Garden Diary

New Horace Hotplate (hedgepig) video

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Garden Diary | Comments Off on New Horace Hotplate (hedgepig) video

This was videoed a few weeks ago. On average he only comes into the greenhouse for about 20 minutes;  feeds, has a good long drink of fresh water and then leaves. His timetable is that he ussually comes in on the 2.30a.m. bus from Location Unknown. He is a creature of regular habits.

hedgehog feeding


Here is another taken just outside the greenhouse.

Hedgehog entering greenhouse to feed.

June and July 2013

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Garden Diary | Comments Off on June and July 2013

afternoontea460June and July have been incredible for us. Firstly we had our second open day where we raised another £256 for the NGS. It was a wet old day but we still had 44 visitors. It doesn’t sound a lot but imagine saying to someone that you had 44 people for tea and cake; different story eh?
Then providence awards us with a swarm of bees for a second hive. July has been a month of watching what bees do. How they fill up so full of nectar that they almost crash land into the hive, or they do crash land in front of the hive, take a minutes breather and then make it to the hive after a second attempt. We’ve learnt how much they love borage. And we have had a taste of their honey already. An unintentional taste you could say when we were moving them from their original swarm box to their new hive. Honey you buy in the shops is mostly heat treated. This honey was like acacia honey, clear, delicate and almost vibrating with goodness. Of course we want the bees to have all they need for this winter, so that will be all we’ll have in all probability. Our bees have plentiful nectar sources very close by, access to fresh water, shelter from winds. with a little luck they will prosper.
July has seen such high temperatures. and we have spent so much time watering. We had planted so much in the autumn that all these plants needed water. Even two year old trees need plenty of extra water. It’s always important to water where the roots are to move to, then they can continue to establish a good root system.
P1090701_3July sees the beginning of reaping the rewards in the vegetable garden and fruit cage. Eating becomes a simpler affair now for a while. What could be nicer than a plate of Aran Pilot new potatoes cooked with lots of mint, and served with butter alongside broad beans a la River Barn? ( young broad beans still in their pods cooked with onion, garlic and bacon ) Pudding being a fruit fool or just a bowl full of raspberries, gooseberries and black currents with a very generous bowl of chantilly cream.
Wine making now starts in earnest. I’ll talk about that next time. Bye for now.
ps Our hedgehog is still coming every week or so for a top up of chopped almonds.

June 7th

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Garden Diary, Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 7th

Horace Hotplate update


Horace is our hedgehog. I said I would report on how he has been doing and I have been too busy getting the garden ready for you discerning garden visitors! So apologies.

Having brought him into the greenhouse still hibernating, our hedgehog woke from his deep winter sleep and filled his belly twice daily with cat food ( chicken and turkey or cat nuts) Now, he visits either every night or once every two nights. He no longer wants wet food but eats dried fruit and nuts as well as dried cat food and he seems most partial to almonds which I chop roughly first. He drinks much fresh water too. He comes in at around 2 or 3 in the morning. He feeds and wanders around then leaves about 20 minutes later.

How do we know? We bought a wildlife camera by HandyKam. Can’t recommend them enough. It’s relatively inexpensive, and you can place it anywhere you like, take out the card, plug into your computer and there you have your footage to delight over.

Here are two or 3 clips of Horace on his anti meridiem antics.


He dug his way out of the greenhouse initially and we thought we would like to capture him coming in or going out. That’s how we discovered that all this eating was making the journey under the door quite a squeeze. So, we did some more excavating and this made things much easier for the little fellow. We can see he is a boy and we hope he will find himself a girlfriend. We did find a second hibernation hole under another carex ‘Bronze form’.

May 2013

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Garden Diary, Uncategorized | Comments Off on May 2013

The latest news!  We opened up the garden on Sunday 26th on the National Garden Scheme for the second year. We placed bets on how many people we thought would come, starting at 56 averaging 160 and a wild out there bid of 250. Linda, Matthew’s mum won the prize of a bar of Green and Blacks chocolate for her seemingly outrageously optimistic estimate of 250. We had 265 people, of which 250 were paying visitors.

…..and we raised £1000 for charity. Howz that?

Yellow-Book-2012-cover-v2_biggerWe have just had the two best weather days of the year so far and Sunday was one of them.  And it was such a pleasure to watch people simply having a lovely time, sunning themselves, enjoying their tea and cake and warm for once!!  Mum and Dad were over from Mallorca to join in the fray, being extremely helpful doing last minute picking over of  winter damage on evergreen shrubs; running the net through the koi pond;  clearing desicated moss out of a brick ornamental lawn edging, sweeping the flagstones. A big  Thanks to everyone who helped us that day: Mum,  Dad, Matthew, Linda and my lovely Marie Curie girls who did the teas for us. Roll on the next one on Sunday 16th June.