So . . . I guess I was only kidding myself that if I removed all chicken perches, nest boxes, feed and water containers etc. from the chucks summer-house it would help with the loss of my little feathered friends?
It seemed like a sound idea at the time and I have to admit that the summer-house does make a great ‘craft shed.’ It has changed beyond all recognition and now houses all things ‘crafty,’ including a few home comforts . . . two chairs, a radio/C.D. player, a heater and a small T.V. These items are not to be viewed as expensive luxuries, far from it, they were all kicking around the place and have been rounded up and herded into my shed. I did treat myself to a lovely little palm hand-sander and it works a treat, buzzing and sanding away in the early hours of the morning, sending clouds of wood dust up into the air and over the fence into the neighbour’s garden.
I might buy myself a little Workmate – the metal and wood kind – not the hard muscled, tanned, Adonis kind! I find the second kind highly overrated and frankly I’ll get more use out of the metal and wood kind. Well, I have always told you that I’m not ‘girlie,’ what more proof do you want?
I’ve become a tad side tracked here. Back to the point I was going to make.
At this time of the year I usually open the green wooden gate leading into the top of the garden, where the fruit and vegetables are grown, and the chucks are allowed in there. This year, as I stood at the gate and surveyed the yellowing courgette leaves and the fallen apple leaves it suddenly hit me – there would be no delighted clucks and frenzied scratching-up of dying leaves and the terribly unfair assault on all bugs great and small. I wouldn’t sit with the autumn sun, still warm on my face, sipping tea as I watched the antics of Rita Raptor and Mable. Wouldn’t watch as Chea stalked them, thinking that they hadn’t seen her hiding behind a bare gooseberry bush. These things are petty, I know. And silly, no doubt. But this is my life, you see. Little things please little minds.
The greenhouse is now empty, having produced a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. For some reason Richard stepped in and took great interest in watering them ‘correctly’ – obviously I have been doing this incorrectly for the last twenty-five years – and he takes full credit for the bumper crop. He said, ‘Monty (Monty Don, Gardeners’ World) said you have to water them like this. Flood them out and keep them wet.’
Seemed to work though – until nearing the end of their growth spurt – then their leaves developed grey mould because they were growing in the equivalent of a paddy field.
They have now been pulled out and thrown in the compost bin. The borders have been dug over and Chea now delights in using both greenhouse borders as giant litter trays, digging out a huge bowl-shaped hole and squatting peacefully, relief all over her little tabby face. I’m not sure what effect this will have on next year’s crop? Or, even if I will eat tomatoes next year, all things considered.
I have to admit to simply standing at staring at the changing leaves, looking, to all intents, that I have lost the plot, or at least walked into the garden for a reason and then forgotten the reason. I can’t help it. I love the changing colours and the way the autumn sunshine accentuates them.
A few more weeks and the leaves will all have fallen, the garden will sleep through the darker, shorter days and it, and I, will wait for the spring. Then we will both start all over again – God willing.
Take Care x