F-off Fox! (So sorry Marge)

This morning we lost Marge to a fox. Our fault entirely for forgetting to shut them up in their coop last night.

 

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Marge checking out my office / Potting shed

 

Thankfully neighbours were woken by the noise and came to alert us at about 5.30am, they shoo-d the fox away leaving Marge dead by our back door, Rose missing (last seen in the fox’s mouth being taken down the garden) and Betty, alive but very frightened.

There were feathers EVERYWHERE all around the garden!

A few searches, after hearing a chicken down the bottom of the garden, and we found Rose, alive and well if a little ruffled behind our shed, she must’ve managed to get away -I can’t tell you the relief. Clever girl.

It could have been SO much worse, if it’d been dark and they’d been in their coop we’d have lost the lot and likewise, if the neighbours hadn’t heard and scared the fox off, the same result.

Clearly, we’re feeling pretty rubbish but we did bury Marge in a nice spot by the river and hopefully Rose and Betty will settle down (and grow their feathers back) soon.

Another sad day in our Pentland Garden.

Potting & Planting & Planting & Potting

After over a week of rain and fog, I finally got a couple of precious hours in the garden before it started to pour down again. I made good use of that time however and potted and planted out almost 100 plants.

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The chickens destroyed our herb garden so I used the opportunity to get a much better selection of plants that I would be more likely to use. We now have bay, sage, lovage, blue and white borage, lemon verbena, lemon balm, caraway, chamomile, rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, fennel, and mint. I’ve also taken the precaution of sticking bamboo all the way around so the girls can’t get in and feast.

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I got a total bargain of 36 perennial posti-plugs for 36p with my last Thompson & Morgan purchase so now have Erigeron Stallone, Armeria Ballerina, Echinacea Pink Parasol and Nectar Pink, Coreopsis Early Sunrise and Delphinium Magin Fountain so they’re all potted on and will be great additions for our new front garden when we’re ready to plant.

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Our long shady bed under the beech hedge has now been planted up with a selection of periwinkles, Tiarellas, Muscari, Leptinella and Heuchera, now just waiting on the Hellibores to fill the gaps.

 

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Courgettes coming on well!

 

I split the courgettes and tomatoes that grew from some ‘seed pods’ that I was sent – the courgettes look amazing, never tried them before but very impressed so far, and potted both of these on along with a sweet pepper. I also caned the blackcurrant and a gooseberry so they’re looking much tidier.

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The beauty of potting all these things just before it rains is that you can skip the watering stage – probably how I got so much done before the heavens opened again. Everything’s crossed for some better weather as there’s so much to do out there.

 

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our 2nd ‘surprise’ Rhododendron is pink – boo! Loved the yellow one.

 

 

Gardening Scotland 2016

Was I the only one who was disappointed with this year’s Gardening Scotland Show? Not at all by the sounds of it.

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We were so excited about going, it was amazing last year, but it turned out to be a little bit of a let-down. The show gardens weren’t that ‘showy’ (or that many either) and both the craft tent and the main indoor hall also seemed to be lacking in both the number of stalls and their ‘substance’ in comparison to before.

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There were still some lovely stalls in the main hall and we thoroughly enjoyed listening to Hamish from the Secret Herb Garden talk about weeds/medicines, and the weather was perfect.

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So although we had a lovely afternoon with our friends  and we did still all come home with armfuls of purchases (and some absolute steals from when the stands were being broken down) I think I’ll have to demote it back below the Royal Highland Show which is coming up in the next couple of weeks.

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Next year we’re going to try Chelsea instead. Maybe the shows are just too close together and people are choosing Chelsea over Gardening Scotland….

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These are a few purchases, we haven’t given up on the Bonsai and have even bought a couple of new ones too! Predictably a succulent and cactus also found their way home.

 

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Crassula Pelucida Marginalis

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Jade Bonsai (Money Tree)
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Japanese Holly Bonsai

 

For ‘Fox’ Sake – RIP Ivy & Etta

We’re just back from a lovely trip around the Highlands and sadly lost our two new girls to a fox while we were away.

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Ivy (L) and Etta (R) taking sentry duty

These things happen, but it does go to show that we really need to get the roof of the chicken run sorted, it collapsed under the heavy snow we had at the end of April and as the chickens are shut in a coop at night, we hadn’t quite gotten around to fixing it back up properly.

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I saw this gorgeous one in a gardening magazine a couple of weeks back but at £800 it’s a serious investment. Think I’ll need to hop onto Pinterest and see what else is around. In the meantime, we’ll have to make sure that both S and Cosmo are peeing in the garden to keep the fox away. Yes, it is true that male human urine is an excellent fox deterrent.

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In other sad news, the Bonsai that we recently took to our local Society  has well and truly died – they did warn us that as they’d cut away so many of the roots it might happen so RIP Bonsai too.

Looks like the nice weather is set to continue for a few days and I’m on holiday so itching to get back out in the garden.