Archive for March, 2012

Down with the Sycamore tree

When we moved here we inherited a sycamore tree on the corner of the back garden between us and our next door neighbours.  Neither of us were very keen on this tree as it overshadows the vegetable patch and leaves lots of little seedlings all over the place every year.  So the decision was taken to cut it down.  It had 3 trunks and here is a picture of what it looked like before we began cut it down.

Sycamore tree

So Neil and our neighbour took down the first trunk, leading it to fall on our back lawn.

The first trunk down

Next they tied a strap around the 2nd trunk and Neil pulled whilst our neighbour put a strategic cut in one side, and then went round the other side to finish it off.

Then, one, two, three, down it comes as Neil quickly runs out of the way………..


This process was  repeated for the 3rd trunk until all we were left with was 3 tree stumps and lots of woods across our lawn.

The view with the tree down

The big job is to clear all the branches.  Neil has been chopping and I have been feeding small stuff through the chipper.  Wood that is big enough for the woodburner is being chopped and popped into the wood shed to dry out for next Winter.  The smaller stuff we are bagging up which will make kindling to start the fires.

Branches that need chopping up

Neil has been out there for 4 days now sawing away. It’s a long job and we want to get it finished to we can clear the lawn which needs cutting now.

Neil working away at the saw bench

So lots to do, keeping us both busy.  We need to get sorted out as we have B&B guests for 4 days coming up at the weekend so we want the place looking neat and tidy by then.

So I’d better get back to it!!

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Amazing Cauliflowers

Look what’s growing in the vegetable patch! Amazing cauliflowers!! Well they may seem pretty ordinary to you, but to me they are amazing because this is the first time I have grown them.  The little plants were dug in last Autumn and immediately grew big green leaves, but for months there has been no sign of anything else.  Then today I went and had a look at them, and I have 3 cauliflowers.  Not much I know but I only had 6 plants to start with, so maybe the other 3 are late developers?

My first cauliflower!!

I shall wait another week for the largest one to grow a bit bigger and then next Sunday with our roast we shall sample our first home grown cauliflower.

Also down the veggie patch is the first emerging rhubarb.  I love the way the buds push their way through the soil and then unfurl their leaves revealing their pinky red stems.

Rhubarb emerging

Having cleared the strawberry bed of all the dead foliage and runners, the new little plants are developing their first leaves, hopefully heralding a bumper crop of delicious red berries in June.  Can’t wait!!

The strawberry bed

The next job is to plant the first early potatoes.  I love this time of year, it’s so exciting planning our crops for the coming season.

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Signs of Spring arriving

We have been having a spell of warm weather in March and it really has started to feel like Spring is here.  The flowers are responding and we have many blooms in flower.  The bees have been out and flying gathering pollen.

bumble bee on the hyacinth

Our half moon baskets by the front door are full of flower now, including the little tete a tete daffodils.

half moon basket in flower

The bumble bees have particularly been keen on the crocus.

Purple crocus in flower

The rhubarb is showing through and all the little strawberry plants have new leaves.  There are buds on the fruit trees and shoots on the raspberry canes. Also we have sheep (but no lambs) in the field behind our garage so we wake up in the morning to the sound of baa baa!!

sheep in the field behind our garage

One of our hens, a Speckledy has gone broody on us. She just sits in the nest box all day long, and sits on the eggs the other hens lay.  I have taken to lifting her off every now and again, as I want to make sure she gets some food and water, but she just goes back there.  We don’t have anywhere to segregate her, so anybody got any ideas what to do with her?

Anyway the other hens are still laying so that is OK, we still have eggs for breakfast!!

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Taunton Poultry Fanciers Show March 2012

Today we went to the Taunton Poultry Fanciers Show to see all the various types of chickens, ducks, and turkeys that were on display.  And no we didn’t exhibit any of our hens, they are all too muddy and dirty and not sure they would take too well to be washed and spruced up!!

There were so many different types there, from beautiful hens with shiny feathers to bantams and ones with fluffy feathers and feathered feet, with their proud owners huddled about waiting for the results of the judging.

Here are some photos we took today:

And here’s another

I love this fluffy white one and the one below is a really big bird. I’m afraid I don’t know all the different breeds, we will have to get a book and look them all up.

The one below is the breed “Spanish”.

This one looks like the chicken on the Kellogs box!!

I thought this on was rather splendid!! I took loads of photos but these are some of the best.  If you want to see proper free range hens ( complete with mud) visit us at

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