Monday, May 9, 2011

in clover: new horizons

Now that my girls have gotten used to living in the big city and have a better sense that this is home, I decided it was time to begin letting them out in this small area behind our garden shed.   It made me a little anxious.  Although we have clipped their wings on one side, they still are able to "fly" to a chair, then to the roof of the coop and it's possible, I guess, that they might reach the top of the fence.  Anxiety aside, I've begun letting the girls out in this fenced area when I am in the garden.  I'm beginning to feel more comfortable but I still run to the coop in a panic periodically...counting, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ok.  We're all ok!

As a treat, I pulled all the weeds under the redbud tree out front to feed them. I had two big buckets of whatever weed this is:

I will use this vintage wire egg basket for gathering eggs soon!  I bought this cutie in France.  If I was not anticipating the eggs that will soon need to be gathered, I would line this with green moss and plant it.  I think wire baskets are particularly effective planted with beautiful cabbages and kales.  

This is our perfect chicken watching spot.  I bought the wooden chairs in England.  They fold flat for easy storage.  The cobalt blue table came from Target (this season) and was only $20!  It's just the right size for two coffee cups (morning) or two wine glasses (evening). The mirrored sconces hanging on the lattice hold taper candles.  I bought them at a yard sale for only fifty cents. Ok, fifty cents a piece (there are two of them) but still, what a great deal and no one else will have them.  

This is one of twelve cast iron English street signs I found in the Cotswolds.  They are victorian era (1880's) and I was able to purchase them when they were replaced with more modern signs.  (Which is sad, actually).  I sold the others but kept this one. I've never had the perfect spot but the sign seems pretty happy here.  It can live here with the chickens for a while, until it's ready to move on...

Ideally I would have vintage galvanized containers for chicken feed, like this English dolly tub I use to keep a soil and compost mix for planting containers.

But I didn't have time to source unique containers and I didn't want plastic. I needed containers with very tight lids to keep critters out so I went old school with galvanized waste cans with nice, tight fitting lids. I think it was a good vs practicality and all.

One of the cans holds feed and the other holds chicken scratch.  We use the scratch as a treat for our girls.  It is also an integral part of the "deep litter method" we are using to manage the cleaning of our coop and aviary. So far, so good!

The girls taking a few hesitant steps outside to enjoy their new courtyard...

Nancy Griffin is eyeing my flowers.  Don't even THINK about eating my violas, Nancy! 

I bought the tea kettle for a few dollars from a picker who brought it to my shop.  Mike drilled holes in the bottom and now it is a planter.

I don't know about ya'll, but I've been feeling in a bit of a rut lately.  Perhaps it's time we expand our a little free ranging and explore some new territory, like the chickens!

Peace,  Lisa

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