Thursday, 9 July 2009

Not in my back yard...

Yesterday I went to the Hampton Court Flower Show - the first time I'd ever been to any of the RHS's big shows.

To get there, I took a bus, a tube, a train and a boat! From Hampton Court station, there were 'ferries' laid on to take you to the show, so why not arrive in style?

Can you see that glimpse of blue sky reflected in these lovely stainless steel balls? That just about summed up the day - we dodged showers and one torrential downpour as we went round the show. There weren't as many show gardens as I'd expected but I loved this tongue-in-cheek display of 'hanging bra-skets and pants plants'!

The y-fronts looked decidely grubby!

I also loved this sunken garden and the clever use of mirrors. It looked like the plants ran to infinity.

I resisted the urge to buy plants - my garden needs a bit of a rethink at the moment, but I am inspired as to how I want my border to look. A bit more planning needed, I think first...

I have a more pressing problem in my garden at the moment: Rats! I think they have been lured in by the presence of the chickens and the scraps I give them. I noticed one scuttling away from the eglu a few weeks ago and on closer inspection, it seems they have burrowed underneath it! So tonight, I have set 2 traps (yikes!) with peanut butter (recommended!). Goodness knows how badly I am going to freak out if I have to dispose of some mutilated vermin tomorrow. On my last inspection before locking up tonight, there was a slug on one!

Do any of you other chicken-keepers have a problem with them? Any advice greatly appreciated...


  1. Hi,
    We had the same problem with our chickens, and there were a couple of things we found that helped. The first was to raise the chicken house off of the ground (we just used bricks) as apparently rats don't like being out in the open. The other thing we did was to make a feeder using a spring that just releases food when the chickens peck it, so that there isn't a constant supply of food for the rats. I know how you feel, I was horrified when I saw them in our garden.

    This is the first time I have left a comment, so I might as well use the opportunity to say how much I enjoy your blog.

  2. I thought the conceptual gardens looked really interesting on the BBC report from the show. That's something you don't see at Chelsea!

    And so sorry about the rats--ick! We get them on the allotments, but I try not to think about it too much!

    K x

  3. Admittedly it's entirely different having the rats in your own backyard... K x

  4. Hi Susan
    Thanks for the advice - nothing caught yet! I have an eglu so raising it up is going to be difficult with the run and everything as it's all attached, but I need to fill in the burrow underneath somehow...

  5. We had 2 rats. Got one of those humane traps with bird seed/mars bar in it. Worked a treat and we captured ratties and despatched far away. But not before they chewed a hole through the bottom of my coop. :( x


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