We have finally had some rain so now have running water all day which is making life so much easier and our surviving plants are doing well. With building the summer kitchen the old flower beds were in the wrong places so new ones had to be built. The rain has allowed me to dismantle the old flower beds and move the plants into the new beds we have built. A few of the flowers had died back so I’ve no idea what is planted where so next year when they come back up I think there is going to have to be some rearranging but at least they are moved so I can still work on re-landscaping the garden. I hadn’t realised how many plants we had till it came to moving them all. We have also gained a new garden feature, we were kindly given a cart from a friend, what makes it even more special is that he painted it himself. The kale is the only vegetable that has survived the drought and is still going strong. We planted some late beans, beetroot, radish and peas. they’ve all done well apart from the peas but the weather is still mild so hopefully we might still get a crop off them. We’ve planted our usual winter vegetables, spinach, lettuce, garlic, and this year we’ve planted our main crop onions. The peas and beans will go in sometime next week.
We have carried out some dowsing on our land to try and find water so we could build a well but it looks like there isn’t any so we’ve invested in another 4 IBC water containers. At the moment we need 3 container loads of water to fill the pond but by next year we are hoping to increase the size of our reed-bed and use more of our grey water to fill the new pond ( which we haven’t started building yet) this will save us using a lot of the rainwater for filling the pond. Although we’ve lost a couple of trees in our woodland most have them have survived and now the weather has cooled off we don’t have to worry about watering them any more.
The summer kitchen now has a roof and the electrics are all in. The fire pit is now finished and had a chimney installed. The fire box is large enough to fit our biggest pan on for when I’m canning our fruit and vegetables. Where the old porch was is now tiled and a wood store has been built where the old stairs were. The walkway now has 2 proper doors put in to replace the temporary ones we’ve been using for the last few years. We didn’t make the doors ourselves we got a man in the village to make them as we really wanted them in for this winter and Joe just didn’t have the time to make them. These have now been stained and are ready to keep the cold weather out when it arrives.
With removing the wood burning shower earlier in the year we have lost our only source of heat in the bathroom. Originally we were going to install a radiator but with the room being fairly large we decided it would cost a fortune to run and have opted for a small wood burner. Even though it is about half the size of our one in the living room you can still fit our usual size logs in it which was the reason for getting rid of the wood burning shower ( the fire box was too small) We haven’t needed to use it yet but it should warm the bathroom up pretty quickly once its lit.
Our poultry family have done well this year and we now have 30 birds but we have had one major loss, we came home one day to find Nancy our female goose had died. We could find no signs on injury so don’t know what happened. This put us in a difficult position on what to do with Sid, we started by leaving him on his own in his enclosure but after a while felt sorry for him being on his own so we let him out to mix with the other birds. Everything was going well for a couple of weeks and he seemed to enjoy the company of our other ducks especially our youngest duckling, even choosing to sleep with them in an evening. But then for some reason he started to attack a couple of our ducks so we have now put him back in his enclosure. We have decided we are going to try and find some goslings to put in with him and hopefully he’ll choose one to be his new mate but till then he is going to have to be by himself.