|Plant containers full of edibles. This container is filled with lettuce, pansies and sugar snap peas.|
One of my favorite things in the world is watching my chickens explore their surroundings when they are out during supervised free-ranging. Chickens left unsupervised can devastate gardens and landscaping in mere minutes, especially gardens with new tender plantings. I’ve picked up many tips over the years and today I’d like to share them with you that have made life much easier with the girls and their appetite for exploration and delicious goodies. Gardening with chickens when done correctly, is a wonderful experience.
Even though we had a bit of snow last night, I have been very busy puttering around the yard with spring clean up and getting ready for the photo shoot with the book. My favorite spring flowers are pansies. They are so lovely, especially the ruffled variety in this pansy sphere on my front steps. I just adore the blooms and they are entirely edible. The chicken love them!
This past week the family and I took a small vacation to try and break up the cold weather and discover signs of spring. The day we left, there was almost a foot of freshly fallen snow on the ground! We had a great time in North Carolina. It was still chilly and a bit rainy but it wasn’t snowing. We went to the lovely Bog Garden in Greensboro, North Carolina. Signs of spring were everywhere. As we strolled along the boardwalk, we discovered the garden waking from its winter slumber. We even found one of the owls nesting in the garden again for the second year in a row.
We have had so much rain over the past week that I was beginning to believe that we would never see the sun again. Yet, yesterday it was beautiful, sunny and not a cloud was in the sky. Despite the rain, spring is my absolute favorite season. The spring blooms are just making the yard smell heavenly. I love lilacs and lily of the valley.
The chickens are laying in full force too. I have so many eggs, that we joke that we are lacking places to put them. Do you think it is possible to become an egg hoarder? I think it is time to make some quiche for dinner.
Perhaps my mind is trying to tell me something. Life around Tilly’s Nest has been taking its sweet time to emerge from its winter slumber. The chickens are now laying eggs regularly everyday. The gardens are beginning to bloom. The spring peepers are croaking in the pond and gentle evening breezes blow through the window fragrances of life; hope.
These past few weeks I have spent many hours tending to the gardens. Connecting with delicate new fronds of ferns, dainty Lilies of the Valley blooms, and gently mulching around the tenderest of tiny stalks of Lavender. All these give me hope. Audrey Hepburn said it best, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
|Inside the hydroponic green house where vegetables and herbs thrive.|
|Early beet plants|
Of course there are chickens outside too! I could not help but notice the clever creation that they made to keep the chicken feed dry. They converted an unused beehive into a elevated open shelter for a hanging chicken feeder.
The girls were all so happy to see me. As I completed the tour, I tucked some rich green clover into the fence. I had no idea that a place so amazing was right in my very own backyard.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest
|Fifi, our Black Silkie Bantam|
|When Dolly hatched her own brood of Silkies|
|Morels pop up in unexpected places in the garden.|
|My favorite, Lily of the Valley|
|Roses bloom near my favorite Cape Cod beach|
|Fresh eggs from the girls|
|A walk through tall grasses where wildflowers grow|
|Chicken hugs, my inseparable girls-Oyster Cracker and Sunshine.|
|The back garden|
|Spring in the back garden|
|Beehives in the blizzard|
|Beehives in spring|
|Looking into the front yard (see the chairs?)|
|Late spring in the front garden|
|Thank goodness I added the tarp.|
|Springtime near the hen house|
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest