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!


  1. Good to have you back Linzi, missed you girl! Our duck was on 14 eggs when a nasty goose pecked her and she fled, we didn't realise until later and 13 of the eggs contained ducklings which didn't make it. Really really sad but the goose was only doing her job, just a shame they'd decided to use the same nesting area. They sat together for two weeks before falling out. We got jungle fowl chicks hatching today, 4 so far from 9 eggs and all fluffy and cuddly. Sorry can't comment on your plants, I'm so bad at gardening, I tend to mow over flowers without knowing or thinking they're weeds!!! Ooops.

  2. What a cool blog you have. Love the hairy babies. Mine are waiting patiently for me to get off my butt and outside for an evening walk. The wild goslings hatched here about a week ago. There are three babies and two fussy parents. I'm not good enough with the camera to get a good pic of them. Darn.

  3. The ducklings are so cute. Hope you'll share pictures when you have new babies. Good luck with your sweet peas!

  4. Hi Linzi,

    How sweet to have baby ducks on the way - sorry to hear about the damage to the sweet peas - but great to hear that you had some spare poppies. (Maybe you need increased duck security in some areas of the garden or to put plants into their final positions once they they are very well established).

    The issue of leggy seeds has been up for me this year too. The more I think about it the more I prefer to leave things until later so that the plants can be hardened off sooner rather than having to sit indoors for too long. It is just so hard for them NOT to get leggy indoors, even if you turn them regularly. I guess a glasshouse is a good option as it can get good light from all directions.

    My leggy propagator seedlings are hanging in there - only because I put them in rootrainers though.

    A good tip with the leggy seeds that I'm trying is to plant them deeper i.e. to cover some of the lower stem. Not sure if it works with everything but is fine for tomatoes.

  5. I live next to a river and the ducks
    tap on my door for bread. I hope they have
    Babys this year.

  6. So cute! We took the boys on a boat trip over the weekend, one poor mum had 14 ducklings, two is enough for me!


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