Overgrown, uneven, weeds everywhere. Not neat and tidy in anyone’s mind.
Home to insects, spiders, little frogs, hedgehogs and most importantly, chickens.
Separated from the main half of the garden, the back end is nature taking over, like triffids. Growing up and over, through and between anything in its way. Until a chicken discovers the tasty green shoot and devours it greedily.
The patch of land quickly becomes sparse and bare earth, only nettles grow unhindered. The chooks investigate every inch, inquisitively.
We create a safe haven for them, fixing up fences, Heath Robinson style, to prevent their many attempts to escape. Before filling every gap and little hole, we would often get a call from the garage next door telling us that a chicken was strutting around on their forecourt. We thought that they were maybe trying to help sell the cars, or give the space some added interest.
In the summer, stretching out a canvas sail, across the corner of their pen to give them some shade. Making dust baths for them to help keep their feathers clean.
On Christmas day, they have a special treat of sprouts, still on the stem, hanging from the hen house windows. The rest of the year, they eat all our kitchen scraps and peelings, running at you when you enter their enclosure, like mad little dinosaurs, velociraptors.