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small gardens [more] ideas

I rumaged through the archives to find some images that may help you a little better along the way in getting some ideas for your garden.

Like one… dislike another… you might just find that little bit that may make your smile a little brighter 🙂

***for more information on small gardens – click here

Building Your Own Bar-B-Q

bbq hand made

I bought this ‘barbequick‘ bbq last year. Quick? hmmmm… €20. In December. Bargain. Left it in the shed.

my very first barbeque...

When the sun came out I built it. Did it end up looking like the image above…? not on your nelly… 😉 But for good reason….

If you do fancy building your own barbeque – here’s how.

Stone type:

  • i tried to get the same brick sizes as per the instructions – but – free bricks are much nicer
  • i wanted a ‘looks like its been there for a while…’ kinda finish – it’s also the greatest excuse if you’re not the best brick layer in the world
  • don’t use concrete blocks unless you are going to plaster the walls

Location:

  • decide where you want it. This is built from stone. Solid stuff. It hasn’t got wheels. So be darned sure it is exactly where you want it.
  • Keep it well away from walls… smoke? black? and more important timber fences… fire?
  • not right beside the patio – smoke/ guests eyes; flames & grannys new hair do

How I built mine:

  • I picked my spot.
  • Took the measurements from the instructions and layed a foundation about 4″ deep – to finish just below ground level. Left it for a few weeks day or three…

Materials:

  • 300 no. brick
  • 2 no. bags cement
  • 1 no. bag of gravel
  • 3 no. bags of sand
  • washing up liquid [substitute for mortisiser – bonds the cement better]
  • some paving slabs for the base – for you to stand on

Tools:

  • spirit level – a good long one
  • a block splitter ‘or’ a good bolster chizel and a mallet
  • a trowel
  • a wheel barrow to mix cement in

Conundrums:

  • I measured the foundation from the instructions but that was based on ‘their’ brick sizes. Mine were smaller & I needed a lot more than they suggested.
  • The clips to support the grill are ‘only’ to suit that size of block. They obviously wouldn’t fit ‘my’ barbeque.
  • I also wanted an extra, adjoining counter to the side for plates and food so I had a bit more to do.

Don’t Forget:

  • To stick a few long screws into the cement while laying to hang your implements on
  • Measure twice and cut once rule

My thoughts:

It will take about 2 days to complete. And there is nothing more rewarding than sitting back with a cup of coffee looking at a wall that you built. Sincerely. Especially if you are a man…. 😆

If one was to pay to get it built….? In my opinion, it would be cheaper to go and buy one. To approximate the costs briefly; if the bricks costs €1 each; multiplied by 300 bricks – One is already at €300 before it gets built….?

That said, I didn’t want a gas barbeque. I wanted one that I could say in years to come… that ‘I remember building that…’ I also have the ability to barter eggs for materials and so apart from my time – this really didn’t cost me whole lot.

small gardens, ideas, designs & what to do

got a wish list...?

got a wish list...?

there has been a massive wave in search for ideas all to do with small gardens.

here are the top 10 or so that you have read in the last 12 months. You chose them.Just click on the highlighted word in each line to go to that article.

If it’s not on this list. You can leave a comment and ask or take a browse through the categories list [over there on your right].

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the ultimate guide to chick-hens

big smile...

big smile...

Since I last wrote about ‘The Supremes’, things have really settled down. In the last ‘snappy’ post, the day they arrived, the set-up wasn’t exactly complete.

the complete hen runhomemade chicken hen perchchicken hen feature old tree stump

  • The chicken wire I got wasn’t 6 foot tall [more 3′ approximately] and I only had enough to go once around. I completed the upper level with that green tennis court kind of mesh… [see pics above].
  • I made a little perch for them using the pole off a broken sweeping brush. And I threw in an old lump of a tree stump as a sort of feature. They use both to sit upon.

I know that the hens food can be expensive; [depending on what you buy] AND as a result of that…. I now realise the amount of S*** one can be sold and how the products and prices are figured out is almost beyond me. In some cases, disgraceful to be very honest. It almost makes me a little angry. Bad bandwagon jumping where nurturing and encouragement should be given….

To that…. I’ve seen such varient & useless paraphernalia; most of which I can only describe as ‘dog kennels on stilts’ and all sorts of fancy bags of ‘super dooper hen feed’ and honestly, 99% of it is all crap. FACT. Something I’d hope the likes of Richard Corrigan will point out on his show…. ? Whats worse is a lot of these bandwagon jumping guys are getting in touch with me…. ? A lot of them don’t even have chickens!! Some have even taken the notes from my blog…. hmmmm 😯

It’s a ‘family’ way. It’s a way of living. It has F*** all to do with this word as the media constantly suggests it does [and as does The RTE/ Corrigan show]. Not when a shed costs €360. A good ‘buy right & buy one once’ shed by the way. In my honest experience – anyone who has hens, fowl, chickens…. etc… [and to all of the press out there….] It is cheaper to buy a tray of eggs, for the first few years at least. If you do write anything else – you’ve never lived the good life and know nothing about it.

feed for hens barleyhen water feederhen feeder

  • Back to the nice business… the big bag of barley 40kg costs about €10 in a good old style honest farm supplies shop. This and the kitchen green waste will feed them. They absolutely love potatoes and the peels…. but not so much carrots it seems 🙂 I might change this to a bag of wheat when that runs out.
  • The water container [white kind of upside down bucket – see pics above with a red bottom trim] is only for baby chicks so they don’t fall in. Any bucket that will hold water will do. Even I can be sold ‘stuff’ that is unnecessary…..
  • The steel feeder is necessary if you have a daily job… but keep it inside so as to keep the food dry – otherwise it turns to slop.
  • The four hens cost me €12 each. That will give you a good guide on how much to pay.
hen-eggs-just-layed

...all this for an egg

And after all of that… and just 11 days after arrival…… I got my first egg 🙂

There was a bit more of a hullabulooo in the run today [see pics below]. I stepped in to see the ‘nest’ being prepared. Poor thing didn’t know what was happening…. but all is good. The other guys were faffing around like…. like, well headless chickens I suppose… 😉

I can now walk in and pet them. The dogs have grown accustomed to them. It has however been a learning curve and a journey of sorts; yet,  one I am glad to have taken part in and I do love dearly, still. I always have

Most of my materials came for free… or I had them already. Maybe in a year or 2 it will pay for itself…. but not this year. But then, I am happy. I am 99.9% of the time a very happy chappy and that’s something no amount of money can buy 😆

the other hens want to see whats going onhens perparing to layhen making the nest

Was it worth the money? every penny! Would I recommend it? 110% Whatever you do and however you choose to do it…. have fun, smile and above all enjoy…. I promise you, for the first egg alone, it’s worth it!!

this video is courtesy of my friend Blaithín.

All my weblog articles of hens [so far] are here:

thomas… thursday garden guest #10

If you would like to know more about Thursday Garden Guest time – click here

For the moment the writer in the finalé of this series is Thomas & Máire of Irish Allotments. It’s quite fitting that through the series of articles we have had the botantist, the plant hobby-ist right down to the one who just like to view a pretty world and smile. *Irish Allotments* summise all of that. But this is Thomas and Máire’s story of *their* garden. Enjoy 🙂

The Garden- What I like about…

beardies

beardies

In March, we brought two new babies into our home, Max and Sparky – tiny one month old Australian Bearded Dragons.

Despite being the length of my thumb, our two little boys (which we found out about two months later!) had big appetites! For the first few months they mostly eat crickets, a lot of them! Actually at some point the shop could not believe how much food our guys were getting through. Anyhow after a while they started eating more veg, a mix of about 3 greens and 1 or 2 fruits or veggies.

We were buying a ridiculous amount of greens to feed the boys the few shredded leaves they were eating, so we decided to try growing our own. We bought whatever took our fancy on realseeds.co.uk and brownenvelopeseeds.com and this ended up being a lot! These are both great sites, each run by a family who only sell what they grow themselves.

We started out with seed trays on the window sills. We made sure to plant lots of greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, pak choi, and cress, herbs like coriander, mint and the boys’ favorite parsley as well as tomatoes, peas, beans and cucumbers.

Pretty quickly we had to move outside to the balcony of our flat. We have 6 grow-bags out there and we got two little plastic hot houses from B and Q.

By May, we no longer had to buy any greens for our boys. As dragons grow, they eat more veggies and less meat (thank goodness!). They are now around a foot long, and we have a great new hobby but the balcony
was just not cutting it so in June we started looking for an allotment.

After an unsuccessful search for information about them in the Cork area, we set up Irishallotments.net, a website to fill that gap. We have met wonderful people in our efforts to expand the website, traveling to
open days and information sessions all over the county. Since then we have tried to get more involved with transition towns, community groups and allotments as our interest for all of them has been growing into a
passion.

Thomas & Maire
IrishAllotments.net