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My extended back garden

When we moved into our house here in Philadelphia, we were so captivated by the rural feel and the long dirt roads where you can take long walks next to the wheat fields, that we added a gate to the back garden wall. This allowed us easy access to the meadow behind our house and to the long dirt road. Well, now that we have had to pen our chickens, so that they don’t run rampant around my newly planted garden, I feel so terribly guilty that I open the back gate for them for an hour every day so they can run wild – literally. I do supervise this little extra mural excursion! This has now become our extended back garden. We have made new friends now and they wait for us every day!

[one_half]The field behind our house[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The natural vegetation – lovely![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Our sheep friends![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Getting tired of waiting for us![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Our favourite friend – the yellow weaver bird![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Giving us the eye! Making sure we are looking![/one_half_last]

The yellow weaver bird is our favourite little friend who lives in the big Pepper Tree in the meadow behind our house. He is the first one to greet me in the morning when the chickens are let out to play! He joins them for morning breakfast! He is so busy with nest building that he has a monsterous appetite.

[one_half]May I join you?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Buffy is happy to share[/one_half_last]

I am so fond of the wild flowers that grow here in the meadow. The daisies, the butter cups and the other colourful flowers – I don’t know the name of these. This is such a pretty place.

[one_half]African daisy – I think![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Our small friend the grasshopper greets too![/one_half_last]

[one_half]I can see you, Buffy![/one_half]

[one_half_last]I love these wild flowers[/one_half_last]

Thank you for joining us! Ok, the sheep have to go now and the weaver bird Β too, so we are going to go in now too.

[one_half]Time to go home now![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Weaver bird has also had to go home![/one_half_last]


Bye bye for now and enjoy your garden today xxx


By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

20 replies on “My extended back garden”

Hi Diana – thank you so much for this info. What is the name of the wild flower?? I see it’s also on your blog. I also love the karoo πŸ™‚

Hi Barbie… I wasn’t certain which of you had left a question on my site. At any rate someone asked about my iris plantings and I guess the response depends on the kind of iris you are installing to some extent. For example, the spuria iris need lots of room since they resent transplanting and take a year or two to return to blooming…. I suspect you are referring, however to the intermediates (shorter bearded pictured in purple and white). I did leave a fair amount of space with these (perhaps a foot) although that’s not necessary if you don’t mind re-transplanting sooner. I generally run the points of my transplants in the same direction, keeping in mind that the two new growth plants off the original transplant will create a ‘fan shape’, and so on. The irises do fine when they get too close, but do tend to grow one rhizome over the other eventually when crowded. Too bad you aren’t closer… I’d give you the whole lot of them! We already divided them this season and my vote was to give them all away since that area of the garden doesn’t get the attention that others receive and could use more of a ground cover planting style. Make certain that wherever you plant your iris, there are no growths of grass as this is extremely difficult to extract from iris that are established. Hope this helps! Larry

Hi Larry, Thank you SO much for the advice. Ok, so not too close although I don’t mind transplanting. I’m looking for effect sooner rather than later. I bought a bunch and need to plant this weekend. Mine are Louisiana Irises, they do well here in my garden (I have a few already that are flourishing, hence the desire to have more). Thank you for the advice – what I see on your photos is very much the type of effect I’m after, but all the websites were telling me to plant in triangles, rhizomes facing inwards towards each other. I’m going to do as you have advised as it is what I have envisaged (too often I followed instructions from websites and it didn’t turn out quite as expected). It was really great to get your feedback – from a real gardener who grows Irises just the way I like! Thank you so much for your time – I hope to show off my little “Iris field” on the blog in a few months time πŸ™‚

What a beautiful garden, I absolutely adore living on a farm,thats what we call it here in South Africa πŸ™‚ I’ts always so fresh and open and no cars or ambulance chasing past. And the animals are so cute, we have got dogs, sheep, chickens, ducks and a buck. You are doing a real good job with your garden and animals, keep it up !!!

Hi Barbie – I LOVE this area – it was fun sitting here with you today and watching the lambs and chickens and the weaver birds whilst chatting with my best buddy and enjoying a coffee! Life doesn’t get much better than this! xxx

It was so great to share this with you and that you can see what makes us happy, here in my small part of the world! The simple pleasures of life xxxx πŸ™‚

Exquisite nests, little works of art and a joyous little yellow bird – how lovely to be greeted each morning by its golden feathers. I think the African Daisy is what we call Cape Weed and the yellow flower looks like Oxalis – both weeds in my garden but very pretty.

You have the bevy of critters today, Barbara. I love seeing sheep grazing, but don’t have that around here for some reason. I remember it in PA though. Same with Weaver, there are none that I know of around here. Interesting images of the nests all hanging in the same tree. A little neighborhood!

Hi Donna – I am so close to this and it has always been a dream of mine to have this all around. Very grateful for nature’s wonders! πŸ™‚

How smart of that bird to get free food! No wonder he keeps an eye out! I bet you look adorable “walking” the chickens for their get-together time with the sheep! Sounds like a children’s movie.

Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ They work so hard and most times they build more than one. The female throws it down if it’s not to her standard! Poor guy!

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