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Daphne last won the day on February 16

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About Daphne

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  1. I'm sure you will be knocked over in the rush to rehome them! They are lovely looking birds, I hope all goes smoothly for you. I am in Portugal so a tad too far otherwise I'd be first in the queue!
  2. Take the corn away and stick with the pellets. Chicken won't starve themselves, they pick out the corn as its much tastier, but its not good for them in large quantities as it makes them fatter, can interfere with laying and health, and is not a balanced feed, which pellets are. A bit of tough love is required! I don't know if your birds are bantams or large fowl, but Smallholder feed is very good, and the pellet size is small, meaning it is easier for small birds.
  3. Ah, I see, thanks for posting that, it gives me food for thought for the future. Wooden fences just don't exist here!
  4. Looking good, CT, you should come over here! Especially as I spy a fig in the front as well. How old are the vines? They have a lot of length on them, so you are obviously doing something right. I am not good at pruning vines, so I won't offer any comments, except to say Bob Flowerdew always said you couldn't ever cut too much off a vine (I disagree, I am sure I have killed/stunted some by doing it wrongly). I have some about the same length trained over a canopy, and they fruit well, but then they get powdery mildew as there is too much leaf and not enough air (for the canopy), but you won't have that problem. Are the grapes for eating or wine? I haven't seen grapes grown on chains before, most people here either have small free standing 'legs', or they are trained on wires between posts. In the North of Portugal, and in some cold spots, you will see the main trunk trained up to about 1.5 - 2m before they train the shoots horizontally, to avoid frost pockets. I also have a fence question. Are solid planks laid on top of each other, like yours, the most common sort in the Netherlands? In the UK we have flimsier larch panels, where each plank is feathered on top of the one before, so the rain doesn't penetrate so much. However, I much prefer yours from an aesthetic point of view. I like your set-up MT, its very neat and practical. Over the years I figure I have wasted a lot of time keeping edges of naturally mounding beds free of encroaching weeds and grasses, your method is much better. And a good looking haul as well! Beantree, I don't know specifically about France, but here mostly everyone grows maincrops, 1st/2nd earlies are quite rare. Obviously it does get extremely hot here, but maybe the difference is that we have incredibly free draining soil, so lifting in the summer isn't so difficult. My parents lived in the Dordogne for a year, and they used to moan about French maincrops, saying they didn't taste of much, so much so that sacks of spuds would be taken over to them from time to time! I know things have changed. The maincrop I buy here, which comes from France (the origin has to be noted) is Mozart (its a red), I used to buy it in the UK too.
  5. How lovely for you, enjoy them!
  6. Beantree, no you don't need a PCR test, they just test your temp.
  7. I think it is inevitable you will get the UK variant at least in France, Beantree, as its much more contagious. Portugal had more deaths in January than in the whole of 2020 because of it, and we had to get international help to cope. At one time we were the worst country in Europe in terms of cases/deaths per 100,000. But the Govt acknowledged it had made a mistake about allowing Xmas mixing, and we have been in a tight lockdown including not travelling outside your municipality (but only at the weekend after 1pm!) since the start of 2021 which people are obeying by and large, and it will go on till Easter if not later. Our numbers are way down now, much lower proportionally per capita in international comparisons, so we can see the benefit of our efforts at least. However, it will be a long while until our household is vaccinated, as the elderly and health/key workers are rightly prioritised, but I read that Portugal (not sure about Europe as a whole) is considering following the UK model of giving one jab and waiting up to 12 weeks for the second, meaning more of us will get some protection more quickly. Brighter news is that my MIL's care home in France is allowing visitors, a max of 2 people at a time, as all the residents have been vaccinated twice.
  8. You are all having mad weather, its been entertaining reading your posts. I especially like the fact that MT and me would be dead if we lived in Scotland, yet BRR obviously thrives on it. Perhaps hot bins will become the new hot tubs (can you imagine!), I wonder if you could sacrifice some of the heat and use the bin to grow pineapples or melons? And CT, your photo reminds me of a modern day Breugel. I don't suppose many of us in the UK have ever seen a scene like that, with people skating on a road. Even here its been an odd year so far, we had 10 days of frost which is unheard of (well not literally, apparently it has been the coldest January for 25 years), then our usual 10 days of rain and now we are having a few days of bright sun, the hottest place yesterday was on the Algarve, 21!
  9. You could have 2 sets of birds with their own hens if you wanted, especially as I suspect it will be hard to rehome the single boy. Personally I would keep them in separate areas, preferably out of sight of one another, which is what I used to do in my large back garden. If you have to have the eglus close by then I would try to screen one from the other. Obviously the cockerals will know there is something going on, but preventing line of sight does have a slight mollifying effect.
  10. I love the clarity of your photographs, CT, they are so sharp, you feel like you can really 'see' the image and all the detail, particularly the birds. Red does look like a lovely boy, I have come to the conclusion that our cat (Portugeuse) is a real wuss, he's not keen on rain and hates going out in it, and has only seen snow once. I keep telling him he wouldn't last 5 minutes in Northern Europe. Many years ago I lived in Oxfordshire and RAF Benson was always the coldest place on the weather maps, for miles around. I don't envy you Soapdragon! I know vibration is a real issue Beantree, the strimmer before this one gave my OH 'white finger' - ie he couldn't feel it for a month after a few hours strimming. However, it was because he had to keep his finger on the 'on' button, the current strimmer is a much better design. I had a sit on mower in UK, and it caused me no end of grief, it was always going wrong - either I'd ride over a thorn and get a puncture, or more likely the long grasses would clog it up. It was one of the sweetest moments I had leaving the UK, selling it! It was a Hayter, so not a bad brand. Anyway, I hope you get something sorted and I can understand doing a cut twice a year, particularly if the land is 'spare' so you have lovely grass paths through a meadow which is good for the pollinators.
  11. Looks Cold Cattails! Everybody here uses a strimmer Beantree. Petrol, bullhorn handlebars, decent harness, proper boots, helmet/visor. I know they are heavy, which is why you need the harness, but with long grass and uneven terrain its what everyone does. There are also a couple of firms which will come and do it for you. You never see mowers, of any variety, although you never see lawns either!
  12. My MIL is getting her 2nd jab on Monday, in a French care home. In Portugal we have apparently vaccinated about 7.5% of the population, which I don't think is too bad considering we also have some German medics over here helping out as the hospitals are overwhelmed.
  13. Just what I was thinking! I think tomatoes, runners and potatoes are all excellent when home grown, and I think there is a lot of truth in the old adage to grow things you like, preferably things which are expensive in the shops or unusual so you can't easily get hold of them. If you like peppers, I'd give them a whirl as they are different to shop bought (try smallish green ones with thin walls, or long thin green ones, as they seem to grow faster). I also like soft green herbs grown under glass as they are less likely to suffer slug damage or rain damage, and they grow faster so you have them earlier. You might like to consider the convenience aspect too, so growing something not that exciting like perpetual spinach or winter salad like mizuna might be an attractive option because you don't have to harvest it in the wet! French beans might do OK in large pots as they aren't as hungry as runners. And strawbs?
  14. Daphne

    Sir Tom

    I know what you mean Soapdragon, I feel a bit weepy too. I think few people are truly heroic, but he represented a hero to the whole nation, and wider than that of course. Given our recent political history that was no mean feat. He was so humble as well, which seems a miraculous combination, as well as being cheerful and optimistic. Maybe because we are still all going through such a really really tough time, we miss all those qualities in one amazing human being, as another light has gone out. RIP Capt Sir Tom.

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