Thursday, 3 January 2013

Slugging It Out

It's official; 2012 was the 'Year Of The Slug' in the UK,
And 2012 was the wettest year on record in England.
Happy New Year.


I could have put a photo of a slug here, you know. I mean it wouldn't have been difficult, they don't exactly run away from the camera. But then I thought, no, I'd feature another pest instead. These are feral pigeons. We have a flock of them that fly around and for some reason, they always land on one particular house roof. Bet the house owners aren't very happy.

I've never seen the pigeons feeding in the area, we only get Wood Pigeons in the gardens around here. But I often see this flock flying around and landing on this one roof. Why ?  Maybe it's the pigeon equivalent to Starbucks, without the coffee of course. Maybe they just meet there for a good chinwag.

And finally, as all the seed and plant catalogues drop through my letter box, I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma. You see, it used to be so much easier to choose plants that could put on a decent show in the summer. It was always a lottery as to whether the sun would shine frequently, but usually you could rely on the soil drying out by midsummer.

This time last year, in the middle of a drought, I purchased lots of drought-tolerant plants. Well they might have been drought-tolerant but they certainly weren't deluge tolerant. So what to buy this year ?  Might leave it a bit before I decide.

26 comments:

  1. Widocznie gołębiom ten dach się podoba i tylko tam siadają. Życzę żebyś w tym roku miała mniej deszczu i nie musiała myśleć, jakie rośliny zasadzić. Pozdrawiam.
    Apparently pigeons like the roof and just sit there. I wish you this year was less rain and did not have to think about what crops to plant. Yours.

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    1. We've not had much rain yet this year, but it's only the first week, so anything could happen.

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  2. Hmmmmm...decisions, decisions....off to ponder your dilemma and will report back my findings. Don't hold your breath! :-)

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    1. Hurry up, some more catalogues have just come through the letterbox.

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  3. The wettest year on record is quite something considering how much rain you get in a normal year.

    Bird behavior is fascinating. Would not want a flock of pigeons on the roof though. I like that term "chinwag" although my friends might not appreciate it out of its native setting.

    I've had a similar experience. After two years of drought I replaced lost plants with more xeric options only to lose several in damp conditions. Long term forecasts seem to be of little value but waiting a bit will give you a chance to consider your choices.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Fortunately the roof is a couple of streets away, and the pigeons seem content to stay there, for now.

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  4. Perhaps 'planting for drought ' might be one of those fashions which fade more quickly than most!
    I am watching my own hardy and near-hardy cacti very carefully.
    My advice is 'carry on as before'

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    1. Yes, I think I'll just keep on keeping on.

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  5. The pigeons are a nuisance here too, there are so many of them! I think I have a mix of wood pigeons and feral pigeons, but birds are not my forte! Despite all the rain I haven’t had much of a slug problem, but I have used slug pellets regularly and they do actually work as long as the garden is reasonably tidy and weed free.

    As for choosing drought tolerant or deluge tolerant plants, it’s anybody’s guess, after losing lots of plants the last drought in 2005/2006 I have gone for something more in the middle of the road lately and hope they all survive :-)

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    1. I might try a bit of both, then rain or shine, something should do well.

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  6. I agree that it is a bit of a dilemma as to what to plant for the cockeyed weather conditions - just keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best I suppose.

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    1. Maybe this year we might have normal weather, but then again....

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  7. Hi Crystal, Happy New Year to you! And hopefully a dryer one than in 2012. With the weather being as unpredictable as it has been in the last years, it is hard to choose the right plants suited for your area for sure. It all seems more like a gamble! But there is always a good thing coming along with a bad one: you might as well simply choose what you like, being relieved of paying very close attention to the plant needs ;-)!
    Christina

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    1. I like that, I'll choose what I like, because the rules don't apply anymore anyway. Freedom !

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  8. The US could use some of the rain you had. Parts are in a severe drought. I've heard that pigeons pick a roost they like and use it as their home roost, always going back. Your neighbor's roof must be fabulous, if you're a pigeon. :o)

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    1. Ah the home roost explains a lot. Hope they never want to move any nearer though.

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  9. If you grow a variety of things something will grow well most years. Then there are the unfussy plants that just grow whatever.

    For instance sweet peas always seem to do well and sunflowers even when there is no sun!

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    1. My perennial sweet pea did very well last year. Haven't grown sunflowers for a while, might give them another go.

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  10. Just breathed a huge sigh of relief. Read the title and thought "Oh no, they're back already"

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    1. Er, they are back, I've seen them.

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  11. Hi Crystal,

    Haha, I think it's the same in every street/area. We have a house exactly the same where the Pigeons love to congregate. That is until I discovered some elderly woman throwing bread out onto the road for them!!!!! Grrrrrrrr.
    Thanks for that, love.
    Makes me so angry.
    Thankfully though it's not all that common to see them in the garden - generally at certain times of year, like now for example I haven't seen them in months.

    I must be a real grinch this year because the seed catalogues coming through are actually really annoying me. Yet more rubbish to recycle. Maybe it's because I order online, so feel it's a waste of paper and my time having to deal with the unwanted post.

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    1. I enjoy the seed catalogues, but what really annoys me is when they send me another copy a few weeks later. Now that is a waste of paper.

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  12. It is tough to know what to plant. I planted heirloom tomatoes last year and I did not get the quantities I would have liked so I'm thinking of planting some early varieties but I don't want GMOs. Decisions, decisions.

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    1. My tomatoes were a disaster last year, but I love tomatoes, so I'll be growing them again this year.

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  13. Here, the Summer last year was wetter and colder than usual, surprised that the garden coped as well as it did. I used to keep pigeons when I was a youngster. Its not so very common to see such a large group of gutter snipes land on a roof, more often its those belonging to a pigeon keeper nearby. Mind you that may not be the case if you live near Trafalgar Square.

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    1. Well I'm a bit nearer to Trafalgar Square than you are.

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