Wednesday, April 22, 2009

State of the Cottage-April 22, 2009

I've snapped a few photos of the cottage garden as it stands today. We've had a few incredibly beautiful (but fleeting) sunny days , but things have returned to normal weather-wise as of this morning. The warm weather was enough to finally coax four of my tulips in bloom, which is a rather disappointing amount as I planted 40 last Autumn. Things also beginning to stir into life: Blueberries, Lavender, and Bleeding Hearts. We've also torn out quite a bit of the dead/sickly plants in the herb garden such as the Lavender which never took off, and our sickly 'Arp' Rosemary and replaced their spots with a 'Multi-Blue' Clematis, new Rosemary plant, some Dill and French Tarragon.

Partial success in weeding the front garden bed which (once the path is laid) will be parallel with our walk way. That was an immense amount of work unto itself, but looks decent for the time being. I know nothing looks all too terribly impressive right now, but I'm patient!

In other news, the tiny green cottage appears to harbour a broody hen. Said broody hen is none other than Gwendolyn, our Barred Cochin--a matronly type with feathered legs and a body type akin to a Victorian woman in a bustle. Poor Gwen sits and sits and sits on eggs all day (she isn't really concerned they aren't all hers) waiting for them to hatch. She plucks feathers from her breast and stomach to line the nest, all in preparation for the chicks she thinks will come.
The most tragic part of this story is of course, we lack a rooster, so while Gwen appears to know that something special *usually* happens to the eggs after an extended amount of sitting, nothing is every going to bring her desire for motherhood into reality.
Now, a broody hen can be a problem--particularly if others in the flock seem to catch on that they *too* should be sitting on eggs, waiting for tiny cotton balls to hatch. Broody hens can be neurotic, aggressive and poor eaters. In an attempt to thwart any further brooding activity, I've removed the nest box from the hen house while I'm away at work, which will hopefully curb any future bad habits! I hope this doesn't distress the hens too terribly much, but poor Gwen's behaviour has *ME* fussing about like a mother hen!


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