Mangetout and the menagerie

For those of you who havent read my post Cottage life. I live in a mid terrace on a part owned council estate in the midlands, but to me it is my cottage in the countryside. It comes complete with the sweet sound of humming as the bees lovingly collect their nectar, and is surrounded by trees which exude birdsong from morning till night.  My two hens cluck happily away as they scratch and peck at the ground, and I happily consume their fresh produce for my lunch most days.  I have a lovely dog named Jess, a family of sparrows in the eaves and my two hens Ginger and Cilla.  Generally we all tick along with each other just fine.


Well I did say generally!!  Jess is normally a little hen-pecked by these two, but on this occasion I’m afraid  ‘sharing’  wasn’t an option and Jess was definitely the ‘cat that got the cream’  if a little more canine than feline.

Even with just two hens there is a pecking order, and Ginger likes to think she is ‘Top Dog,’  cheekily pecking both Jess and Cilla if they get in her way,  and often found trying to escape.  Jess knows where they should be and has started coming to fetch me when this bundle of feathers is doing her dare-devil act.


I have always wanted to grow vegetables, but with my love of chickens in a small city garden this has never been easy.  This year I have managed to grow my first lot of Mangetout against what is affectionately known as my ‘Mexican Bar’,  a pallet construction which primarily serves to keep my dog away from the neighbours’, and although my feelings aren’t totally shared, I rather like it, especially now that it lights up at night.


Having never grown vegetables before, I was filled with a childlike excitement on finding this beautiful flower yesterday which I’m guessing is a good sign that my Mangetout are developing as they should, although some more hastily than others.


I was struck by the vibrant colours, symmetry and sheer beauty of this flower,  and no way are those greedy hens gonna destroy this little moment of victory.  They have on two occasions already tried to make a quick meal of my Sweat Peas which I try to grow every year.  This year they are planted in an old pine kitchen cupboard, which with the door taken off and placed on its back,  has made an excellent planter.  It should last a good few years, and was even given the seal of approval with a “that was one of your better ideas”!!  Hmmm!


I love finding new uses for things that I’m not quite ready to throw out.  This chopping board has made a cute little shelf and was saved from the scrap heap for a little longer,


and for anyone who has read my Who sacked the Teapot? post you will know that there is always a use for a lidless pot.


I love my little garden and its inhabitants, and the things I’m learning in my small corner of the world.  Yes of course I have dreams,  but learning to appreciate what we have and being able to make the most of it is so life enhancing,  and definitely the way to contentment.

And anyway don’t we all know that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side, although something tells me that Cilla would beg to differ!





Love Alison xx





17 thoughts on “Mangetout and the menagerie

  1. This was such a delightful post, Alison. I love your gardens, the beautiful flower, the animals, and the teapot and shelf, adorable! Your little corner of the world looks lovely, and you added a great message at the end, too. 🌷


  2. Such a lovely post. You already know I love the way you reused your teapots. I also have a big crush on birds, including chickens. Now, you inspire me to find a little corner in my yard for a garden…

    Liked by 1 person

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