Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: verse,

Remembering Mother

For all the gifts you’ve given me
For all I am and strive to be
For every hour of every day
In all I think, or do, or say
For all I know, for all you’ve done
Forever more, I thank you Mom


Today would have been my Mother’s birthday and it has made me think that perhaps the reason I like to grow things is down in part to her. She made good use of the garden around our little prefab by growing potatoes at the back aswell as rhubarb and gooseberries. At the front she grew carnations and pinks. She would make up a dozen with a spray of gyp and sell them for a shilling a bunch. My bedroom window overlooked a narrow flower bed and every year Mom would sow a packet of virginia stock in there. I can still remember their lovely perfume on warm summer evenings. The little verse is part of a poem written by my sister Cath.

Today I have sowed some of the new seed, four cucumber, four melon and two courgette. They are in 3″ pots and covered in cling film. We have been given the go ahead by Jim, the chairman, to put the greenhouse on the plot so Sunday looks like being a busy day.

Chico Update

My cat, my dear and gentle friend,
As you lay sleeping quietly,
I thank you for the time we spend
In true and happy company.

Following x-rays the fnal diagnosis was a fractured pelvis so poor Chico underwent surgery today to fix a metal plate to hold the fracture together. The injured back leg has been dressed but there is extensive neurological damage which may be temporary but may be permanent so she isn’t out of the woods yet. One thing is guaranteed though, she will have the best care we can give her.

Lavender’s Blue

“Give me a land of boughs in leaf, A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen, there is grief; I love no leafless land.”
A. E. Houseman

Today was the first really hot day this year and everyone at the allotments were visibly melting. After watering all the seed beds Rob built a raised bed for the courgettes while I sowed a couple of rows of herbs. First in was cat nip, Nepeta, followed by Lavender Officianalis. We sowed another pot of Leeks, Musselborough, and a full row of Swede, Best Of All. Rob put in the last of the International Kidney potatoes. Grown on Jersey as Jersey Royals they are kidney shaped potatoes with pale yellow skin and flesh which is waxy when young. They are excellent boiled or as a salad potato. The famous flavour is said to be different when grown in England as they are fertilised with sea weed in Jersey. They can also be grown as an early main crop and when left to mature become more floury.

LavenderCat NiplavenderLavender is best planted between April and May as the soil is warming up. It thrives in any poor or moderately fertile, free-draining soil in full sun, On heavier soils lavender tends to be fairly short-lived, becoming woody at the base. To prolong the life of your lavender on heavier soil, add organic matter and gravel to improve the drainage and plant on a mound.