Thursday 22nd July 2021 - Battles
Gardening can, what seems to be, a constant stream of battles against pests and diseases that threaten our produce and flowers. Whitefly have destroyed two of my million bells flowers, woodlice destroyed the rhubarb crown, ants killed our cox’s orange pippin tree and this year, as mentioned in an earlier blog, we are having a major problem with Spanish slugs. We thought we were onto a winner when we saw so many juvenile frogs move from the pond onto the veg plot and flower border, where we hoped they would tackle some of the pests. But the feral cat, who has adopted us, started eating them, reducing numbers to a mere handful. We did our best to stop her but we can’t be out in the garden all times of the day and night. Then there was the question of; what was eating the French beans as they pushed their way up through the soil? We felt sure it must be rodents of some kind. Peter put out the trail cam to find out who was the culprit, at the same time covering the adjacent French bean and pea seed beds with a fine insect mesh. What a surprise we had when Peter downloaded the footage the following morning. Not a rodent in sight but a hedgehog was making concerted efforts to get to the beans - thanks to the netting; without success. Earlier in the year we had a regular visit from a hedgehog but then towards the end of May the food left in the cat proof feeder Peter made was no longer being eaten and there were none of the usual signs (poos) that a hedgehog was passing through our garden. Now, whether this is the same hedgehog or a different one, we have no idea but Peter has resurrected the feeder, placing it near to the bean and pea seed bed. Each night the trail cam records the hedgehog going inside the feeder to eat but not before first trying to get to the germinating French beans. Who would have thought, hedgehogs, also termed as the gardener’s friend could also be the gardener’s enemy too!
On now, to a second battle. This is the battle residents are having against the erection of a 60 foot 5g mast on the corner of Pauls Lane. Notices are now being distributed to homes in the village so that everyone will be aware of the proposal and have an opportunity to comment or object to the application. We received our copy the other day, which I have scanned and included here, instead of a photo. The number, to date, of comments/objections on NNDC’s website totals 112 which are not only from villagers but also from parents who say they will take their children away from the Belfty School if the mast is erected, and those who visit and love our village and don’t want to see it blighted with an ugly mast and the associated equipment.