Late wrap up of the long weekend...

11 June, 2014

How quickly the long weekend went. (For us in Aus, we just had the Monday off for the Queen's Birthday - I am not a monarchist, but I'm happy to have a day off anyway!) I can't believe it's already gone and we've hit the middle of the week already.

What did I get up to? Well...

(Forgive me the photo-less post, my camera is playing up.)

I sold the ducks.

I've been planning this one for a while now. I loved having the ducks, but they were a little on the noisy side for a suburban area. Not so much the boy ducks (drakes); their gentle "quack-quack-quack" was totally fine. It was Heston's (the girl duck) early morning "HONK-HONK-HONK" and occasional mid-afternooon encore, frequently repeated at intervals throughout the afternoon and early evening, which was unpleasant.

While the neighbours were yet to complain (note the 'yet' in that sentence) I didn't feel right having animals that made me frequently think "ohmygod, would you just shut up!" on a daily basis. And I was the one getting the eggs, so you would think I could forgive a little exuberance.

But I could not. So I sold them to some people who have an acre in a country area, and I'm sure the ducks will love their new digs.

The duck digs are to become a chicken house. All in all, I like the taste of chicken eggs better, and the gentle clucking of chickens (my grandmother has chickens so hopefully her's are representative of general chicken noise levels) will be more in keeping with good neighbourly relations. So I will be moving things and adapting the duck house to suit chickens by adding some cover (chickens seem less fond of rain than ducks) and adding somewhere for roosting. Further details to follow. Then I shall get me some chickens!

I uprooted the orange trees and put them in wicking pots.

My orange trees have never really been happy. Last year I moved one from the front to the back yard, at which point I got the second orange tree and planting it out too. They survived, but have never really looked happy. So I'm trying wicking pots. I've taken some old pots and have lined the inside with heavy duty plastic bags, then cut a couple of slits at the usual wicking hole level and added some gravel for good drainage, then done the usual sand, garden fleece and potting mix/compost to plant into, as per my blueberry wicking buckets. I haven't added the usual tube down to the water reservoir and am hoping watering from the top will suffice.

These are now lined up along the back fence, and I'm thinking I may also do this to the mandarin and lime I'm espaliering. Yet to be decided.

On a similar note, I also wicking potted a self sown avocade (it came up out of the compost heap) and my evergreen blueberry.

I moved a few things around. 

To fill the gap where the orange trees were I've uprooted two roses from the front yard. This both makes more space in a bed with good sunlight which I don't think has been fully utilised, and makes the back yard where I do most of my lounging about reading books a more ornamental place. 

I also moved an artichoke plant to where the evergreen blueberry was, dividing the plant in the process, so yay for more artichokes.

Then I moved the sage bush and golden marjoram and dug up a heap of violets to make room for a new strawberry bed. 

All in all a productive long weekend. What did you get up to?

12 comments:

  1. Oh that all sounds good. I will be interested to hear how your fruit trees in pots work out. I also had thoughts of espaliering the trees in fruit salad alley. Nothing is growing up that fast though.

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    1. Yes, they all seem slow growing in the early days before they get well established to me. Then they take off!

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  2. My chooks don't make any noise when they're not laying and only chortle about it when they've laid an egg. I'm a bit disappointed; I thought I was going to enjoy a lot of quiet chatter through the day. Of course, I haven't got a rooster...

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    1. Yes, my grandmothers chickens (isa reds) just do a gentle "cluck-cluck-cluck" occasionally when scrounging around the yard. A rooster would be a totally different story!

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  3. I never remember the ducks being noisy when I was growing up. The geese however. . . Now they were obnoxious in so many ways. I never knew why my mom raised them.

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    1. Maybe it is a breed thing. I had Welsh Harlequins. I've heard Pekins are meant to be very quiet.
      I've heard qeese can be quite noisy and will attack if you get too close. That said I still adore them and would love to have a gaggle one day.

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  4. Our ISA Browns do a beautiful chirruppy pur most of the time - although there's a bit of triumphant cackling after laying an egg - but our Australorps are amazing honkers when they want to be let out in the morning. I'm pretty sure we've trained them into this, because as soon as they start honking, someone leaps out of bed and rushes to liberate them from their coop so that the neighbours won't be woken up. So maybe avoid Australorps, even though they're adorable and great at egg-laying.

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    1. Cheers for the info. My enclosed pen will not necessitate me letting them out in the morning, but I still think I'm plumping for ISA browns. Australorps are gorgeous, but I just love something about the lovely reddy brown tones of the isa's.

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  5. I would have never thought of ducks as noisy?! I am enjoying the peace and tranquility of the winter solstice and moulting chooks/ chooks in moult recovery mode..... they are nice and subdued.... Its nice not to be woken by a loudly whining chook demanding breakfast! Not sure if its a breed thing or a personality thing.... I have 1 main culprit.

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    1. I know, me too. Although it is intermittent and not all day, every day, when the ladies choose to make their presence felt they are very capable of it. They are probably noise annoyance level on a par with a yappy dog.

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  6. my wow, what a busy weekend you had - you achieved so much. weekends liek that are soooo satisfying, aren't they?
    good luck when you get the chickens - i'm sure it will be kinda sad to see the ducks go, but you have to be sensible, especially in a suburban setting. and especially if you were telling them to shut up all the time! the sound of chickens talking to themselves is very relaxing (i find). lucky you!

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    1. They are very satisfying, especially in winter when the daylight hours are short, it feels nice to have gotten something done before it gets too dark to do any more.
      It is sad, but I also know it is better for them, and better for me. I can't wait to have the gently clucking of chickens. Soon!

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