Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hedgehog Visitor and Plants

Last night the large Hedgehog visited by itself. That makes two nights solo and two nights as a pair on alternating nights. At last I am pleased with the camera position. Moving it closer means the subject is larger and the IR lighting is stronger so the picture is a bit brighter. For now I will leave well alone.

During the time I watched mr(s) Hedgehog it visited the feeding area three times and for the first time I saw it drink the water I had put out. Some people think that milk is what needs to be given but this is most definitely a NO NO. Hedgehogs cannot digest milk. It upsets their system and can kill them. Water is all they need.

I had put some crushed peanuts (not salted) out a bit earlier than usual as I wanted to watch a TV programme but ended up having to chase away a pair of Magpies who decided to dive in and help themselves as it was still light. Soon after dusk the large Hedgehog turned up and spent nearly three quarters of an hour on and off on the paved area under the bird feeders. In fact towards the end I turned the TV off and watched hoggy-vision as it was definitely more interesting.

Tonight I will put out a bit of Bobby's tinned meat, finely chopped as Hedgehogs only have little teeth. I was going to use some corned beef but this is another no, no because of the salt content.

Here is the video of hoggy's final visit last night.

At last my Bluebells are in bloom. There have been three clumps of them in my back garden for over thirty years and each year they spread a little and brighten up an area which is otherwise grass and in the shade for most of the day.


Also in bloom is a favourite of mine, a succulent which grows with a mixture of Alpine plants in a glazed bowl. In fact I picked up two of these bowls in a sale at my local garden centre a few years ago and every year they are a delight.


A few night ago when I took the 350D out Hedgehog hunting I took this photo of part of my front garden. Some years ago I gravelled over all the front as the amount of mowing front and back was getting too much for me. It is far from bare though as I planted low growing evergreens and several dwarf trees. It has taken a few years for them to mature but now I am quite satisfied with the result. In the middle is a raised bed so as to break up the expanse of level ground. Of course I added one of my favourite solar powered lanterns as I like to see a bit of movement and colour at night and the flicker of the artificial flame does just that.

front garden

Another favourite is an Acer with deep red leaves which have deep divisions. This grows in a tub to keep the size down and I think it is now making a lovely weeping shape.



Finally an unknown weed. I hadn't the heart to pull up this plant. I say weed as I am going by the definition that a weed is a self seeded plant growing in the wrong place. The little flowers are too pretty to throw out so I will have to try to move it somewhere it can grow where it won't get mown. At the moment it is in the edge of the lawn.



  1. The photo of your front garden at night is magical! Also its a smart idea to get rid of the grass and some of the mowing! And the bluebells - just beautiful. So many great things in this post.

  2. Hi Mick: I used to have around 3500 sq ft of grass to mow, front and back. Mowing wasn't too bad but disposing of that much cutting was a nightmare. You can only compost so much! Unfortunately getting from front to back of the property is through 3 ft wide gates and over stepped levels otherwise I would have bought a ride on mower.
    I seem to remember it took over 8 tonnes of gravel to do the front. There are also lavender and heather plants which attract bees and butterflies.

  3. The mystery plant looks like lady's smock Cardamine pratense, which is a food plant for orange tip butterfly caterpillars, so it might be worth encouraging it........... You can propagate it from detatched leaves laid on the surface of damp soil in a flower pot covered with a polythene bag .... a new plant grows from every leaflet base. I've found that it grows very well around the edge of my pond, in damp grass..

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed this post John and all the lovely photos. I think your 'weed' is the wildflower Cardamine Pratensis which I know by its common name of Lady's Smock, also known as Cuckoo Flower and Milkmaid. I have just discovered it is growing in my sister-in-law's garden so am hoping to beg some from her! I remember hunting for it on walks as a child. I know some regard it as a weed but I think it is far too pretty, and as you say weeds are only plants in the wrong place. I believe it can also be eaten in salads and has quite a hot mustard like flavour.

    I love your idea of having the Acer in a pot, I have wanted one for a while but couldn't think where to put it so you may well have given me the answer.

    I enjoyed your plants and peeking into your garden and I enjoyed the video which I think you have just right now. All great stuff, thanks John.

  5. Thanks to GF & SS for the ident on the wild flower.

    Greenfingers: I'll have a go at propagating and find a place for it to grow safely. In fact it is growing very near to the pond now but where I mow. Not seen any Orange Tips round here lately but well worth giving them somewhere to lay their eggs.

    Jan: Most of my plants in the back garden are in pots. A pain when it's dry for too long as they all need watering but fortunately not too often and I now have enough barrels to store about 1000 litres of rain water.
    A lot of my pots are made with a reservoir in the bottom which holds about an inch of water. Also, when I get a new pot which doesn't have holes, instead of making them in the very bottom I put a few about an inch up the side so they can hold water for those dry periods. Don't put one at the front of the pot or you will get wet feet when the water runs out!
    As well as that I have recently started adding a little of the gell, which holds water, to the potting compost.

    That Acer has turned out a bit like a large bonsai and I love it. I have bought a few more different young Acers to see how they get on.

    Yes, I'm satisfied with the video now. I have my old 19 inch computer monitor in the corner of the living room so I can watch hoggy-vision at any time.

  6. Beautiful Bluebell picture John, and some great hoggy vision again.

  7. Thanks Keith. It was a job to photograph anything as there were few calm moments between strong gusts. I wonder how many hogs there will be tonight.

  8. Greenfingers: So far two of the Lady's Smock leaves I put in a pot have started to grow so I am looking forward to having some plants to put out later in the year. Thanks again for the information.

  9. Yep John, I agree with most comments above. I do love that bluebell shot!

    I agree most definitely its a cuckoo flower. When I was a girl I would collect them in bunches for my Mum... of course you can't do that now as they are protected in the wild.

    Good point about not putting out milk for hedgehogs. It can give them diarrhoea and they can die :-(

    Love your Acer there, I have one similar in a temporary pot (it was planted in my new pond area). I would never be without an Acer in my garden :-D

    BTW, I rushed my Osprey posting earlier. I've added more stats and images :-)

  10. Hello Shirl. I have bought another red Acer this year. That reminds me I must get it potted up properly.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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