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Gardening buddies

Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

There is no gardening pal more celebrated than Nigel the dog.  But I just thought I would share with you a photograph of my current companion - the little fella who plays Robin to my Batman out there in the big space.  We call him Ib. 

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 A pheasant makes a great companion.  As many of you will have found with robins, familiarity breeds.... well, a lovely sense of togetherness.  Nothing is guaranteed to send the wood pigeons into a spin like Ib's squawking cry from the heights of an informal compost pile.  I'm not sure what he's up to - maybe it is mating time, but I think he is a retiring pheasant, more interested in the nesty warmth of some rotting stalks than the skirt-chasing instinct. 

So why do we call him Ib?  Well many years ago, I was joined in my horticultural endeavors by a tame pheasant we called 'Fozzy'.  Fozzy got very familiar.  To the point where he would hop up to the kitchen window sill and tap with his beak on the glass until someone opened up and fed him breadcrumbs for breakfast.  Fozzy was a devil for the breadcrumbs.  I am not sure whether the breadcrumbs were doing Fozzy any good, but as time went on, he became an increasingly dissolute pheasant - feathers all akimbo and a bit greasy looking.  Eventually, another pheasant decided it was time to put Fozzy in his place - a strutting, pompous pheasant it was, full of Gallic pride.  We called him Cantona (that's how long ago it was).  Cantona would chase poor old Fozzy round the garden, and on more than one occasion, we felt compelled to intervene with some improvised clapping and a sharp 'shoo'. 

Fozzy stayed with us, which was probably a clever thing to do, given that beyond the garden, the pop, poppety pop of the rifles was forever going off, as the tweed-and-welly classes amused themselves by killing things.  But he did get very scruffy.  And then he just disappeared.  About six months later, clearing out some shrubs, I found a pheasant skeleton.  I think poor old Fozz died of old age, or maybe the in-breds shot him and he went there to die quietly.  Or maybe breadcrumbs are bad for a pheasant's internals.

And Ib?  Well, he seems to have Fozzy's loyalty, but a fair amount of footballer arrogance too.  And I am reliably informed that 'Ibrahimovich' is the cockiest fella on the international pitches these days, so Ib it is!!  He is already a bit scruffy round the scarf area, where he has been pecking his feathers out.  So maybe a few breadcrumbs couldn't do any harm?

Anyway, I thought it would be nice if we could have a thread where people could put up a picture or description of their gardening companions, pets, little people or local characters like Ibimage - would be nice to see who we share our outdoor space with!

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  • PottersPotters Posts: 55

     What a lovely story Busy Bee2, I like the idea of a tame pheasant.

    Here's my little terror...since we lost our dog at Christmas she's been my shadow in the garden.  Her and the dog took it in turns to follow each other around and now she's a bit lost without her.  Everytime I go into the garden she follows me out like a shot..and pounces on me at every opportunity.  It took me ages to realise last year why my strawberries weren't growing last year til I caught her having a snooze.

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  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    That's a lovely story Bee, thank you for sharing. I'm afraid my story won't get as many 'Ahhhhs' as yours but is still my gardening buddy, my very own Nigel image

    My Beagle, Ollie.  Quite a few of you know already that I have 2 Beagles but Ollie follows me everywhere when I am in the garden, he is like my shadow.  When I am on my veg patch he sits with his nose through the fence (he isn't allowed in) and when I'm in the GH he just sits by my side. Before we became his forever home he only had a yard and no walks so I think he just loves being outside as much as he can image

    This was Ollie last year guarding the bird food!!

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  • nodlisabnodlisab Posts: 406

    This is my little friend

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  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Potters, maybe a young puppy would keep your cat amused!!  OL - your beagle is looking ready for action - 'What are we doing next then?' - much like my foster daughter, who is always on for a bit of gardening to do.  And nodlisab - I love to have a robin about.  Haven't seen one this year, but I think Ib is master of the glen here, so I'm not seeing much of anything else.  Suits me if he keeps the wood pigeons away though!!  Ib is rather a damp fellow this morning in the rain!!

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    We've a robin nesting I suspect in the garden hedges. It is funny to be out digging in the garden to have to stop as you're worried you're going to catch this little bird with your shovel as it sits up close as it can to get the worms as they appear in the turned earth.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    A couple of years ago, digging with a fork to loosen a pile of earth, I speared a toad. image  It was an awful experience that still makes me shudder to remember.  Now, when I see a toad I just vacate the area and find something else to do to give it time to move on.  I find myself saying things like 'Now if you'll just excuse me....' to wildlife that gets up close and personal. 

  • Rosie31Rosie31 Posts: 483

    Here is our new family addition.  He hasn't really got the hang of gardening yet - he is enthusiastic but not very sophisticated.  I think he is in the 'naturalistic' school of garden design.  He is excellent at pruning (although indiscriminate) and very good at 'moving sticks about' (although not necessary in the right direction).  As spring gets into its stride he is turning his attention to weeding, but I really need to get him to read the Expert Gardener books to improve his skills at identifying weeds as distinct from plants.

    Now 20 weeks old so still a lot to learn....

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  • PottersPotters Posts: 55

    Rosie - he looks lovely, a right bundle of fluff, fun and happiness! I bet he's quite good at digging already image

    Busy Bee - yep, a new puppy is on the cards mid June.  I just have to get a chunk of time away with work out of the way first and then it'll be a puppytastic summer. I may be needing Rosie's help with the school of gardening.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Rosie, it will be a while before he just sits and watches you garden with the occasional raise of an eyebrow like Nigel does - you've lots of interrupted projects ahead of you!!  Potters - I knew it!!  Let's hope your feline companion puts an over-enthusiastic pup firmly in his place.  Any idea what breed?  I have a friend with a Newfoundland - I think they are gorgeous, but the gardening disasters are in a size proportional to the size of the dog!

  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 16,755

    What lovely stories. I do get a lot if birds in our garden, think I'm the only one that feeds them .......at least our end of the road. We have had a very friendly robin for quite a few years, tho wether its the same one I don't know, tho I kid myself it is.image

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