Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Ghost Of Major Johns

Last week we said a fond Goodbye to Major Johns. The poor gent had become very wobbly on his pins and was struggling to keep up with his harem. We tried the “He’ll either get better.... or worse” theory, and he got worse.
When wringing a cockerel’s neck it’s important to get it right first time, so we sought the help of a friend, Rob, who has a wide repertoire of techniques to deal with all types of fowl.  Some involve broom handles and fan belts.  In this case it was a straightforward snap.
The Major is succeeded by his son Johns Junior; a glossy green and russet teenager with custard yellow legs. His voice is just breaking into a crow and he is clumsy and impetuous with the girls... no doubt maturity will refine him.
Unexpectedly the Major re-visits us every morning as the dew dries on the flagstones, a shadow of his former self, but he still makes me smile.

Monday, November 21, 2011

An early start...

 in the veg patch, with the rising sun, my favourite fork, and mystified looks from next-door..

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Dash at Dusk

Having met up with friends from Helsinki at the weekend I’m feeling even more grateful for every ounce of daylight we get, despite the shortening days.  However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not caught out when I look up from my desk at 5 pm, light fading, and realise I haven’t picked any sprouts for dinner.  I should really take my cue from the chickens. They are already strutting back to their coop, looking mockingly over their shoulders at me as I scamper in their wake, trug and torch in hand, to the veg patch.... in the half-light again. 

Friday, November 4, 2011


“Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.  I believe that people entirely devoid of imagination can never be really good gardeners.” Mrs C. W. Earle 1897
There’s nothing like the arrival of a big box of tulip bulbs to get the imagination running riot: all that promise of colour and flounce hidden away under papery brown skins.  Planting them is less compelling, but theraputic. Unearthing chips of pretty china in the process turns the whole exercise into a glorious treasure hunt.
Mulling over the limitless possibilities for mosaic, I came across the amazing Rock Garden created by Nek Chand in India, now there’s an imagination really running riot!

photographs © Iain Jackson