Saturday, April 30, 2011

A visit to Diggers and Flinders on a stunning Autumn day...

On a rather stunning Autumn day in Melbourne, I collected Astrid from hospital early.  She will stay inside with us until Wednesday with meds twice a day...antibiotics down her beak, eye drops and nose drops!!  How on earth to give those to a chicken I have no idea but I managed to do it tonight! I'll try to take pics tomorrow or get Miss Bok to so you can see - it was easier than I thought. I waited until Astrid was asleep, tucked her between my knees whilst I knelt over her and opened her beak, shoved the tablet in, then tilted her head to each side so I could drop her nose. The eyes didn't open so I couldn't get any in. Fingers crossed.  Vet says if no improvement by then then to consider euthanasia.  I'm not going to think about it for now.

We left Astrid in front of the fire, all tucked up cosy and warm, then drove off down the peninsula to Dromana to meet friends for lunch at Diggers, Heronswood.  Heronswood is in Dromana and has every fruit, vegetable, tree, plant, flower that is listed in the Diggers books.  They specialise in heirloom varieties and I get my seeds mostly from them.  Heronswood house itself was constructed in 1866.  It is just a gorgeous place to hang out and recharge, the gardens are amazing.


Babaco - I planted one this summer but it is tiny compared to this beauty!
Orange tamarillo - these do well in shade apparently so I'll have to get some!

The cafe is beautiful and features produce from their enormous kitchen gardens.


This outdoor table is amazing and I'm definitely going to steal this idea at some stage! 

There is a rather charming children's garden which I was thinking my chickens would love! 

An amazing herb garden with varieties I've never seen before 

On the way home in the late afternoon we stopped by Flinders.  It has changed so much in the last 15 years since I've been.  The strip has increased - not by much though - and there are the cutest shops!

Absolutely gorgeous lamps by Have You Met Miss Jones? 

Not bad to have enjoyed and done all that all by 4pm!   Now for home and 'think' about cleaning the house...

Friday, April 29, 2011

For the love of a chicken

I know we shouldn't have favourites.  But I can't help it.  Astrid is the most courageous amazing affectionate little chook you are likely to find anywhere.  She defends her flock fiercely against enemies like crows and owls (yes, owls!) and is always first to greet me as soon as she hears the car coming up the drive or the bolt on the back door being slid open.

This week she hasn't been so well.

I saw a few vets until I was happy with a vet that knew something about chickens.  Calling the vet was encouraging. The vet asked for my surname, then the name of my chicken.  He didn't ask for my name and just as he was about to hang up the phone, I asked how he knew I'd named my chicken.  He replied that no one would spend money on a vet for a chicken they hadn't at least named...

Tonight the vet has decided to keep her in hospital - I can only afford one night, not the week he recommended...just this one visit and one night stay has already set me back $220, I'm not telling Mr Bok! and those boots I was lusting after will just have to wait until next Winter.

We met an abandoned kitten at the vet.  SO want to take him home.  Maybe we will if he doesn't find a home...he's only 6 weeks old.

As soon as the vet saw us he wrapped Astrid in a blanket.  I just know she's in good hands...

The vet says she has an abscess that is jut one of those things, it's making breathing difficult and making her eye swell so that it can't open properly...he said she has 40% chance of surviving, it is silly to be so attached to a chicken so people say, I get lots of chicken soup comments from workmates but there you have it.  She's a loved family member.

I hope she'll be ok.

Guerilla garlic

So I tasked Miss Bok with planting garlic...and now I'm finding it popping up everywhere!



What type of garlic have you planted this year?  Do you leave yours in and just keep harvesting the stems or do you pull them out once they've flowered?  I love allium flowers.  I've planted Elephant garlic, Monaro Purple, Russian, Australian White, Cream and Oriental Purple. YUM!!


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