Houdini Badger

Last night, a badger managed to bend the vertical strands of the ‘badger proof’ fencing to create a hole 13.5cm by 19cm. This is smaller than a normal cat flap! The picture below shows one vertical wire only bent to the left, the other one being bent similarly to the right. In fairness to the fencing, it had to push itself through against the hedge. Without this to push against it wouldn’t have been able to make its way through.

The second video clip below is presumabably another fatter badger that failed to push through the same hole and then decided to climb back down..

Video clip below; Yesterday we blocked the hole with finer mesh and this is what occurred. The clip is probably good enough for You’ve Been Framed!

National Collection of Epimedium

We have recently received confirmation from Plant Heritage that we have been given full National Collection status for Epimedium species, cultivars and hybrids.

As visitors to this website have probably guessed we are pretty keen on Epimediums, so earlier this year after discussing with various people whether we should aplply for a National Collection, we decided to approach Plant Heritage. Quite a lot of forms were filled in and a few days spent as we have worked hard, creating accession sheets. These allocate a unique number to each plant derived from a particular source.

Also we have devised a four letter code to identify each source, be it a nursery or an individual, and two numbers indicate year the plant was aquired since 2000. For example 239-Edru-13 (accession number- Edrum Nursery- 2013) The year before 2000 is a bit irrelevent even if we knew them.

We have purchased a Brother label printer which is connected to our PC and prints 36mm wide self adhesive labels which unlike Dymo seem to stick well to the tee labels, we have been using. Our son, Paul set up the printing of the labels so they include our Magnolia logo, which does give the completed label a touch of class. The labels also show the accession number, and source and date codes.

The work in doing the above was quite time consuming but I am already finding it useful to know where a plant came from and when, from the codes on the label.

As well as the documentation and labelling works, we have achieved a fair amount with buying quite a few new ones and preparing areas for new Epimedium plantings. Each new plant is protected with four short canes, against badgers digging up the recently planted specimens. This system works remarkably well as badgers regularly dig between the plants without disturbing them.

Plant Heritage like National Collection holders if possible to have more than one specimen of each plant, two growing in the ground and one in a pot. We probably will not manage this with many varieties, due in part to space constraints, but we will try to do this for all the species we can collect. Previously we had few Epimediums in pots, only those growing on to a sufficiently strong specimen to be planted out.

In order to show the potted plants off we have utilised our old plant sales, tiered area. To accomodate more potted specimens we have started clearing a rather neglected area behind our biggest greenhouse.

We would be please to hear from any other keen Epimedium collectors.

Mystery Solved

Since we bought our new garden five and a half years ago there have been constant attempts by either a fox or badger to burrow into a neighbours garden in a bank along the boundary.

After many attemts to fill in the holes we gave in and for a year or more there are just two holes and no further soil has been excavated after the first few barrow loads.

Last week Maplins sent an E-mail offering an ‘Outback Cam’ which takes images in the dark using infra-red when it senses movement. We bought one for a bit of fun, and set it up in front of the holes. We now know who was responsible!

Feeding the Wildlife

Sadly, yesterday one of our large Koi Carp died, a Chagoi around 10lbs in weight, I guess. We used to bury dead koi in the garden, but there were usually dug up again by the wildlife,

so lately we’ve left them out for the foxes.

Last night while slugging I went to see if the fish was still where I left it. It had been moved a yard or so but was being devoured by a badger. The badger didn’t run off as the meal was too heavy to pick up and make a rapid exit, so he kept eating, ignoring me. I thought I’ll go back in doors and get my camera, to hopefully get a picture. It turned out that

even the repeated flash full in his face, wouldn’t put him off his, ‘as much as you can eat, fish supper’. I got closer and closer until in the end I was crouching no more than a yard in front of the feeding creature. I wanted him to look up and had to make quite loud noises for him to react to me, giving me the second picture..