We were celebrating on Sunday evening. According to Hugo, my 5 year old, we were having a family garden opening ceremony.
The weather had finally turned and the whole family spent the entire day in the garden tidying and playing. The kids were so overjoyed they wanted to have BBQ opening ceremony on Sunday evening. We managed to convince them that as the sun set it would be a little cold. We had our garden opening celebration inside instead and the Littlins ate huge portions after a full day of outdoor play.
These beautiful spring days of the weekend really lent themselves to gardening. We surveyed the ravage of the wet winter.
There are some major developments afoot in our garden: we are getting rid of a large garage, 100 square meters of concrete and relocating our vegetable patch, chickens and the kids’ playground. The kids will finally get their swing back and the trampoline might end up being sunk down.
The first steps were started this weekend- the chickens’ area was reduced, some plants got a much-needed chop back and the kids could claim the old veg patch as their playground
We only have 4 chickens at the moment as Mr Fox and disease have been cruel to them. On Saturday we gave the girls’ coup a good clean and rearranged their run a bit: With only 4 chickens I decided to reduce the size of their run for now. They will, eventually, be moving further back in the garden and possibly sharing with some earthworms, fish and vegetables to create a small ecosystem for an urban farm… but that is in the future time and resources permitting.
The kids had a ball in the garden- rediscovering old toys and new spaces, bugs and worms and all the fun of our own outdoor space.
Max had to be changed every hour or so as he was loving finding all sorts of pots, buckets and puddles full of water. He was watering everything, but mostly himself. I should’ve put him in waterproofs from the beginning! At one point, in the late afternoon in a lovely sunny wind-protected spot we had a naked Max loving jumping on the trampoline. It was totally adorable to watch him enjoy this forgotten sensation of no clothes and sun on his skin.
We cut the grass, Hugo and Max drove their tractor to ferry the cuttings alternately to the chickens or to their own play area.
We started to prune bushes and trees. The small branches were being shredded by Granddad or hijacked by Angelina and Hugo for various projects. Hugo started his bug hotel- just a random heap of branches.
The bug hotel is a project we will be developing further in the next few weeks. I have looked up resources to help them identify bugs and what sort of habitats they need. I saw this wonderful example from Wildlife World UK at Ecobuild last week. Something to inspire our creativity!
Just at the edge of our patio my espalier apple tree is looking lovely and strong. I have trimmed it quite a bit, taking out some fairly big branches considering the size of the tree. I know winter pruning is not the best for these trees as it encourages green growth instead of fruit development, but it just needed to be done. I think this tree will end up more as a fan than an espalier. Last year it had 5 huge apples on it. I hope this year it will do even better.
Raspberries canes have been pruned and thinned. They need some supporting wires sorting over the next week or so. They border the future playground… I’m not really holding out much hope for actually seeing any of the fruit from now on. I suspect the little berries will be consumed as soon as they are spotted by the Littlins.
In assessing the destruction caused by 100 plus days of rain I can see that the wood protection has suffered most. The trellis and the playhouse, both of which were painted just last year are looking awful. The wood stain has worn away. For the playhouse we used Wickes wood stain, the trellis too, but I’m not 100% sure of that.
Oh and the best thing after such a lovely weekend- snuggling into my gorgeous scented, freshly washed, wind and sun dried bedding.
It dried in just 45 minutes of being hung on the line! I certainly slept well dreaming sweet dreams of spring, summer, gardens and family fun.
What have you been upto this weekend?
I’m linking up to two great bloghops. Have a look at some other fab blog posts!
For you garden lovers- How does your Garden grow?
For all those who love kids playing outdoors be that in the park, garden or in the wild- Country kids