Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A game of clumps

So the guinea pig thing failed.  We had a lovely trip to the local small animal rescue place on Sunday, and the boys spent a happy half hour entranced by birds, lizards, ducks, rabbits and about a hundred lovely guinea pigs.  We brought the oldest piggie home, as a potential cagemate for ours, who lost her friend two or three weeks ago.

Enter Wendy.


She's the one on the left.  She's Swiss(!) and about three or so.  And as it transpired a bit dominant.  Poor Mrs Armitage was bossed out of all of the sheltered areas of their housing.  We stuck with it for twenty-four hours, but Mrs A looked thoroughly miserable and every time she headed inside Wendy terrified her until she ran out again.


They look quite sweet together here, but just after I took the shot Wendy had another go and moved Mrs A on again.  When I took Mrs A out, her foot was bleeding quite badly.  So unfortunately Wendy will go back to the rescue centre, where she was happily in a cage with several other piggies that all seemed to get on together.

Mrs A needs a break now I think, to reclaim her space and equilibrium.  We may try again with another piggie, or maybe not.  We're sad it didn't work out, and I feel a bit guilty at turning away this sweet little pig, but there's no realistic alternative.  Of course the boys want to keep her a bit, and don't see why we can't have two cages of guinea pigs...

The lawn is a field of daisies at the moment.  It's hard to find enough grass for one guinea pig at the moment, let alone several.  Alys Fowler recommends having at them with an old kitchen knife.  Not sure I have the time for that though.



Strawberries are flowering, although there aren't many left as I cleared out lots a while back.  Most of them will be grown at the allotment for a while.


I was amazed to see one of the pear trees absolutely covered with what looks like tiny pears.  It's a miracle - last year there were hardly any.  I think the good weather brought enough bees out to pollinate them this year.



I've got the runner beans in, and I've got a few spares for when the slugs eat them.  Two down already.  The seedlings along the middle are radishes.  It's something I tried last year and it worked well, growing a quick row of radishes down the middle of the two rows of beans.


Apple blossom, still looking beautiful.  I'm hoping the bees are working their magic on the apples as well as the pears.  Dear bees, how we rely on you.  In the space where the strawberries used to be we'll be growing some bee-friendly flowers this year to show our appreciation.


Disguising a fence with ivy and white roses.  I don't mind a bit of ivy about the place, although I know some people regard it as a weed.


The garden's a happy, interesting place to be right now.  New life springing forth everywhere.  Bees, tadpoles, small boys with scooters and footballs and big plans.  I'm loving it.


I'm going to leave you with a line or two of poetry, from John Betjeman's "Indoor Games near Newbury".

   "Good-bye Wendy!  Send the fairies, pinewood elf and larch tree gnome,
     Spingle-spangled stars are peeping
     At the lush Lagonda creeping
     Down the winding ways of tarmac to the leaded lights of home,"

Oh for a lush Lagonda.  Goodbye Wendy, we're your friends.  Full poem here should you wish.

35 comments:

  1. Poor Mrs Armitage, no you can't have her being bossed around in her dotage. You've got your beans out early, mine are only just starting to germinate in pots. I'm following Monty's method this year, three beans to a pot then plant the whole plot at the bottom of each cane of the wigwam, I hope it works.

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  2. Oh I saw kitchen knife and guinea pig in close proximity and thought surely Wendy wasn't dispatched. Such a shame they didn't bond.

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  3. Oh Mrs. A! I feel like she was traumatized again after the passing of her Bestie. I enjoyed the recap of the Swiss Miss and am interested to see if you try her out a little longer. Wouldn't judge either way, as I can barely take care of my kid. I am curious why you would suggest specifically a kitchen knife on the daisies. I don't get it, but I know nothing about gardening in general. Beautiful pictures as always!

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  4. A nice post and good photos. Shame about the guinea pig. I like daisies in the lawn.
    I'm surprised that you've planted out your runner bean plants as generally people don't do that until at least mid May.
    Flighty xx

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  5. How sad that the newbie was a bit of a bully. Much love to Mrs A, hope her confidence returns soon. Give her a wee bit of carrot from me.
    The garden is looking great ( I love daisies and have ivy growing up a wall - love it!) So much blossom can only excite a girl, so pretty with the hope or delicious fruit! All is well x

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  6. Maybe Mrs. Armitage won't mind so much being a lone-piggie if she gets lots of human attention. Sounds like Wendy wasn't a very good roommate. :-(

    Your flowering trees are so beautiful. You take lovely photos.

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  7. It's not always easy to get pets to share a space! There was a time when I had 2 rabbits and 2 guinea pigs - all in different hutches and runs! Thats was a lot of cleaning out to do!
    Your garden is looking gorgeous. x

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  8. Oh sorry to hear about the mean ol' piggy hurting your girl. I can see why you took her back. How about you start with a very young one - yours will certainly be the dominant one then. Your garden is looking so nice! Bravo! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Did the guinea pigs eat the daisy flowers inside the cage?

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  10. That's a real shame that the Guinea pigs didn't get on. My daughter would love your lawn. She's desperate to make daisy chains...sadly our lawn is moss some sections of mud with a bit of grass here and there! :-) Your garden is looking great...so much promise and things to look forward to.

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  11. do the guinea pigs eat daisies? I pick them and give them to the hens but they don't really like them, they much prefer dandelions.

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  12. Oh, Wendy. You're cute but you sound like a pain in the neck. I'm sorry it didn't work out with the piggies, Claire. That's disappointing. The right one is still out there, though. You've got so much blooming right now, it all looks very pretty and lush.

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  13. Oh poor Mrs A. So sorry it didn't work out.

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  14. Hey CJ,
    Poor Mrs Armitage. I think Wendy needs to go too. She's obviously used to rolling with those bad boys at the rescue centre. My neighbour has a pear tree, and is was completely festooned in blossom this year. My plum tree had lots too, although I'm afraid most of the plums get eaten by snails. I have runners in the greenhouse ready to go to the allotment (eek!). I love this time of year in the garden.
    Leanne xx

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  15. All the plants look so pretty... can't wait til everything is blooming here! Sorry Wendy had to go :(

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  16. Love the poem! Sorry the piggie didn't work out but you are doing what is best for your little sweetie! And yes God Bless the bees! Where would we be without them! Now..... loving those radishes down the middle of your beans and oh just look at that glorious pear tree! Such stunning shots all around here friend! Wishing you a fantastic Wednesday!! Nicole xoxo

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  17. Aww your poor little guinea pig I hope you come up with a suitable solution. The rest sounds like me, but I like the daisies in my lawn so I leave them there. I was hugely excited on Monday to discover we had pears on the tree & I want to paint my 'disgusting' fence a pretty colour but the man wants to replace the panels, Pretty sure I will win on that one.

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  18. Sorry that it didn't work out with the newbie, but you have to care for Mrs A first as she has been there longest and is probably already upset about losing her pal. Hope that you can work something out. xx

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  19. Oh, poor Mrs A :( Hope she recovers.

    Your garden looks wonderful. It sounds like you need the delightfully named book, 50 Ways to Kill a Slug.........

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  20. How strange, a Swiss guinea pig. I suppose us Swiss ladies can get a bit pushy but I have to say that I never bit anyone.. You are making the right decision to bring Wendy back to the rescue centre. I hope Mrs Armitage recovers from the upset.
    My pear tree is still in full bloom and I really hope the bees are out and about. We had not a single pear last year despite there being hundreds of little flowers. I decided to leave the vegetables to my long suffering man, I am too busy with the flowers. Must remind him not to forget runner beans. Have a great rest of the week CJ. xx

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  21. Well, they might be cute to look at, but even little animals can have strong personalities. I wonder if you tried a male pig if it would go better? Two females of any species together can typically be trouble. Or when you first introduce them, keep them separated by some wire so they can see and smell each other, but not attack?
    If all of those tiny things are pears, you are in luck! I've never seen the beginning of a pear.

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  22. I'm sorry to hear that Wendy and Mrs Armitage didn't get on - I'm not sure why it doesn't always work. You may remember I said we tried to find a new companion for Tuc without success and yet when I was a child we had 4 guinea pigs that all arrived at different times as an elderly one passed away and we never had any problems. It may be worth trying again but you may decide poor Mrs Armitage has been bullied enough in her own hutch - she is adorable!

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  23. That's too bad that Wendy didn't work out, but I'm sure Mrs. A appreciates you guys watching out for her:) The garden looks lovely. It's so exciting to see everything in full bloom:)

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  24. I think Mrs A just needs a little 'me time' and cuddles from her humans! Absolutely beautiful garden photos - you'd better start looking for pear recipes! :-) Chrissie x

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  25. Yuor garden look so flourish. Flowers, buds, veggies... all look so stunning! Happy gardening

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  26. Well done for having a go at finding Mrs A a new cell-mate and for having the good sense to call it a day (literally! haha!) when it didn't work out. Wasn't sure whether some photos are from your allotment as well as the garden but it's all looking very lush - I'm heartened to see that you've got the promise of some pears; I checked my trees yesterday and found all the blossom had blown off, leaving nothing but leaves on both trees. I like the idea of sowing quick crops under the beans - I may try that under my mange tout which I planted out a couple of weeks ago. Btw, I'm doing dusk slug patrols having had a courgette reduced to a stump and found over 50 in the last two nights! Battle lines have been drawn!!

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  27. I hope Miss A is feeling happier. Love your shot of the pear blossom, it looks stunning. I don't have any gardening knowledge I find your blog fascinating I have never seen how a pear forms
    Have a lovely week

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  28. Poor Mrs A, losing her friend and then having a guest boss her around. She is in need of a spot of tea and a good rest. Maybe there is a meeker sweet little piggy at the rescue?

    Love all your photos,
    Meredith

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  29. You did well to come back from the animal shelter with just one guinea pig... it sounds like there was scope for a whole range of new pets to be adopted. Shame that Wendy didn't appreciate her new home and behave nicely, she looks so innocent in the photo.

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  30. Oh dear - guinea pig worries. I hope Mrs A has had a chance to gather her thoughts and rest a little. The sight of your radishes and beans is so heartening. Oh Spring, how lovely you are

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  31. we had to separate our hamsters when they started to kill each other... and yes we have two cages. Sigh.

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  32. When I was very small we had two guinea pigs called Fred and George. I think they got on with each other, unfortunatley they didn't get on with foxes.

    Lovely to see baby fruit on your trees, I have mini quinces too, so exciting!

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  33. That is sad news about the two guinea pigs. Sometimes animals (and birds) just don't get on. It is lovely to hear that the bees will have so much to interest them.

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  34. Poor Mrs A, she could have done without a battering from Wendy!

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  35. Oh dear, Poor Mrs A. It was definitely for the best! Your shots of the blossom and all the other good things happening in your garden are really gorgeous. x

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