It’s that time of year when I realise I have a few days of annual leave left to fit in somewhere, and wow did I need a bit of a break from work. For the last few days I have been outside with the assistance of my Mum doing a bit of a garden makeover. Sadly I have few ‘before’ photos but believe me the patio was a state, including sacks of rubble and the old bathroom waiting to go to the tip!

My main mission for these days was to get my shed base down. Some of you may recall my post about my new shed plan. So many things have gone around in my head of what I want and I am finally there. So here is a slopey patch of dirt which I have been digging and raking for a few days to level off as best I can, aka, until it broke me. The poor hens are in their avian flu lockdown and i’ve had their nosey beaks staring at me from the run as they would be so good at #HelpingNotHelping me dig. But sorry girls, as much as I love your help it was great not to worry about bopping one of you on the head with a spade every minute!

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So with my amazing computer skills you can see below the grand plan. I wanted a reverse pent roof so I can make a green roof and in the last few days I have worked out what to do with the eglu. I wanted to move the eglu out of the run so the girls have more space. I was going to put it in the shed but it would take up so much space. A few online hen friends have their eglu on the outside of the run with a hole to hop in and as quite a heavy item it appears to be a good idea. So, as you can vaguely see, the eglu will attach to the shed so the hens can hop in there to some dry food and then through the hen hole to the run. Then when I am in the shed I will open the internal mesh screen and over they can come to visit me, snuggled on the sofa. (You will love to cuddle me girls!).p1020182I have researched a lot of green roof solutions and there are some amazing ones out there although the can be costly, but I definitely want to do it. My Mum is selling her house boat and she had her own green roof she lovingly grew but wanted to remove it as some boat buyers may not be interested in such a thing. I am really pleased I can offer it a home! Below are some of the trays of sedum, mainly house leeks that we can re-home including some grown in a curled up rope. More shed stuff will be posted when it is ready!

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The other achievement in the last few days is my evergreen bed by the patio. I have slowly been putting down very heavy hollow blocks to make a raised bed. We have now filled this with soil dug up from my shed base and layers of manure and compost as the soil here in Essex is made up of so much clay that everything I planted last year came out still in its pot shape! We have added some alpines and herbs in each hollow block, hopefully these things will smell nice and maybe can be picked to put in food or a pimms!

I wanted to add some evergreen shrubs here as it is the first bit of garden you see and looking out at mud and death isn’t so pleasing. Luckily I have been collecting some shrubs and keeping them in pots in the chicken part of the garden. This collection has now moved and been planted in the new bed. Apart from a few bags of compost this bed full of green stuff hasn’t cost anything this week and i’m really pleased with it. (Plus, the sun came out today so we managed to have a sandwich outside and enjoy our work).

Other bits and pieces include digging over the future flower bed and putting in some recycled log roll, and filling up and planting a bed at the end with raspberry canes.

Despite a bit of Storm Doris yesterday hampering our plans, I think we have achieved a lot and I just can’t wait for light evenings I can spend outside with the hens.

Spring has most definitely sprung.

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Mother of Hens x

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