swam?) and now they live happily here. I still think it’s kind of cool to see them running around late in the evening or early morning but not cool when they eat my flowers. Another thing they brought along are ticks, definitely uncool. In a (probably useless) attempt to keep them out I’ve hung some strips of white plastic on our gates and made little sticks with blood flour on and stuck next to the poor little springflowers that I have left.

Fermenting

fermented vegetables and kimchi

fermented vegetables and kimchi

I spent the weekend in London and while I was away my husband found a new hobby, fermentation. He’s bought a book The art of Fermentation and so far there’s three jars of veg and a jar of kimchi on the kitchen table. Apparently you can ferment all sorts of things. It’s also very healthy and a good way to use up the fruit and veg in summer. Next thing he will try is making mead, of course.

IMAG0551 IMAG0541 IMAG0532Spring is here and I washed off the London fumes in the sea this morning, now 5°C in the water. Spring flowers everywhere and sunshine! I love living on the Island but going away to a big city makes me appreciate it even more.

Spring clean!

IMAG4322A big tidy-up outdoors! Gotta do it now before everything starts growing and the war with weeds and slugs start off. I picked a whole bag full of rubbish that has been blown and thrown into the garden. Started clearing away grass from in-between the flowerbeds and paths and adding new grit. The first year on the island I left everything that grew over the edges for a “rustic” feel. I like when things aren’t perfect, when something sticks out. Of course by the end of the summer it just looked completely overgrown, so this year I’m going for a more controlled chaos.
The hens have now taken over half the garden. I’ve put up a short fence to stop them going into the road. In the beginning it wasn’t a problem, every time a car went past they would get scared and run away but now they are too cocky. So now they have the whole backyard to run around in but of course they take every opportunity to find a way out. The grass is always greener on the other side right?IMAG4319

Spring inside

IMAG4298My chillies are coming along nicely! I traded three more varieties from a forum, on of them is Czechoslovakian black. It gives black chillies and purple flowers, looking forward to that one. Today I planted Tigernuts. Apparently it’s a veeery old plant that grow roots that you can roast and eat. Did some googling and sadly found out that it’s apparently one of the most invasive weeds of the world! It doesn’t mention this when you buy the seeds, maybe they don’t survive the Swedish climate? I’m not sure weather to take the risk though, if I keep them, they will have to go in pots and not the flower beds. I’ve also planted peanuts and so far one has come up.
All my Geraniums that I’ve kept in the basement over winter have got lice and look terrible so now I’ve sprayed them with soapy water for a week, given them new soil and brought upstairs to wake up. It’s amazing what they survive. When we bought the house my grandmothers geraniums had been left in the basement without water for 6 months and most of them made it. There are still a couple of plants that have been kept alive since my great-grandmother.