Every time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies," there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.
James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cottontails and Ducklings

When I was small my Mother, Aunt and Grandmother read to me the wonderful tail of Peter Rabbit and all the great Beatrix Potter stories.  And now I read them to my children.  What enchanted me as much as the little clothing clad animals were the gorgeous gardens which are based on Potter's own garden in Cumbria, the English county bordering my Scottish homeland. My own Mothers garden had within a large vegetable garden featuring an abundance of produce including rows of potatoes, clumps of rhubarb, and high staked sweet peas. The hen house in one corner, the potting shed near the gate, and further in the glass greenhouse, full of tomatoes and grapevines, and a resident toad - Warty Bliggins, we called him.  The far end was the duck pond and to the left the barn. The stables were off to the side of the house, but the horses were in the field behind the veg garden.  It was a lovely place to be.  My garden planning here has started with the central spot I call my vegetable garden.  Like my Mothers, it won't be only veg in there.  I plan to have a lovely bench with an arbor, rambling roses overhead, lavender and rows of sweet peas, a butterfly bush and a few old fashioned roses near the chicken house, which I'm hoping to be a barn style with a small enclosure.  My 5 hens will be in there, ever-changing breeds in my mind, but this week I'm going with 2 Araucanas and 2 Silkies and 1 Buff Orpington.  The Araucanas for their Easter Eggs, the Silkies because they look like Eagle fledglings, and give you the teeniest little eggs so sweet for the children to collect. The Buff Orpington because when I think hen that is what I picture, a big golden bird. Today is to be pushing 50f so I'm going out to clear some more debris and dig over some of the garden beds.  They are still predicting 4" of snow tomorrow, but it's to be 55f by the wkend and in the 50s all next week. Please let this be the start of wonderful Spring!

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