May has rolled round again with its usual abundance: green sprouting from every corner of the garden and new life in the chicken run at last. A week ago, the Speckled Sussex hatched three tiny bantam Orpingtons, like little songbirds, sharp and lively. She is teaching them how to destroy my garden already, scratching and pecking, skills they’re picking up with alacrity.
I’m part of the flock, like a clumsy cockerel who facilitates food delivery and help to climb the long ramp to bed every evening, and keeps them all dry when it rains cats and dogs. And talking of cats, I’ve taken on two kittens – part of a litter my daughter-in-law adopted from the shelter – only to find that three cats were too much in a small house and garden. So Jet and Olive, lithe and lovely have come to live with me.
In among these caring duties I’m opening my garden again as part of Whitstable Open Gardens on Sunday June 10th, so much work needed on that front. We have two new gardens opening with us: a tiny rose and climber decked oasis behind Westgate Terrace and a large garden that surrounds one of the first grand houses to be built along Joy Lane. All the details are on the NGS website ngs.org.uk and it would be wonderful to see you all again.
I’m also giving a talk at the Wealden Times Fair on Friday June 8that 11am at Hole Park near Rolvenden (wealdentimes.co.uk/events), and at the Hens and Gardens event at Great Comp on June 16thwith lots of lovely chickens. Do come and say hello.