Cluckingham Palace and the Rabble of Spring Plants

For a while we weren’t sure whether to call our new chook house Cluckingham Palace or not. It is one of those puns that is funny for a moment, but you soon become suspicious. Does it parody or celebrate the monarchy? Is there already a whole industry around the idea? Similarly, just the other day, Craig thought of a great title for a history book about Euclidian geometry called “Here’s looking at Euclid”. Low and behold you can buy crap online celebrating both puns (Royal and Mathematical) . So the new chook complex, complete with pen (built by Sophie G and her pops), new coop (donated by Mally & fixed up by Craig) and old coop (built by Aaron and Craig out of an old bunk bed), remains without name. As do the chickens. Daria, the ruler of the roost by virtue of her status as the only chook until August, is the only chicken with a name. Although the arrival of two Isabrowns and two Australorps has totally reorganised Daria’s social world.

IMG_4584The wasps are returning which is a sure sign that some kind of annual cycle is starting again. But this year we got something of a “jump” on Spring, along with the wasps. Whereas last year we had a six week old baby to tend while the wasps took over the yard. This year the wasps are taking over alongside our beetroot, cabbages, lettuce, beans, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, radishes, coriander and silverbeet, among other things. We have enough sacrificial strawberries growing to keep the slugs and Stanley happy. Craig has finished his Aquaponics system (save for the fish) and Sophie has finished the Frog pond! Although we’ve let the clover in the lawn go wild to encourage as many bees as possible, there is some order in the backyard. IMG_4583



IMG_4582The semblance of order in the backyard offset by the utter chaos of the frontyard, which Sophie assures me is totally OK as long as we tackle it bit by bit. But what are we tackling and why? There are so many ideas in the front yard. While we have “written back” into the garden of Bad Flowers in the backyard with plants of different kinds of significance (i.e. edible and/or not poisionous), the front is a tangle of bad flowers and good flowers, old passionfruit vines, trees (banksia, banana, lillipilli, fig, christmas bush, some kind of amazing eucalypt) several rosemary and lavender plants, coastal pigface, grasses (some noxious unwanteds, some wanted planted by Sophie, some native regenerating by surprise!) AND so much more. We also have garden beds we want to grow stuff in and we have amazing rich soil under the remaining composted wood chips. But what to do? What is actually going on here? Which ideas should triumph? One thing is certain, this crazy and overwhelming rabble of plants were not residents at Earlwood Farm in December 2012.