Sunday, 26 April 2009

Leggy isn't always good!

Ducks love sweet peas!!! Huh!!!

Was halfway through making a 'Free to Good Home' sign (humor) when I realised that this was not the ducks fault, the eternally hungry cretins that they are, but mine. The plants were obviously too young to survive an attack by the white feathered destroyers, and shouldn't have been out anyway. They should have been hardened off and toughed up properly. Hopefully a mistake that won't be made twice! 

When getting the rest of the sweet pea into the cold frame to harden off properly this time, I found some cells with poppies in. They were the remainder from the seed tray way back when i was twisting stems together to make bigger bunches (what a dumb dumb!) and guess what? They were still alive and growing! These poor little beggars were so weak and straggly that I shoved them into a permanently open cold frame rather than throw them in the bin probably out of laziness more than anything else!  But they looked great! Tight little bunches of leaves, not the biggest, but so strong. Comparing them to the big bunches of poppies I put out, there was no question that the house poppies were far to floppy and leggy to survive in the real world! Another lesson - leggy isn't always good!!! 

The ducks are all nesting now. Feel so sorry for the girlies stuck on their nests and trying desperately to scare away anything that comes near them to no avail. But it will be lovely to have some baby chicks around again. Such a cheery sight to see them waddling behind mum, all in a row. We always end up hand rearing the little runts that get left on their own. Sadly most don't make it (we have been through the whole Sex and the City cast in names now and it never gets any easier) but some do survive. We had to hand rear these 3 last year, as their mum was killed by a nasty dog who was allowed to run free by his stupid stupid owner. 

They are all grown up now and still making us giggle! Cheeky minx's!

This mum is nesting in the bastille next to the house, you can just see her little red beak to the left of the pic, trying to scowl through the wall at us. Bless her!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Know Your Enemy......

Sounds pretty obvious, and I really thought I did. I had thought about what would be visiting the garden and put all and sundry into neat little boxes of what would be good and bad for my flowers and veg. 

Slugs bad. Snails bad. Rabbits bad. Dogs bad. Disney bad. Brother Louis bad. Moles bad. Mice bad. Linzi probably bad (no point kidding myself)

Bees good. Worms good. Louie poo good. Farmer John good. Ducks good - 17 of them should keep the slugs at bay.

This seems logical doesn't it? Well, actually, after this week, ducks are now firmly in the bad box. They have systematically savaged my lovely little poppies until there is nothing left of them. I can't even blame rapid disappearance of them on the rabbits because I saw John (the duck, but looks like one of the village locals) in action, ruthlessly pulling at the leaves until the whole plant popped out and then greedily eating what he could, while trampling the other plants he didn't want into the ground.  How rude!! 
He and his mates have also had a go at the sweet peas planted out only yesterday, but thankfully don't seem to to consider them so much of a delicacy!! Thought I would show you a pic of them just in case they decide they are quite nice after all!

You will be pleased to know that I accepted these setbacks gracefully!!! The beauty of nature, is that nothing is predictable, not what pretty flowers will grow or what the ducks and rabbits will eat, not the amount of rain we get, or when the frost stops or when the sun comes...... Its lovely, and what keeps all this fun!

Here is naughty John himself having a  bath in the little brook that babbles through the garden. 
So cute!! You just couldn't stay angry at him for long!!