I hope everyone who marked Earth Hour this evening enjoyed their hour without electric light. We turned off our lights and appliances between 8 and 9 pm and enjoyed a game of candlelight scrabble.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
These were planted in the front garden as the chickens have almost destroyed the ones in the back garden. I didn't realise how much I used my herbs, particularly the thyme, until they were gone. Hopefully these will establish quickly so that I can start picking again.
The back garden addition was another small apple tree.
This variety is called Sunset and is similar to a Cox. It is on a small rootstock and will only reach 10 ft in 10 years. I decided that if the chickens were going to eat nearly everything I grew at ground level then I could still produce some food for us by planting a tree. They did seem to be very interested in this new addition and "helped" with the planting.
I now have three small apple trees, four if you count the crab apple, in a very small garden which is probably all I can sensibly fit in, but then if I wasn't being sensible I could probably fit in another one!
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
and some "self sown"lambs lettuce to be picked.
The lambs lettuce is particularly welcome. I have been quite good about not buying imported salad stuff this winter but I miss not having something green to put in sandwiches and I am getting fed up with sprouted seeds!
The fastest growing plant at the moment is the rhubarb.
I didn't pick any today as it could do with growing just a bit more but it won't be long now and then I will feel that it really is spring.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Its natural habitat is in coastal areas where it can withstand the salty windy environment. Until fairly recently it was rarely found inland although it was occasionally spread along railway lines as the ballast that supported the sleepers often came from the coast and seeds were carried along with it.
Over the last twenty years or so it has colonised the centre of motorways as they provide a suitable environment for growth. Salting the roads in the winter leads to a build up of salt in the soil which makes it unsuitable for some inland plants but perfect for a plant adapted to coastal conditions. It is thought that a few plants grew on the verges of roads near the coast and then the winds and turbulence created by passing traffic dispersed the seeds along the motorway corridor.
I think it is amazing how this little plant has spread throughout the country in such a short time taking advantage of new environments with the right conditions for growth. What a plucky little plant, it looks so delicate yet it thrives in really harsh situations and what a good example of how to make the most of changing environmental conditions.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
The nursery rhyme may put winds in March and showers in April but we've definitely had both together. The ground is completely water-logged. The chickens seem to love it, they may look very innocent in this photo but just look what they have done to my "lawn"!
I am still waiting for some warmer weather when the grass might grow faster than it gets eaten. Until then I shall try to ignore the muddy patches and look instead at some of the March flowers.