“I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that’s living.”

Ursula Andress (1936 – ). Swiss-born film and television actress.


Hemingway is a ten year-old rescue tabby who knows which side his bread is buttered. He has a passing interest in horticulture – particularly the catmint in the herb garden, and he takes soil conditioning very seriously in the vegetable garden raised beds. He also knows that sometimes it’s important just to stop and enjoy the garden, But that doesn’t mean he’s a lazy cat – he’s out in all weathers!


Hemingway shares the garden with our three hens. He ignores them and they ignore him so it’s all very harmonious.  I know you’ve probably heard this before but eggs from your own hens taste so much better than shop bought!


MLH built the chicken pen but we bought the coop, deciding that one on stilts would be easier to keep clean and make it slightly more secure against predators. This summer we bought some more netting and extended their day-run to include the shade of some hawthorns and a small oak tree. That’s a curious female pheasant (pic2) on the right checking it out!


I suspend plants from the oak tree as treats for them to peck at. They love all brassicas and were quite intrigued by this cascade of nasturtiums.

We started off with four chickens but Amber died in November.  We miss her and her lovely speckled eggs. Then little Bianca died in early Spring.  She had stopped laying and the vet believed that she had a similar complaint to Amber.

For months we just had the two remaining chooks – rattling about in their spacious pen – so we decided it was time to increase the flock.  

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