Since November I have not posted. There are a number of drafts still on hold, but the idea of posting every day during November rapidly became an end in its own right: like a dog’s incessant barking, publishing a blog post every day was just so much pointless twitter. Combine that with the end of term and the appearance of Christmas on the horizon and gardening and writing took a back seat.
So a quick update on the garden sees more of the same, really. Ella has twice managed to get into the chicken run, and on each occasion has brought down a hen, catching a bird then trying to gum it to death in her soft retriever’s mouth. The hens have been vocal in their outrage and called the emergency services (me) to save them from the Black Death Eater. Verity, Josh and I spent some time translating just what it was they were saying: “f-king HURTS!” was our best guess, though we thought they were simply having a laugh at Ella’s inability to deliver the coup de gras. The second time I arrived to find three chickens in the hen-house, and the other two standing with their heads in the ivy, looking like the world’s worst exponents of hide and seek. Ella had one of the Sussex Stars in her mouth but was good enough to let it go when I told her.
Just as with the previous time, the bird was, to all intents and purposes, playing dead. But with a nudge from my foot she got up and got on with life. Ella received a severe reprimand, but I do not think that will have much effect on her. So on Christmas day I worked off lunch making the fences dog proof once again.
Elsewhere in the garden I tidied up after the storms that we have had. A couple of panes of glass were blown out of the top greenhouse, though fortunately neither was broken. The cracked bits in the end of the greenhouse also fell out, but I managed to mend all without any assistance from the Old Man. Proper grown up, me.
And down the end of the garden today I bundled up all the stakes and other bits and bobs of netting etc that had blown over under the oak tree. One thing leads to another and I came to the realisation that storing stuff around the oak rather detracted from what is a really lovely tree. I mean, how many people are lucky enough to have a good sized oak tree in one corner of their garden? It looks a lot better now. I was thinking of planting some bulbs around it but it’s probably a little late now – plus, the chances are my idiot black puppy will in all likelihood dig them all up, as she was hard at work digging there as I was trying to clear the posts.
One thing I will have to do later than last year is plant the garlic, which will now have to be a spring planting. We have been cooking with our own garlic all autumn – and only recently starting buying onions. It has been interesting to see the difference in flavours of each type, though I cannot remember which is which as the labels I wrote whited before I harvested them. The Elephant garlic was great. That one is not too difficult to spot, on account of its size, and though not strictly speaking a garlic, it has a lovely mild flavour. But as to the others, who knows. I will have to make a cunning plan for the spring.