…the hogs are about! Mm… so where’s the connection between hogs and snowdrops? I wonder if you can guess. Yep… this week I made return visit to the Cambo Snowdrops but this time to do a 'spot of shopping'. Oh… but I just had to take my camera again and this time I didn’t go into the woods! Ah… but this posting isn’t just about the stunning snowdrops.
The snowdrop photos above and below were all taken around the main house at Cambo and outside the walled garden. On this visit my camera focused on the specialist snowdrops. If you take time to study the centre ring of petals, the patterns on them and the shapes of the outer petals you will see just how much they vary by quite subtle differences. Now, what about the hogs?
The hungry little chap above is one of thirteen piglets. Helen and Emma are the proud Mums and it appears that next year they may have some competition with Gorgeous Gertie a Gloucester Old Spot. Okay… don’t worry I’ve not turned farmer here! I’m still a gardener and like all gardeners do appreciate any help with pest control in the garden. Have you any clue yet what the connection is between the hogs and the snowdrops?
Let’s take a break from the snowdrops and return to the hogs in my own garden. Hedgehogs are well known as the gardener’s friend. They are out feeding at night on the slugs and snails that are also out feeding at night on the leaves of our plants! Two nights ago I was absolutely thrilled to have seen my first sighting of the year... dining at Hedgehog Manor. Let’s hope we see many more!
My outdoor camera isn’t running all the time so I didn’t spot if this hedgehog came from the sleeping quarters in Hedgehog Manor where we have had a hedgehog hibernating. I had a feeling we were getting dinning guests now as the water, I put out recently, had completely gone. I added crushed peanuts and sultanas to the feeding side of the dish and hoped the new tunnel might be okay for the hogs to use but possibly deter nosey cats and passing squirrels. The hedgehog in the video does look quite small so I am delighted to be able to help get his weight up. More snowdrops?
Now to the burning question of this posting – what is the connection between the snowdrops and the pigs at Cambo? Well… this is another hog that is the gardener’s friend. At least the gardener with a woodland of ivy to clear!
I had really admired the snowdrops growing through the ivy in my previous posting but I never really considered the consequences at all. Of course, too much ground hugging ivy would completely choke out the snowdrops. Can you guess the connection now?
The pigs at Cambo help the volunteers and gardeners to clear the ground of ivy so the snowdrops can continue to flourish. No, oh no… they don’t go out with gardening gloves ;-D The pigs at Cambo feed on the ivy! Now how about that? I should say they don’t roam around all the time. I’m not sure exactly when they do this so I’ve emailed the Estate to ask... and will update this posting when they get back to me. Is that not fascinating? I thought so. I'd love to see this in action. I have a feeling I'll be going back to this garden a few times a year. Oh... let's have some more snowdrops...
Question number two – what did I go shopping at Cambo for? Well, despite all the stunning snowdrops shown above it was the Snowflakes Leucojum vernum (cousin of the Snowdrop) that I went back for. This is a great time to plant Snowdrops/Snowflakes, when they are in the green, and that is why I returned this week. Only when looking for my links did I realise that Cambo run a very successful mail order and online business too.
On this visit, the room set aside for coffee shop and gifts (previously) was transformed with tables and boxes as the snowdrops were being prepared to be sent out. I was tempted to ask to take photos but I didn’t. However, you can see the packing going on in this page of their website. Everyone was so busy and I could just picture the joy on the faces of the recipients of the parcels being prepared. I bought my Snowflakes from the outside sales area.
I planted my Snowflakes in front of a favourite ornamental grass (Carex Fisher’s Form) and behind a ground bird bath so I could see the flowers reflecting in the water. The flower seen above was a plant that was in a pot. The rest were bought 'in the green' with a little moss wrapped around the bulbs. I am so looking forward to seeing what I have here next year!
Sorry, this is a bit of a lengthy post and there is just so much more I could add. For the moment I’ll stop now after saying a big thanks to Rob at Our French Garden for leaving a comment in my last posting telling me about a visit Noel Kingsbury made to Cambo at the beginning of the month,
You will find Noel’s blog posting here but in you’ll also be able to read about his visit in the September of Issue of Gardens Illustrated. I am guessing their will be some sensational pics taken of his Snowdrop visit and tour with Catherine Erskine the lady behind the garden at the moment. Noel has also mentioned a new prairie planting for the garden this year. Oh yes… I will be back!
Oh go on then, you’ve twisted my arm – one more snowdrop photo. Oh… I should say that the pigs won’t be roaming around the photos taken for this posting. These snowdrops are in borders. It is the masse snowdrop plantings in the woods that the pigs are helping out. Just one final note for helping out these very important garden helpers the hedgehogs. Perhaps you might want to leave a dish of water out for any that may pass through your garden during the night. You could also leave out a dish of food perhaps too. I have found they love sultanas and peanuts.
Just two very final things… As we have just stepped into a Spring I’d like to wish you all a Happy Spring! It is a great time to be outdoors. I’d also like to wish all the Mums in the UK a very Happy Mother’s Day for tomorrow too. Have a great weekend… oops that’s three things!
The piglet and the close up snowdrop photos were taken at Cambo on the 17th March 2009. The video of the hedgehog was taken in my garden just before midnight on March 19th. My garden Snowflake photos were taken this morning.