Photo of the Month – June

Phone X
iPhone 4mm f/1.8
4mm, 1/17 Sec at f/1.8,  ISO40
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic

With the Covid-19 lockdown still very much in force, I have not been out this month or taken any shots. I did snap this with my iPhone, a celebration of home grown produce from our garden. Apart from the cheese and pork pie everything came from our garden, pickles from last years veg, eggs from our chickens and salad straight from the garden.

People say grown your own is the way forward. In practice its not possible to complete with the local markets and shops but being out in the garden is good for your mental health and its feels good eating things you grew and made yourself.

Garden in Spring

So here in the United Kingdom we are entering the fourth week of shutdown. We are doing fine stuck at home, I am doing lots of IT work for the local government and assisting them with their lone working.

With spending eight hours a day stuck in my home office I took the opportunity to upgrade the my sound system and bought a better preamp and DAC for the office.

I am getting out each day for a walk with Ted the Greyhound. Photo options are a little limited but with spring now in full swing I have been taking a few snaps around the garden.

Photography is very much on the back burner for now, so I may have to think up a few indoor projects that I can do on my own.

Gardening and getting things shipshape

OnionsThe weekend was our own so what did we do?  Gardening, and the chickens helped as well; when they were not showing too much interest in our onion and garlic sets.

The main job of the weekend was clearing the patio of all the mess we had dumped there while digging out the pyracanthas that was blocking where the new fence needs to go.

Once that was cleared away we then filled it again, as we set to and dug out the last pyracanthas that currently buries the fence near the out buildings.

Apart from a temporary move of the composter, there is now nothing getting in the way to having the new fences installed.

Sunday I finally got out and shot some wildlife which I’ll post about later.

June is here and the garden continues to burst with Life

I cannot believe its June already.  Where is the year going?  For us its being a very quiet/busy May; I know that sounds conflicting but we have just not had time to get anything really done.

Caroline’s father has been in hospital having a new knee, so things have been focussed round him, which is why we have been busy.  So on the house and garden front its been very quiet.

I can say that the Peas, Beans, Leaks, Lettuce and Potatoes are going great.  The cabbages though are not surviving, someone is eating them big time and stripping all the leaves off.

Hopefully June will see us back in the garden and also finally laying the new floor in the music/library/studio room which apart from the floor and some furniture is finished.  I cannot wait to have my first studio shoot in there.

Home Update – Gardens and Chickens

Garden Chickens Project-2We have now lived in the new house for a year and a lot of work has been done.  The dream we had was a new bungalow in the country, with cosy real fire, a dedicated formal dinning room, plus kitchen diner.  There was also our hobbies, Caroline wanted her own craft room and I wanted an office to use as my digital darkroom, plus we wanted a room to use as a studio, music room and library.

Garden Chickens Project-3

Around the house we have replaced all the doors and windows, had the chimney reworked so we can have a real fire and replaced all the major lights with low energy 1 to 1.5 watt LED lights.  Caroline’s craft room and my digital darkroom are complete so the house is well underway, with only what we are calling the sun room still to start.  This room will be a second living room used for music, a library and my studio.

Garden Chickens Project-4

The garden has been a major focus for us this last year, and just this month we finally completed the raised beds.  They have been successful and we have now had our major harvest of butternut squash, courgette, beans and peas, plus lettuce, cauliflower, beetroot, leeks and carrots.  We learnt a lot, things we raised in the cold frames then transplanted to the garden worked well, things we direct sowed into the raised beds got attacked by birds.  Everything worked except the cauliflower, we had netted them off to protect them from the birds, but all that did was protect the caterpillars, which enabled them to decimate them.

Garden Chickens Project-5

One the garden front as well as the vegetable plot we also wanted to keep bees and raise chickens.  We bought two flat packed hives, but apart from the stands and the brood box we did not find the time to finish them so thats on hold for now.

Garden Chickens Project-7At the bottom of the garden behind the garage we built a large compost bin, beside that was a rather nice looking but very rickety garden shed.  The plan was to tear this down and in its place build a chicken coop.

The old shed took a lot of getting down, it seems that ivy is the perfect way to hold up a building.

Garden Chickens Project-8

Once down we dug over the area and laid a rectangle of paving slabs.  These would help discourage the foxes from digging under to get at the chickens.  The bed of the coup run was made up of soil, gravel, sand and topped with bark.

Garden Chickens Project-10

If your on a budget then you can find plans on the internet for building your own coops and runs.

Garden Chickens Project-11

We took the easy root and purchased a coop with integrated run; it came in prefab’ed sections that just needed putting together.

Garden Chickens Project-13

It went together easily and then it was ordering the feeders, waterers, and other accessories.

Garden Chickens Project-15

It was not long before we were ready to get the girls.  We purchased four Copper Black’s a modern hybrid cross based on the Maran.

Garden Chickens Project-14

With the girls moved in, we let them have lots of peace and quiet, but did hand feed them a treat just before they put themselves to bed.

By the next day we were surprised to find an egg, so its safe to say the girls are settling in.