From The Cutting Room Floor

I considered two images of the Trillium while putting together the previous post.

They were taken a couple of days apart and after much deliberation I chose the earlier one. In the second photo, above, the flowers are now out. It might have been the better shot. But wouldn’t you know it, even in that short space of time something had beaten me to it. Something with a beak. Something with a beak and over a foot tall…

And you know what really gets my goat? There is one bite out of each flower. Just one. As though he decided he didn’t like the taste, tried the other one anyway just to make sure and then went off to find something more appealing for lunch. And will he remember next year that he doesn’t like Trilliums? Will he heck.




The other notable thing about the last post was the change in format of the blog. Each post now uses the full width of the screen. It makes the photographs bigger and undoubtedly clearer. I love this and, judging from your comments, you do too. But what about the text, which also now travels the whole width of the screen.  When the post is more about words than pictures, like this one, does that make it more difficult to read? Would you tell me what you think?




In other news:

Yet again this year I am late in preparing the vegetable garden beds. It has of course been far too wet and anyway, I’ve still got stuff growing in one of them. The trouble is, factory production of slug-busting nematodes carries on regardless and yesterday they arrived. Until I can get my backside into gear and finish off the digging they have to be kept in the fridge. Imagine the scene on the middle shelf. On the left, 30 million microscopic (maybe wriggling?) pathological killers. On the right, tonight’s supper.

Mike is a happy bunny, not.


2018-03-21T18:24:21+00:00March 18th, 2014|Tags: , , , |


  1. Jo March 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Hmmm, it always puts me off buying nematodes when they’ve got to be kept in the fridge, I don’t like slugs either though so what do you do? Just make sure that you take the right thing out to cook for Mike’s tea. I take it it’s Ptolemy that’s been at your trilliums. I like the new layout, I don’t think it matters that the writing goes right across the screen.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I have wrapped the packet in several layers of plastic… belt and braces. They even have a use-by date, so I need to get a move on. Thanks for your help on the blog. I always wonder how it looks on different browsers and devices.

  2. Chloris March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Nematodes in the fridge, pheasant in the garden! May I suggest you have it the wrong way round? The big mistake you made was naming him. Once you do that you can’t eat him because it would be like eating family. But your lovely Trillium! And do you have Fritillaries? Frits are caviare to pheasants. Before you know where you are he will be bringing his children round and teaching them which are the choicest morsels.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Last year I bought four pots of Fritillaries and left them by the kitchen door just long enough to get changed into gardening clothes and get my trowel. When I returned two pheasants were feasting! The plants were not even in the bloomin’ ground. Ten squids worth!!!
      And I’m still not eating him..

  3. Vera March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    No prep work done on our veg plot either, just the fencing put round it to stop the chickens and geese from regarding the veg plot as their favourite place to dine out.
    Your blog has always been easy to read, but it is nice to see the photos in such definition.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      I remember from having geese that they are a tad fond of tender young shoots. Thanks for your help Vera.

  4. Cumbrian March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Can’t understand why anybody should be unduly concerned about nematodes in the fridge, although strangely, my ex-wife was a bit unhappy when I kept lugworms in the fridge, but where else can you keep them in warm weather?

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      I should not have put lugworms into google. Good grief, they are the size of your hand. Nematodes at least have the advantage that you can’t see the damn things.

  5. Mark and Gaz March 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Like it! You can see the photos in better detail and makes reading the text much easier. You’re not the only one with millions of microscopic creatures living in packets in a fridge, we have some vine weevil killing nematodes in our waiting for their release, hopefully soon…

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      They look a bit like breadcrumbs don’t they? No crunchy top grilled toppings for a while..
      Thanks for your help on the blog.

  6. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA March 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Darned pecking birds! Have you tried stringing monofilament(fishing line) around the plants. Sort of a cage, with some stakes to anchor and hold the line? It would be a shame to hide the blooms behind wire.
    I tried this method around a smal pond to keep herons from eating the goldfish. They didn’t like the line catching their feet or bumping into it as they couldn’t see the barrier.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      That’s a good idea. Presumably held taut so the birds don’t get tangled in it.

      • Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA March 19, 2014 at 7:18 pm - Reply

        Yes. I place plant stakes around the plant (s) then string along the monofilament from stake to stake.
        One row low and and one row high. Sort of what we do with peonies and such except the line does not hold up the foliage and stems. Worth a try.

        • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm - Reply

          Definitely. I will let you know. Thanks Suzanne.

  7. Jenny March 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Since the writing adjusts to whatever width your screen is I’d say its 50 50, as I like both the wider and the narrower text. I know some blogs where they’re really wide but don’t adjust to your browser so I find myself having to scroll left and right to read them – now that is annoying!

    Enjoy your supper.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jenny. That’s really why I asked. I can only test it out on a limited number of browsers, I don’t know how everyone else experiences it.
      No nematodes consumed..

  8. Caro March 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Dare I confess that I hadn’t noticed the change!! I just like that your blog has a nice clean look that shows off the photos a treat. I find the whole business of nematodes a bit confusing – do you water them in during a dry or wet spell? I suppose it would be a good thing to try during spring when the baby slugs are growing – you’ll have to let us know how you get on with them and whether it really makes a difference! Cheeky pheasant, eating your trilliums but we have to work with nature and not against. Can you plant them higher up, windowbox maybe?

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      That’s the idea, the nematodes work best before the slug population has a chance to build up. They have to be kept moist, so watering them in is the tedious bit, less onerous if it’s raining. It’s no silver bullet, but there were far fewer slugs around last year.

  9. Christina March 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, oh, what a bummer! That certainly would get me worked up. We had a rat in our garden eating the fresh blooms of my cyclamen, geraniums, and the new basal growth, leaves and buds of my roses. Luckily we caught it with a live trap and relocated it to somewhere else. I guess, that is not an option for you :-(! Hopefully the bird comes to its senses. Wishing you a nice day!

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. We tried catching and relocating mice in much the same way, but there are just too many of them! So far the bird has not nibbled again, so my trillium remains dogeared but defiant!

  10. countrysidetales March 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Clearly, the tops of flowers are the most succulent bit for pheasants… Is Mrs Ptolemy in evidence at all?

    When F was little he wanted a snake, which was fine until I discovered that would necessitate the storage of small white mice in the freezer. The snake did not happen. I am with Mike on this one Jess 🙂

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      I have seen Mr and Mrs scratching about under the rhododendrons together so I am taking it as a Good Sign..

  11. Pauline March 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Poor Trilliums! At the moment, I am on patrol in the woodland, keeping guard over my Fritillaries, so far, so good, thank goodness. I have had to chase him 3 times though, I hope he gets the message soon!
    I had to laugh at your nematodes in the fridge, once when I was in the middle of an oil painting, I didn’t want to waste the paint on my palette so I wrapped it in tin foil and put it in the fridge. My husband went off the next day and took a packed lunch with him, he was a bit disappointed when he unwrapped one of the packages and found my palette complete with paint!
    Love the new layout !

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      See comment above from Suzanne. I don’t know how big your Frit patch is, but could it work? In the meantime you have my sympathies, but I will smile at the thought of you out patrolling and chasing pheasants… loved your paint palette story too.

  12. Wendy March 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Oh, that is so annoying that the Trilliums have been munched. It is even more annoying that Ptolemy has taken one bite of each flower (one bite to try the taste, I imagine – and then another bite to make sure!) I’m planting lots of new flowers this year and the real test is not whether they survive the soil/light conditions etc but whether they survive the rabbits.
    I can see Mike’s point, nematodes in the fridge don’t really do much for the appetite. Still, those slugs have to beaten!
    The blog layout looks great (as it did before).

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      It’s not fair is it. Not only do we have to juggle the endless complexities of colour, texture and height but we also have to find plants that the wildlife don’t want to eat. Thank you for the comment on the blog.

  13. Sue@GLAllotments March 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I widened the main panel of my blog a while ago now so I could use larger photos. It’s a sort of compromise stage between what is good the photos and text and also reading on mobile devices which tend to have less screen space. I do prefer blogs with large photos.

    That pheasant needs educating!

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      My theme is supposed to be responsive to different devices, but I know it doesn’t work properly on an iPad. I keep meaning to sort it out but don’t know how! The pheasant has expensive tastes.

  14. Freda March 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    We scatter small cubes of cheap scented soap to keep the deer off favourite plants. It works for us. I wonder if pheasants would also find the scent off-putting? It is cheap and easy if it works…

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Freda, I shall try it. Thanks!

  15. Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots March 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Hope your fridge contents are well labelled and nobody sneaks down for a midnight snack. I like large photos.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Mike seems to be coming to terms with it. When I am cooking he helps with preparing ingredients. He starts by doing a roll call of potential contenders in the fridge. Tonight it was.. “salmon, ginger, spring onions, chillies, limes… nematodes.. “

  16. frayed at the edge March 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    The blog format looks good! Always one to help I friend …… I would eat that naughty pheasant for you!!

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne.

  17. elaine March 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Once the trilliums have spread you probably won’t notice when a few have been pecked.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      It’ll take ages at this rate, but hopefully that will give the pheasants plenty of time to realise they don’t like the taste.

  18. snowbird March 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I love the bigger pics and have no probs with the text.
    Oh dear, oh dear oh dear….naughty naughty pheasant….glad to hear he shant be eaten….what a lovely plant Trillium is, such dainty

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      No, he won’t be eaten. But how to have a wildlife sanctuary and a garden?

  19. Cathy March 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear….. 🙁 I think war needs to be declared…. As for the blog, I find I can’t take all the writing in at once – not that it’s much of an effort to move my eyes, but it slows me down a bit….! I was always unsure about size of photographs on my own blog, as if larger ones were almost showing off – but it’s great for detail and clarity, so perhaps I need to rethink, especially as people are saying they like big photos…

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      It feels a bit like sitting too close to the front of the cinema to me, but I do love the detail and clarity. It also means we (me and Mike) need to raise our game.. big photos need to be sharp!

  20. andreamynard March 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    They’re a gorgeous colour, the nibbling was downright rude. And at least now when I open my fridge to the usual fermenting mixtures due to my dairy experimenting, I’ll be relieved not to find a load of pathological killers.

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      Cheese making is definitely on the cards for me now.. Mike will find it by far the lesser of the evils 🙂

  21. Sarah March 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I love your larger pictures they really allow you to see the detail of your plants. As someone else mentioned it does feel as if it takes longer to read the text when it goes across the page and there are no pictures. Somehow when the words are mixed up with the pictures it seems fine! I hope your nematodes are a success this year. Sarah x

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. I wish I could mix and match, but it’s all or nothing. Wide pictures and words. Perhaps the next stage is to go to bespoke web design.

  22. CJ March 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Send your pheasant over here, we’d love to have him. I’ve got so much to do outside too. I’m trying not to panic. Last year I felt a bit overwhelmed, but at the end of the day I did enough to produce some food and not get thrown off of the site. So hopefully I can do the same again. The trillium picture is wonderful. I don’t mind the writing going all across the page at all. Your blog always looks lovely and easy to read. Hope you enjoy the rest of your week. CJ xx

    • Jessica March 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      I am beginning to panic likewise. I’m trying to get a lot of plants shifted before they put on too much growth and yet they’re growing before my eyes! I swear the astilbes put on a couple of inches last night alone. And now there’s rain coming.. Good luck with the allotment. As long as you enjoy being out there, that’s the main thing.
      Thanks for the comments on the blog x

  23. Linda March 19, 2014 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Love the big photos…that is just me….
    I love the whole look of your blog….sometimes I think mine is too cluttered…..*sigh*
    Have you tried human hair scattered around the plants? You can get it from your local barber…I know that a lot of wild species, do NOT like the smell of humans…..
    Enjoy your week…..your Trillium is AWESOME!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      The way things are going I can use my own hair. It’s driving me mad and imminently due for the chop..

  24. Christina March 19, 2014 at 7:09 am - Reply

    The Trillium are beautiful, the colour is so deep. I think pheasant for dinner is the order of the day! I like the layout. which wordpress theme is it?

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

      It’s a gorgeous plant. I am constantly surprised by how many beautiful things grow very happily in shade. Which is just as well really, apart from the sunbaked terraces there is little opportunity here to emulate sunny Mediterranean climes!
      The theme is Clean Retina from Theme Horse. I upgraded to the Pro version to get the slider at the top of the home page.

  25. Jayne Hill March 19, 2014 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Is Ptolomey the Trillium Terrorist? Very envious that you have them, they are a ‘much wanted’ plant that has not yet found its way to the Coppice.

    Your blog looked great to me before you adjusted the widths :} Had a quick look at it in Chrome, Firefox and Safari and it’s displaying fine but that’s on a big iMac screen. No idea how it fares on tablets and mobile thingies.

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

      He is out patrolling as I type. There must be others around because he is very ‘flappy’ today!
      You must get a Trillium, absolutely gorgeous but very slow to spread and given the cost difficult to get a nice clump quickly. Perhaps we should try seed!
      Thanks for your help with the blog layout.

  26. islandthreads March 19, 2014 at 7:53 am - Reply

    oh Jessica how annoying, I know lambs do more damage than sheep because they like to try everything but Mr P is not a young one so no excuses, I’m with Mike on the fridge situation, you clearly need 2 fridges, so your dry week and baked soil are a thing of the past, oh why can’t it level out, layout is fine with me but I’m viewing on a wide screen, when I was using a narrow screen I found some webpages so wide I had to scroll across I didn’t like it, so I don’t know what it would be like for people reading on a narrow screen, Frances

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

      We do have two fridges, but the other one gets too cold unfortunately, even on its warmest setting. I reckon I have a day and a half of dry weather left, so I hope to make some progress on plant shifting today. Veggie bed digging after that.. Thanks for your help on the layout, sideways scrolling infuriates me too.

  27. Esther Montgomery March 19, 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    The test is a comfortable read – but for some reason I can only see the first photo. Very frustrating. I’ll try again later.

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Only one photo in this one Esther, you’re OK.
      But you have made me realise that the dots (.) I sometimes use to separate paragraphs could be misleading. Thank you for your help!

  28. Pats. March 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if this will work for you, but we put blocks of Irish Soap in and about our combine, it keeps the mice out through the Winter when the combine is stored in the barn, thus no wires chewed. Us crusty old farmers have been doing this for donkeys’ years. Pheasants, well, least said! Er…we have Basil and Boris about at present, they’re too busy disagreeing in the field next the house to munch our plants just now!

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      I’m thinking I might try poking bits of soap down their holes. There might be a bit of frothing after rain though..
      Love your pheasants’ names!

  29. nataliescarberry March 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    First of all I like the new format including the text size. Now I’m so sorry that a beaked entity took a bite out of each of your flowers. What was he thinking??? We have a similar problem here in the fall with the pecan trees. The squirrels will get them before they are fully ripe and fall to the ground, take one bite out of them, and then toss them to the ground to rot. So I expect the expletives I mutter about them is similar to what you might say about the beaked marauder in your garden. Also, thanks for the laugh, I will be chuckling for some time about the microscopic pathalogical killers in your fridge!!! Loved the post and your comments as usual. I hope you have a great week and that your soil dries soon. Blessisngs, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      As an animal lover I feel very guilty about using biological warfare against the slugs, but it’s either they eat or we do.. There are so many of them they can strip whole plants overnight. I don’t get them all, but it levels the playing field.

  30. Rosie March 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I too like the new layout or format of your blog and don’t have difficulties with viewing it. Naughty pheasant being so destructive with your favourite plants – especially when he wasn’t even hungry enough to eat them:)

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      I thought I had it worked out that he likes white, blue and purple blooms. But this evening I caught him with a beak full of mahonia flowers, so bang goes that theory. Thanks Rosie.

  31. Em Parkinson March 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I don’t mind the stretched text at all. Big pictures are good. I often suggest to other Blogger users that they use the extra large setting as no one has the time to blow up their pics but to no avail…’s such a shame.

    May I suggest a nematode omelette?

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      I wish the pictures weren’t quite so big, but I like them better than the previous size. It tests the old photography skills a bit though.
      Very tasty Em, I’ll save some for you 😉

  32. starproms March 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    You certainly do get more than your share of beaks pecking and mouths nibbling, in your garden. The Trilliums are beautiful. I LOVE that colour. Keep gardening…

    • Jessica March 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Aren’t they lovely? They are slow growing, but worth the wait.

  33. Crafty Gardener March 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I was devastated a few years ago when my beloved trillium I had been watching for ages had the blooms eaten off … I blamed a rabbit.
    I’m a fan of the full screen for bigger photos. I really don’t like sites with sidebars, especially more than one that cramp the actual post.

    • Jessica March 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Trillium is one of those very special plants. It’s had a wire mesh cage over the spot for months to protect the emergent shoots but when the flower started to form it was getting bent so I took the cage off..
      I like a lot of white space on the screen. My qualm about the new style is that it actually reduces that. But, I hope, it still looks ‘clean’.

  34. SeagullSuzie March 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Couldn’t keep anything alive (or dead for that matter) in the fridge-hubby would be horrified!

    • Jessica March 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      It’s not proving an easy sell I have to say.. need the weather to improve again so I can dig over the veggie beds and get the nematodes applied.

  35. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD March 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    What stunning Trilliums. If you had not mentioned it, I would not have realized a bite was missing. Trilliums are among my top favorite plants. Mine should be making an appearance soon. The leaves on yours are astounding; have to remind myself it’s real and not a painting. Despite its leaks, I am totally jealous of your greenhouse. If I has something like it, I would probably do more things from seed. Also, your herbs should do well with the reflected heat from those rocks.

    • Jessica March 31, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

      I absolutely adore Trilliums. North American natives I think? They are very expensive over here so something I would like to try from seed one day, when I have more time and patience!

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