Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chook Nappies...should I??

Yup.  I'm thinking of going there. Chook nappies!!!!  Have I lost it altogether??  Just getting Master Bok (2) out of nappies and now considering getting my chooks into them!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spring on my windowsill

Like my fellow garden lovers in Australia, I'm delighted that there is a definite Spring feel in the air  :)

Seeds are sprouting on my windowsills and in the garden, it's a magic time of year and I am more than ready to shake off winter!  I've bravely put seedlings of tomato carefully nurtured on the window still from seed out in the apple crates, knowing jack frost is still visiting through the week.  Silly aren't I...ever the optimist!

The potatoes in the empty chook feed bags are doing well I think...

And I've been enjoying the sunshine spilling through the window onto my little rocking chair under my fan palm, Professor Lewis Carroll.

Hypatia our mumma hen has even laid an egg for us and I'm very pleased is teaching the other young ones how to eat - that is, they watch her and copy her.  Her egg contributed to some baked goodies...


I'll leave you with a cartoon I giggled at whilst flicking through The Big Issue the other day...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Name my new chooks!

Update:  The langshan is now called Amelia (Earhart) and the big fat pekin is called Hypatia (of Alexandria, mathematician and philosopher, she was a great Greek scholar and teacher).  Together they join Nancy (Wake, Bird) the astralorp, Joan (of Arc) the belgian d'uccle and Florence (Nightingale) the Frizzle bantam.  Thank you for all of your wonderful name suggestions!  I just need a bigger flock to use them all!   

The last two chooks have joined our flock...but I need help naming them!

They have to be named after a female hero as I talked about in this post...

This is a 10 week old bantam langshan.


 And this is an almost grown up pekin, I keep calling her Brunhilde but I really don't know what to call her!

What do you think?  Do you have any suggestions?

I decided to get a near-adult because the young ones don't seem to know what to eat...which sounds really silly...but something very sad happened on that bittersweet day I mentioned in my last post.  That morning, at dawn, I went to let the bok flock out.  Something was wrong.  Artemis came out very slowly and usually she is first to run out.  She was all fluffed up and clearly unwell, even going to sleep on the lawn.  I panicked and took her to the vet.

The vet told me that she was incredibly weak and very very thin.  He didn't know what was wrong, but gave her a general antibiotic and anti coccidia.  He suspected she may have been ill when she first came home with me and as chooks hide their illness very well, didn't show signs of sickness until it was too late.  She died just after we got home, resting in front of the fire.  I was devastated - mostly because I didn't even notice how thin she had become.  I'm not having much luck with chooks lately am I  :(

So...I then paid very close attention to how much the rest of the flock were eating, also dosing them with amprolium and vitamins just in case.  They never eat the treats I give them - hot porridge, mashed up boiled egg with vitamin and nutrition powder, not even their feed!  So I decided to get an adult hen to 'show' them what to do - some chook to copy.  I also changed their feed.

I only got one near-adult because I thought she would be less inclined to be a bully and more inclined to want to be kind to her fellow chooks.  So far so good!  The new girls are far bossier than my other three but they are getting along fine so far although the new ones don't want to leave the coop yet.

And as far as eating goes...she is a champion!  The others have been watching her intently and whenever she pecks at something, they copy her too and I'm pleased to say they have been eating more and putting on more weight.  It is a bizarre thing to me to have chooks that don't know how to eat...but they are very young...and thankfully seem healthy.

 Look!  The young ones are even eating the overgrown bok choy I pulled out for them!  Joy  :)

Florence and Nancy sunbaking


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Magnolia Square on a bittersweet day


For those of you in Melbourne - isn't it an absolute cracker of a day!  I've missed sunshine sooooooo much.

It's been a bitter sweet day, not ready to tell you about the sad bit yet but I will later on this week.

For this post I'll focus on the sweet.

One of the things we did today was head to Magnolia Square to visit a friend of ours who has the most covetable product line!  The last time I posted about Magnolia Square, it was a beautiful Autumn day.  This time it is a beautiful early Spring day!  (well it's still winter technically but with the blue skies and warmth, it feels more like spring).  Magnolia Square is a curated market place for independent artists, designers and makers from around   Australia.  It's held at different locations at different times of the year.

Here are a few pics and I also asked some of my favourite exhibitors to tell me their favourite plant...

Dragonflies from Love AJ

Sam from Red Wagon loves growing lilies, she loves them so much she named her daughter for the flower.  I love Red Wagon and Miss Bok's classmates often get something red-wagony for their birthdays!

I love Makemeiconic - I often give gifts to friends leaving for distant shores to remind them of home


Gorgeous acorns from Down to the Woods - Amber likes succulents best as she is convinced she has a black thumb... 
Gorgeous freckle ottoman from Down to the Woods!  Amber's garlands can be seen all over my home...more pics here.
Amber's garlands on my dresser

I bought this skirt from Heavenly Creatures for Miss Bok (6)!  She will adore it, I want it in my size, I'd definitely wear it!  Kelly from Heavenly Creatures loves peonies and fluffy hydrangeas.

Oh I LOVE http://www.vintageprints.com.au/  !  Last time I met up with Martine I came away with rather a lot of old prints!   I posted here what I did with some of them.  Martine is a succulent plant lover as well.

Master Bok (2)'s room

See all the framed prints on his book shelf?

This gorgeous book 'My Bed is a Boat' hangs above my bed!

And this 'K was once a little kite' sits on my dresser (with garlands from Down to the Woods)

I mentioned my friend B in a previous post.   She is one of my every day heroes - her newborn has had to go through traumatic heart surgery and a raft of procedures, I don't know how they are coping but her precious bundle is just about ready to come home and I am more than ready to meet her!  So when I saw these gorgeous bracelets from Little Lamb, I had to get one for sweet Y.  A little bunny one for her bunny guardian angel.  Caitlin from Little Lamb loves jasmine - a lady after my own heart!  Nothing like the smell of jasmine to prompt that joyous Spring feeling!

There were so many beautiful displays, I didn't get around to them all because my camera ran out of battery and Master Bok (2) was itching to go but really it was a beautiful hour spent browsing beautiful things and meeting the designers.

We also visited my favourite garden nursery, Bulleen Art & Garden to grab some organic soil that's on special there at the moment.

Back home, we pottered about the garden in the sunshine enjoying the company of our little family.

Discovered more peas (purple podded?  Golden?  Snow? Sugar snap?  No idea!) shooting

Long forgotten celery growing well

Potatoes starting to grow in the empty chook feed bags (you can see I've tried lots of different types over the last year!!)

Not sure what these are - some kind of pea and something else!

Has anyone noticed their strawberries putting on a burst of growth too?  I've got strawberries all over the garden largely unnoticed, but I'm starting to see them put on glossy leave now (yay!!)

Planting out the raspberry shoots - the tall one is an older one, the little ones and sideshoots planted out - lovely Tash from my local permaculture group had little raspberry runners she was giving away so I put my hand up for some!  The gardening community is so friendly, so generous and so lovely to be part of.

Our citrus are putting on a burst of growth!

Did you know that bay trees flower??  I had no idea!  The bay leaf tree growing in the pot has never flowered, but this one growing here has the most gorgeous flowers rather like the wattle/acacia blossoms. The much neglected mulberry is forming fruit already.  Love it - the most generous of trees I often think.

Almond blossoming

Plums blossoming

Lemon and limes fruiting 
Look where I found Florence...perched high up on the sunflower!

More plum blossom

Dwarf nectarine blossoming

Little lemon myrtle flowering

Blueberries in flower 

Hope you have all had a wonderful start to your weekend!  Magnolia Square is still on tomorrow so if you're in Melbourne head on down, it's in Ivanhoe this time around.


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