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Monday 28 August 2023

Garden Addenda

Updates to earlier posts: the Aaron's Rod, the fox, and the thing in the garden.

I'm Not A Foxglove

Two years ago I wrote about an unusual "foxglove" in the garden. It turned out to be Greater Mullein or Aaron's Rod. I have no idea where it came from. Steve Reed had one around the same time. Ours produced clouds of seeds but none grew last year. This year, we have three, two with multiple forks. I spotted two early on in the vegetable patch and moved then to where the foxgloves grow: I recognised them by their furry leaves (Beethoven's well-known piano piece) but the third hid and has grown next to the runner beans. They are now mostly in seed again.

Foxy Is Injured 

The fox that has been visiting the garden since Winter has an injured leg. We put hedgehog biscuits out, but as the fox did not appear for five nights we feared the worst. On the fifth night, magpies found the biscuits early in the morning, so we stopped putting them out. We are not feeding magpies. Of course, the fox reappeared the very next night, still nursing its paw, but not so badly. We put food out again in a 'magpie-proof' pot, but they still got it. If Foxy had come in the night he would have got it first. He has not been for three nights now.

Pumpkin? Gourd? Giant Puffball?

Thank you for the entertaining comments. The Mischief who put it there will be pleased, too. "What is THAT?" was exactly my reaction when I first saw it. Was it a paper bag, a partly deflated balloon, a beach ball, or had it grown there? I really did not want to touch it. Eventually, I plucked up the courage to poke it with the edge of a trowell and it rang out a clear C#. Ceramic.

27 comments:

  1. Who did put that thingummy there? Clearly someone who was seeking to mentally unhinge you. You should consider contacting The Honourable Suella Braverman, soon to be honoured with the title: "Saviour of The Nation". Have a nice Bank Holiday Monday!

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    1. I can definitely say it wasn't her. Otherwise, my lips are sealed unless you want to buy it. You cannot unhinge the unhinged.

      Delete
  2. We discovered a Great Mullein this summer in our garden, too. Perhaps it is a good year for them?
    Magpies are very cunning creatures - more so than your poor Foxy it seems.
    I hope that your new ceramic pot will be put to good use. Perhaps a herb planter? It will be a talking point anyway.

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    1. So that's where the seeds went.
      We thought it would make a nice wasps nest.

      Delete
  3. Mullien looks like a candle, and in the olden days dipped in suet and set alight. You may not want to know that of course but it is so true of the thousands of seeds it produces not many are distributed.
    Glad Foxy is getting better. We have an uneasy relationship with foxes but those who keep hens get angry with them whilst others feed them.

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    1. Email your address and I'll distribute you some of the seeds.
      Yes, we are beginning to feel an affection for it seeing how it has entertained us all year.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the offer, we do not really have a garden, but I could 'guerilla garden' along the canal. But anyway trying your email and it doesn't work for me, Google just plays up.

      Delete
  4. That mullien stuff grows wild all over parts of Central Otago (NZ), Stately flowers aren't they. Glad to read the foxy is getting better - maybe a single large dog biscuit a day for foxy - one that magpies can't carry off.

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    1. Does it get to NZ naturally or was it introduced?
      I'm sure the magpies would find a way.

      Delete
  5. Your care for the fox is an interesting contrast to how we feel about the huge population of foxes we have, an early colony import, along with other pest species.

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    1. I wonder if they were imported in an attempt to control rabbits.
      Mostly the foxes stay in the woods and fields here and are rarely seen in gardens. But, as I mention above, this one has been the star of the night cam this year, and we would miss it.

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen any Aaron's rod in our garden since that single plant, though I have a sprout in a pot that may be one. I should plant it and see what happens.

    Good news about Foxy, apparently recovering. I'm glad I wasn't crazy to suspect your mystery fungus (or whatever) was ceramic!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Your comment went into spam. Don't know why.
      You got the ceramic spot on.
      I identified then early because Mullein have slightly furrier leaves than foxgloves (sorry about the terrible pun above, courtesy of Mrs D., but it seemed too good to omit).

      Delete
  7. It's good to have updates. So often I wonder what has happened after people have blogged about something.

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    1. They must have much too much to blog about, or short memories.

      Delete
  8. I remember playing Furry Leaves as a kid!

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  9. Furry Leaves made me laugh out loud. I'm glad that foxy is doing better. He's probably being extra wary because he is injured. We never saw our little fox again after that first day. And...so...that ceramic piece? Inquiring minds want to know who. Okay. Me. I want to know who.

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    1. Not allowed to say, unfortunately.
      Fox now 4 days absent again. Maybe does not wandering so far.

      Delete
  10. It's good your fox is recovering. I, too, would like to know who left you the ceramic pot.

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    1. See answer to Debby, immediately above. Just to add that the maker likes the reaction.

      Delete
  11. Glad to hear Foxy is getting better. Of course we all know that free roaming animals face many dangers and rarely get to live to a very old age, but I hope this one is going to stay around for a while yet.

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    1. He has entertained us so long, we hope he's ok, but 4 days absent again now! Fox video clip remains in sidebar until updated.

      Delete
  12. Mullien grows wild here. I told my sister that I was saving some to transplant when I can begin working on the landscaping around the house. She looked at me as if I were crazy. "Why on earth would you plant a weed?" I didn't want to tell her that it is because it reminds me of a slew of people who I have never met that have it planted in THEIR gardens.

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    1. It only flowers a bit at a time, rather than the whole spike, but it shines out brilliantly in the shade.

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  13. Yes, we call it mullein (Königskerze - candle of the king) too.

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    1. "Candle of the king" - impressive. "Königskerzen" finds the German Wiki page. However, "king candles" sound extremely unlikeable guys.

      Delete

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