Spring weather is keeping us on our toes and as I have been typing it has swung from being a beautiful sunny day to raining heavily and icy, there have been blustery blasts as well. The garden has been growing well, the first spring growth has begun in earnest for the new hazels and apples which is very exciting for us as we were ever so slightly worried that we had bought sticks or that we would kill them before they grew. The old apricot tree is flowering and now in leaf and I hope the wild winds haven't blown too many blossoms off because the old fashioned fruit it produces is so very flavoursome. The boys and I are out mulching, weeding and planting as often as we can and my little helpers are getting the hang quickly, in fact Sir Talks a lot begs me to plant with him "Mummy, can we pweeeease plant some seeds...I weeely want to!". In the face of such cute begging I have acceded to his requests we have planted many seeds, more peas(the last ones died) beetroot, red ribbed dandelion, German Chamomile, radishes, red cored carrots, sunflowers, calendula, nasturtiums, basil, feverfew and some chilis. we are also trying the deep stem cutting technique we saw on Gardening Australia last Saturday to grow some lavender and Rosemary. We are also trying to grow some old potatoes in a tyre which I have been plonking the soiled straw(actually sugar cane mulch) from the hen house. We are getting right experimental this spring... It all sounds very impressive but the garden is still scruffy and not overly productive!
The chickens are doing well, the boys love collecting snails and feeding them to the chickens who love them and give us giant tasty eggs.They love the scraps and the weeds too so it is a good arrangement for everyone.
I have started to trim down the number of toys the boys have, they both can spend hours with snails and sticks and kicking a sod of grass around but toys don't keep them entertained for nearly as long, some of the toys don't capture their imagination either so Freecycle is doing well out of me at the moment as many toys have been given their marching orders. It was entertaining to have the boys cull their own toys but unfortunately the initial pile contained a much loved train and four of my childhood teddy bears so we needed to offer some guidance with what is the right kind of toy to give away- one that you don't play with and is actually yours!Yesterday our little family expanded again with us finding four baby shelducks wandering about the suburbs with nary an adult in sight. When we saw them for the second time we decided that we should collect them for their own safety as cats roam Launceston constantly so now we have four baby ducks. They imprint very quickly and think we are their parents now and they love to wander about inside (once our long suffering but bloodthirsty cat is locked in his favourite cupboard).