Chicken politics

I don’t know about you, but I always love getting home after being away. Of course even a few days away, can often mean that the garden becomes unruly in my absence.


Nasturtium and rosemary

On my return peering around the hedge I wasn’t disappointed. The fennel had doubled in size (we ate one last night – delish),  the chilli bushes which are sporting loads of red habaneros were sprawling everywhere (it won’t be long and they will be hoisted out so the garlic can go in), and the nasturtium! Hmmm –  these wonderful plants can be invasive at the best of times, but taking full advantage of the ‘absent gardener’ they were crawling over everything in their way, choking several smaller plants and generally being a garden nightmare.


Nasturtium and fennel

So I spent much of Saturday hauling out the nasturtium. I did feel rather guilty doing this, especially when in my eagerness, I hoisted out a zinnia by mistake. The good news is the peas can now breathe, I can walk between all the beds, and most of my garden can now see the light of day! LOL .. Don’t worry this stuff will grow back, it always does.


Unknown fungi

I also removed my last spud bed. This space is earmarked for my brassica seedlings which are literally busting to get out of their punnets.

I would love to say that I dug out bags of spuds from here – but the truth is, I only hauled out about 5kg of very interesting looking potatoes in various shapes and sizes (mostly small LOL) and as I had no idea of the varieties when I planted them, their heritage is still unknown.  But they taste particularly good steamed and served with lashings of butter or served with kale and spinach pesto.  A lesson learnt  – I shan’t  plant my potatoes in January.


I do love getting beds ready for the next planting.  So into this bed, I dug in food scraps from the Bokasi bin, and added lots of homemade compost. I still need to include other amendments here, think rok solid and lime – all before poking kale, broccoli and cabbage seedlings into their new home. They are currently outdoors ‘hardening up’.


Do you remember those very pretty Light Sussex hens that we adopted, that loved posing for the camera and were the very best of friends? As there is a ‘pecking order’ in the chook world, I envisaged that the new girls would arrive and feature at the bottom of this, which often means ‘hen pecking’. Little did I know that the pecking order at Frog Pond Farm was going to be changed.

autumn leaves-1140797

Just prior to heading OS I had prepared a feast for my girls – nothing like a good spoil given my absence for a few days. Putting this tasty tucker into their feeder (think recycled guttering) the girls would normally be squawking and clambering over each other for the best bits, giving the odd head peck while doing this. To my surprise they all remained huddled in a corner while the new chickens casually sauntered into the feed area and started eating. Oh dear, it was fairly obvious that the new girls had done some serious muscle flexing and had elevated themselves to the top of the chook ladder. I was devastated, they were particularly happy!

The good news is that the two feathered friends have been adopted yet again. We can now view them enjoying themselves in their new abode at our neighbour’s place. Perched on the hillside happily ensconced in a new chicken coup. Lucky girls …

And just because I can some pics of the beach!


Orange at Muriwai beach



And yes that is a plaster on his paw!

Happy gardening

87 thoughts

  1. I love all the photos, but especially the fungi known as “unknown” and the chicken eye view of the flowers. The new hens pecked their way to the top of the order! Shakespeare gals through and through. Making them into the girls next door sounds like a simple and easy way to solve the problem.

    • Hi ya Tim. That fungi is a handsome thing isn’t it? Wouldn’t want to feast on it though – it’s poisonous. Yes that is a chickens view of the zinnias 🙂 I couldn’t believe those 2 new chickens – Ophelia and Desiree, they sure had my girls bluffed. It is nice to be able to still see them on the hill – they are a couple of characters. Thanks for stopping by 😀

    • Thanks Gerlinde .. so pleased that you like the photos. The beach is lovely .. so nice to be able to go there for walks with the pooch. Nasturtiums are one of my favs believe it or not – they add so much cheer to the garden. They just get a bit bossy! 😀

  2. I would love to have seen you taking the photo of the zinnias (I think they’re zinnias?) You must have been flat on your back! Eldest Figlet had a photography project and we had to take photos from a snail’s point of view – it was really good fun! Love your photos x

    • Hello Miss. Yes they are zinnias .. and no I wasn’t on my back I was cheating. I let the camera do all the hard work. Wow, I love that project. That would have been super fun. Would love to see some of them Sarah … so pleased you like the pics. 😀

  3. Thanks for news I’m also doing the garden. Have started planting pots etc trying to restore it as Joyce had it. New neighbours next door and that ivy I have been trying to kill that was invading my garden was the first thing they cleared ( hooray ). So will carry on planting I think the frost has gone now. Will send photos .

    • Mr Bonner … so nice to hear from you again. Glad you are doing that garden. It will look fabulous when you have it finished. Hooray! They must have known that you have been trying to kill it for years .. hilarious! Keep planting, I’m looking forward to seeing the photos …

  4. Throw some of those nasturtiums over here Julie! My guinea fowl decimated the seedlings last year. Funny how one person’t desire is another’s plague. Fabulous photo of the fungi – beautiful aren’t they?

    • Hey Anne … gosh it is funny isn’t it. They grow like weeds here .. pop up everywhere. I do love them though, they are a great companion plant (when they behave). Glad you like the pic of the fungi, I have since been told they are poisonous.

  5. Those Zinnias make me feel like a tiny fairy. What a gorgeous angel! Then again I am a fairy hiding under a magical red mushroom. Seriously Julie do you ever take an uninspiring photograph? Welcome back, I have missed your posts and photos.

  6. Love, LOVE this. The title made me smile and the chicken narrative even more so! Have missed your posts. Welcome back!

    And, as always, some very stellar photographs!!

  7. Hi Julie! Wonderful photos and update! How lucky you are to be able to garden into the late fall. Lovely photos of the beach! I hope your hound is okay, good luck distracting him when you take the bandage off! The ‘shroom looks like a Fly Amanita. We have them here in the mountains. They are said to be poisonous with hallucinogenic properties – either way, I’d keep it out of the salad! Take care. Bob

    • Hello Bob! Love it when you stop by. I know we are so lucky to have a garden at this time of year – temperate climate (well sort of 🙂 ). That plaster is working well, and yes he does need a bit of distraction – nothing like some cheese as bribery. Ah, a Fly Amanita, no way it is going in the salad. LOL … Take care too

  8. Gorgeous lush photos and your descriptions of the gardens that surround you are a delight to read. Such a funny photo of your dog with his plaster – looks like he’s saying OUCH!

  9. More stunning photos as always Julie! I would have also thought that newbies would be low girls on the totem pole. Chickens are more surprising than people sometimes. And you’re a brave girl, growing habaneros!

    • Ah shucks thanks Dan! Glad you enjoy the pics. I would also have thought the chookies would have been very low on the totem pole. They had bluffed my 15 other chickens. Imagine! Love my chillies …

  10. yep, it always feels good to come home – glad they all gave you a warm welcome, although that hen of yours is looking rather reproachfully at you, haha…don’t eat that mushroom, my dear!

    • Thank you! He is a beautiful pooch. Adores my hubby. His paw will be ok if he stops licking it, hence the plaster. 🙂 Yes those chooks are beautiful – lots of laughs, never a dull moment.

  11. Gorgeous photos, as usual, Julie! I agree, it’s the best fun, to “tour the estate” when you return home from a trip. There always changes. Your post and photos inspire me to get into my own garden. 😊 there’s lots to do….. Gotta Go…. Talk soon…..

    • Oh thank you so much. I always do the tour when I get home umming and ahhing as I do. I can never believe how much everything manages to grow in our absence. So pleased I inspire .. good. Time for me to get outdoors too! 🙂

  12. Your photos are always such a treat to see. Brilliant. You make the world look divine. Chickens have SUCH personalities. I don’t know how people can eat them — it would be like eating that lovely fuzzy dog. Best wishes for his paw ….

    • Hi ya. Oh I’m so pleased you enjoy the pics. I think our world is divine, but I’m a tad biased. Chooks, sure do have personalities .. but these two were stars! That paw .. hmmm, I suspect he may have a plaster on for some time 🙂

    • Hey Miss .. he has a ‘lick’ granuloma which he has started himself and given every opportunity, is thoroughly enjoying ‘licking’! So on with the plaster. It works a treat 🙂 I think most pooches would have this off no problem. 🙂 Glad there is sunshine for you at last!

      • Hey Linda .. I’m just finding out. I used to vet nurse years ago (in the Dark Ages! LOL) and I remember them well from then. But you never realise how nasty they are until your dog starts that rotten licking. Sounds like you are familiar with it … Plasters, blue bandages ! LOL

  13. Julie, for some unknown reason your posts don’t come up on my feed, so I am sorry I’ve missed out on your updates for months!

    I thought perhaps you had stopped posting – until I took a look at your blog just now…

    Anyway, I am glad your garden is still thriving even though you are heading into winter. And I agree that it is lovely to return home and find things have been doing wonderfully😊.

    I have only just discovered that nasturtium can be invasive. I can see some starting to come up in a completely different part of the garden from where I sowed last year. So, like you say, it might be a pity to pull the flowers up but they will soon be back!

    • Oh so nice to know that you have stopped by. People disappear off my feed too – no idea why. Our garden is doing famously given winter is nearly knocking on the door .. Nasturtium will never cease to amaze me. It does pop up everywhere 🙂

  14. Now that you have tackled your nasturtiums, would you like to deal to mine? 🙂 Actually, they didn’t do well over the summer so it’s lovely to see them flourishing during this mild autumn. Cold weather expected this weekend, however. Lovely to have your visit over at my blog.

    • Ha ha, they can be so invasive can’t they? I do love them though, as they are super companion plants. They just need to be less ‘bossy’. Nothing seems to stop mine .. truth is, I would be disappointed if they dropped off. Ah, cold weather .. brrhh. We have had mild temps with the usual rain and gusts, but today it is calm. Fabulous. So nice to see you here 🙂

      • It was blustery, wet and darn cold last night. Couldn’t believe the sunshine and warmth I woke to this morning. I have kiwifruit growing for the first time this year, with an impressive harvest of 4 fruit. They are not ready yet and I am terrified that I will let them get frosted through inattention to the weather. 😀

      • Ah we had much of the same weather last night too. Although not too cold. Sun is peaking through the usual cloud. I haven’t grown kiwifruit in years (Dad did). Keep your eye on them 🙂

  15. Just able to catch up! So sorry I’ve been a little AWL, life is a nightmare of trying to organise and work towards the art in the garden show this next weekend, (gulp). Nice toadstool, (amanita muscaria). Poisonous, but probably shouldn’t kill you, but don’t go eating it just the same…lol. Oh gosh, it’s so strange to think of you going into the autumn where I’m just going into spring. Love all the full and ripe fall plantings and love that you’re planning for winter now. Those gorgeous zinnias! I accidentally pulled out a phlox myself today. Casualties of war, eh? Actually, this year I have a raspberry growing up thru a rosemary, a strawberry in the crack of a stair, and several fennels in the back patio gravel. But, who cares! They’re not bothering me at all, I can walk around them, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to sacrifice some yummy strawberries and fennels and next year’s raspberry canes. 😀 Off to see what else I missed. Big hugs. 😀
    PS: Glad there’s peace with the ladies now.

  16. I just love your comments V! I was wondering about the Garden show .. oh best of luck with it, I bet your place looks fabulous! It is a nice toadstool and don’t worry, not likely to eat it although my father-in-law, has promised he can make it into jam for me (ha, not likely LOL). Winter is knocking on our door … in saying that, the sun has shoved aside the clouds and is shining beautifully. I was so annoyed when I hoisted out that zinnia – it sure was a casualty. Good on you for leaving things where they opt to grow. I’m pretty good with that too – except for the nasturtiums! LOL Big hugs back as you V.

  17. Sorry for being late and infrequent, but i have been rewarded with beach, zinnia and chicken pics, so thank you! I have been pulling out natsurtium seedlings before they grow to much and have been digging them in as a kind of green manure.

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