My new chicken coop finally arrived! Look how cute it is!
It shipped from Michigan and arrived last week, but it took me a few days before I could move it to my backyard. Why? Because it is heavy and big. I had to clear a pathway (which means moving my mega composter) and then I had to bribe a few friends (with cookies) to come over to help my husband and I move it. The house weighs 200 lbs.
I put it in the boy's old play area where I used to have a grass roof house.
Why did I have a coop shipped from Michigan? There were several reasons:
1) I just did not have time to make my own right now.
2) There are NO cute coops like this in Los Angeles.
3) The closest coops I could find (that had charm) were over $1,400!
4) It was cheaper to buy and ship this one then it was to buy one here. Go figure!
The chickens love it!
NOTE: You may have noticed that I am starting to use a watermark on my blog photos. I just got tired of people stealing my pictures for their own use and not giving credit. It doesn't prevent the stealing, but at least people know where the photos came from. I will try to keep the watermarks inconspicuous.
Look what is sitting in front of a local garden nursery. Yes, there is a whole row – 4 trees total.
This just feels wrong on so many levels. I’m sure the tree is humiliated.
I recently visited the beautiful gardens at the Filoli Estate (which is preserved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation) in Northern California. It is located 30 miles south of San Francisco.
Filoli is a 654 acre estate filled with classic English Country gardens. The estate is broken up into garden “rooms”. There are formal gardens, kitchen and vegetable gardens with espaliered fruits, knot gardens, a very large cutting garden and several greenhouses.
The gardens are always changing. The National Trust keeps each garden room in shape by constantly changing out the annual flowers. No matter when you arrive, there are many things to see in bloom. It makes for a fun trip…Even if you have been there before.
Although this is a huge estate, there were many garden design elements that can be utilized by us small home gardeners. One element that I noticed Filoli uses throughout the garden is the use of pots. Almost every garden room had steps leading into or out of the enclosed space and those steps were always lined with clay pots.
The flowers in the pots do not have to be spectacular on their own, but when placed in mass, they really made a statement.
It is a simple technique that is quite effective.
So sorry for checking out lately. I know that a few of you have been wondering where I am, while others are saying "She was gone? I hadn't noticed."
I have had a series of events that have left me overwhelmed, overtaxed and over-committed. In fact, I should probably BE committed!! But that would be another post. Life just got more busy than usual lately and I feel like one of those circus performers trying to keep all the plates spinning on the little sticks…Running to one until I get it under control only to find that something else is about to fall. But life is good (as long as I keep paying attention).
Aside from the usual stuff, several things happened over the last week that kept me on my toes:
First, I took a fabulous day trip to Filoli Gardens. Woo-Hoo! Wait until you see the photos from that adventure!
Second, more baby chicks arrived last week and one needed a bit more TLC. It was touch and go there for awhile, but all is well now and I will be reporting on them in the next post.
Third, my hard-working IMac went on the blink, but the lovely Mac Geniuses at the Apple store saved the day and I am up and running again.
And Fourth, I have been doing quite a few garden coaching gigs lately. It seems that spring has arrived and people are having a few problems in their gardens. So I have been donning my cape and coming to their rescue. All good.
So much to tell…So many incredible photos to share. I'm just not sure where to begin. More to come…
If you grow your own food, keep chickens and/or are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there are several magazines I have come across that may interest you…
Backyard Poultry - is dediated to more and better small-flock poultry. This magazine covers all the basics of keeping chickens in your own backyard.
BackHome Magazine – is a hands-on guide to sustainable living that covers many topics including: gardening, composting, livestock and living off the grid.
Hobby Farms – is a magazine for rural enthusiasts, hobby farmers or those who are just passionate about the country. Topics include small farm equipment, livestock, cooking, crafting and home arts.
Urban Farm – is a new magazine that is coming soon. It is from the editors of Hobby Farm Magazine and it sounds like it has potential. The websites says that it will cover "sustainable city living". Topics include how-to projects, profiles of urban farmers, recipes and reviews of innovative products. I will be watching for that one.
Bee Culture – is a magazine that I have not seen in person, but a friend of mine recommended it for anyone interested in keeping their own bees. It covers basic beekeeping, honey recipes, new products and the latest info on pests and diseases.