Bad Blogger

Planting Store 001 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=

..Bad gardener


Just part of the ‘pot ghetto’ still awaiting planting. Another five arrived just this morning. The greenhouse is full. The cold frames are full. Until I can clear some of the log jam I’ve no room to start off any more seeds. It must be May.




And the interval between rusty duck tales has been getting longer.

I’ve been trying hard to keep up with your own posts and the backlog of 82 on Feedly is a considerable improvement on the 182 of last week. I will catch up. Eventually. I do apologise and hope you will bear with me.


A couple of people mentioned over the last few days the frustration of having to re-enter all of their details each time they comment on a rusty duck post. Is that an issue for you too? Does it happen on other WordPress blogs or only on mine? It may be an inherent characteristic of WordPress, in which case there is little I can do, but if it is something configurable in the set up I will do my best to fix it.

Definitely within my scope to change is the look and feel of the blog. The last couple of years, around this time, I have upgraded the theme and I’m considering doing it again. Your feedback would be really helpful. I would like to know what you DON’T like about rusty duck, the things that make it harder for you to read, comment or share.

Are the photos too big?

Is the typeface easy to read?

What about the centre justification of text? I did this because most posts contain quite a few pictures, with the photo and the caption centred. So to create a consistent format throughout the blog I adopted centre justification as standard*.

How quickly does the site load? I’ve tended to believe that if it works for me on the couple of tin cans and bit of old string that constitute rural broadband it will work for anybody. But, I wonder, is that right?

And is there anything else that niggles?

Do please tell. Even if a previous commentator has already made the same point, a “yes, me too” in the comment box would still be much appreciated. Then I can get a feel for the scale of any problem.


Many thanks for your help.

*some older posts still need bringing into line

2017-10-24T19:32:47+00:00May 12th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Mark and Gaz May 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Glad to say that all seems fine and convenient on our side so notice to report there. And enjoy how busy spring can be 🙂

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks. The weeds are growing faster than I can clear the soil for planting..

  2. Jacquline May 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica ……. no problems on your website for me….. it’s all lovely. In my opinion you don’t need to change a thing.
    At the risk of being a ‘ copycat ‘, my next post will be about how bad a blogger I have been !!!!! I really must try to do better.
    Enjoy your garden and don’t worry about your blog …. we shall always be here !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      It’s so easy to get behind and then all of a sudden everything needs doing at once. You have the right idea I think, you just take time out occasionally and get on with life. Maintaining a blog is extremely hard work, as only another blogger knows.

  3. AnnetteM May 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm - Reply


    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Testing back…
      I’ve always wondered if my replies get through via notifications. I get yours, but it may be different for me as a self hosted blogger. Did you get this one?

  4. AnnetteM May 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    OK, as I am logged into WordPress I do not have to enter any details when I submit a comment on your site. That said, there are other WordPress sites where I do have to – don’t know what that is all about.

    I like your site, particularly the large photographs – most sites, mine included, have these too small for my liking. The centred text works well as you don’t write a lot of text – if you did it might need to be changed, but I have always found it easy enough to read.

    Site loads quickly.

    Have you ever had any problems upgrading the theme? I sometimes think about it, but then chicken out.

    Don’t worry about keeping up with blogging – it really should come second to real life after all. It just makes your posts all the more welcome when they do come. Also there is plenty of time in the winter for catching up on our posts – though I have the feeling your life is almost as busy then.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      It’s always a bit of a pain upgrading the theme, but I probably make life more difficult for myself by having a self hosted site and using third party themes. I’m considering setting up a separate test site. Would it be possible for you to start up a new site, with a completely different name to your main one? Then you could play around with new themes to your heart’s content and just transfer across the settings when you’re happy you’ve got what you want?
      Many thanks for your positive comments Annette.

  5. Christina May 12, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica, well I can completely relate… My pot ghetto is way bigger than it should be and I also would wish I get to blog more and make more comments. But with a job, a garden to maintain, and a young dog there is only so much time in a day, so my strategy is more to be content with what I can do and enjoy what I have.
    Regarding your blog, as far as I am concerned I am pretty happy with the format and I love the size of your photos, which is bigger than in many other blogs.
    One thing I would love to read more about is other English Gardens, public and private (for example NGS), that are surrounding you. Admittedly this is a purely egoistical wish, since I have been visiting England a couple of times and I know that especially many of the private gardens are truly outstanding and so inspiring to see and I simply can’t get enough of them :-).
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina.
      I plan on visiting a lot more gardens this year. The public ones we go to usually end up on here, the private ones less so. Yes, there are many that are truly outstanding. My reluctance is around taking photographs. It seems more intrusive in a private garden.

  6. Eleanor May 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    I find entering details every time a pain too and don’t always comment when otherwise I might because I often read blogs on my phone and it is a real pig on that. This is the only blog that asks for details. Like the rest though! 🙂

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your honest response Eleanor. Looking through the settings it appears the only other option I have is to leave the blog open for anyone to comment without leaving any details at all, not even the first time. That feels a bit uncomfortable and no doubt makes it vulnerable to more spam. I’m still looking for a solution though..

  7. Backlane Notebook May 12, 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Format good, content good and it’s easy to leave a comment too. And yes to more time but I sort of assure myself that I read all the blogs I subscribe to and if I don’t leave a message I trust the blogger won’t take it personally. Incidentally I read the title as Bad Badger so was busy composing my badger grievances and shaping a considerable size rant before I re-read it. On the allotment today I found that my peas have been ‘scraped’ up and I blame brock.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      A badger is about the only garden pest I don’t have.. yet. I would say I chuckled at your comment but a badger is no laughing matter.

  8. Amy May 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Your blog typically loads quite well for me, Jessica – which is saying a lot as we are also rural, and I often have trouble with loading times. I love the large photos – would be a bit sorry to see you size them down. Like Annette, I’m fine with the centred text because it works well with your paragraph style. And really, I do think you’ve already created a very recognizable style here. I always look forward to loading in Rusty Duck, and the style is part of the reason – as well as the content, of course!
    Your typeface (which one is it?) is very readable and the right size for my eyes just now (in two weeks I get my first pair of “progressive” glasses – ouch!).
    I (Blogspot interloper that I am) do have to enter my details each time, but as they autofill correctly I don’t find it bothers me.
    All of that said, tweak the blog in any way you please – that’s part of the fun of blogging, isn’t it?
    And stashes of little plants in pots is the very essence of May! Well… not here, where I am going to stop planting things now if I know what’s good for me! But in “normal” gardening conditions… ;-D

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      From what I can tell the font is PT Sans, which apparently is a google font. I’m assuming what you’re calling ‘progressive’ glasses would be what I would call reading glasses. I’ve been there for a while unfortunately!!
      I think you’ve hit on the issue with comments. If you have a wordpress account the system recognises the author. I wish I could find a way of it recognising previous commentators too, irrespective of where they come from.

  9. Joanne May 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Having just taken a huge delivery of plants I understand just what you mean, certainly after two garden centre visits at the weekend! I find your blog a delightful read & while it is a tiny bit slow to load I put that down to your location & I’ve only put that because you asked 🙂 On some Word press blogs I follow I do have to enter my details at the end of each comment, again a minor matter.Time is always against a gardener & blogger, I know I always seem to be playing catch up. x

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      I did ask and that’s exactly the sort of info I needed so thank you Joanne. I’m considering an experiment with a different theme, loading time being one of the things I hope it will improve.

  10. Jennifer May 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    You’re not a bad blogger, you’re an excellent one. I love that your posts are always on interesting, important things. I think your site is really nice. If I had to say anything constructive, it might be that it seems to take a little longer than most blogs to process a comment and post it to the comment stream. But it’s really not a problem for me, and well worth the content I always get to enjoy when I visit. 🙂

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Oh, you have me blushing now.
      Yes, I’ve noticed the commenting lag and I’m not sure what causes it. Another matter to take up with WordPress I think. Thanks Jennifer.

  11. Sol May 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Hi there. Love the big pictures, and also you telling us the names right underneath (I think that is very professional looking and I can take it to the nusery point at it and the name, I have dont this twice! lol ).

    I appreciate the very clean looking-ness of your blog. I cant cope with all the flashing things on some peoples blogs especially when you accidentally roll over something and it starts an ad that is really loud and you cant get rid of it with out rolling over it again. then it starts all over. I know people need adds to make money but it gets a bit frantic to me.

    font is fab as is the size. when I worked in marketing it was said that arial 14 points was the best for everyone and good for people with not such good eye sight.

    I have hardly any seedlings this year with the move. quite sad really but I need to work out the sun throughout the day and there are a lot of plants here I dont recognise some I think they are weeds but my friends they arent…. lol

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      I’d agree with you totally about ads.
      There will be plenty of time for seedlings next year, once you’ve got the house sorted out. Or the important things anyway! You’ve enough on your plate as it is.
      Thanks for your comments Sol, much appreciated 🙂

  12. justjilluk May 12, 2015 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I have no problems. Love the blog.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill.

  13. jenhumm116 May 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    And I thought a pot ghetto was just my guilty secret! I do remember posting something about things needing planting out before I went away last August and I’m ashamed to say some are still waiting!
    Love the blog, and the big pictures. Personally I would prefer left aligned text, but I promise to keep reading if you ignore me! 😉

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      I had a fair few languishing in the greenhouse over winter too. They are now outside hardening off. And fervently hoping that this year will be their year..
      If it becomes a text heavy blog I will drift back to the left but as gardeners we do love our pictures don’t we?

  14. Charlie@Seattle Trekker May 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I wish I could tell you I was not in the same predicament…Still, spring is the best part of life.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      It is Charlie. I just wish there were more hours in the day. And that I had a bigger greenhouse..

  15. Anna May 12, 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Oooooooooh – now where have I seen a pot ghetto like that before Jessica? Just five minutes or so outside my back door and I’m sowing a few more seeds later today 🙂 I find the layout of your blog very easy on the eye both in terms of the size of text and photos. I prefer bigger photos so that I’m not squinting at the screen. I find that I have to enter my details in each time I want to comment although autofill comes to my rescue. The majority of WordPress blogs I visit do not require me to do this. It’s a pain but would not stop me from commenting. Like Jennifer says it does take longer than most blogs for visitor’s comments to be processed. Having said that it’s just a minor niggle. I think that ‘Rusty Duck’ is just fine the way it is.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      I wonder why rusty duck is different from other WP blogs, perhaps because it is (self hosted). I think I will ask WP if there is anything I can do to rectify this, as well as the time lag on commenting. Thanks for the info Anna, very helpful.

  16. Sam Stanley May 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, your blog loads quickly for me and I like your style. I generally would advise against using centred text (with my editing hat on) because it is hard to read if there’s a big chunk. But it’s your style and works well here on screen. And big photos are generally better. As for commenting, I’ve had no problem with your blog. I have on others, though, when my text disappears and I type it again only to have it appear twice when posted! But I think that’s a glitch at my end. Gardening is busy, busy at this time of year and it’s a challenge to keep up with the potting on, planting out, etc. It’s lovely to read your blog whenever it appears so I wouldn’t worry about frequency. Very best wishes. Sam

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sam. I would certainly think twice about centred text if there was a lot of it, but I tend to keep posts under 700 words if at all possible anyway. I worry about the poor reader having to slog through it!

  17. CJ May 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    All wonderful Jessica. I do have to enter my details each time, but I don’t mind that as it comes up quite easily, the computer remembers what I want to enter. You’ve got a lovely selection of plants waiting there, summer will be looking beautiful I think. CJ xx

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry it’s not seamless CJ, it should be in this day and age.
      Some of those plants are back under cover tonight, going to be a chilly one by the sound to it. Perhaps tardy planting out was not such a bad thing after all.

  18. Julieanne May 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I’ve not had any problems leaving comments and I say that as someone who does sometimes have problems with WordPress elsewhere.

    In general I like the look of your blog and like the big pictures – I really enjoy looking at them in detail. Some garden bloggers only have small pictures and it’s not always easy to see what it is they are talking about. So keep the big pictures if you can, i.e. as long as you don’t get lots of people saying they have trouble loading your blog. My only suggested change would be to change to left justification of text. The centering can be hard to read occasionally.

    I have a pot ghetto too. I suspect most of us do. I did have one day a few weeks ago when I had no pot ghetto, but it only lasted a day 🙂

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      When I first changed to the big pictures I thought they were obscenely large, but I have got used to them and it doesn’t seem to affect loading too much. I dithered over the text justification too, still am! Thanks for your feedback Julieanne, really helpful.

  19. Pauline May 12, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I think most of us have a pot ghetto somewhere, I keep telling myself that I mustn’t buy any more plants, but then temptation gets the better of me!
    I like the layout of your blog, but the photos take a while to come through, but that doesn’t matter , the content is always worth waiting for! My details are already in place when I do a reply.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It’s the prime time of year for plant buying. I went to the Powderham Castle festival, and this weekend there’s one at Rosemoor. And then there’s online temptation.. it’s all too much! I confess. I’m a plantaholic.

  20. Karen at Lady of LaMancha May 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    No problems here. I love your plant “ghetto”. I have a similar area, which I more optimistically call the “nursery”, that was first started when we moved into this house 4 years ago. Of course, when we moved, parts of the garden at our former house moved with us, in pots, where many still sit today. Bad gardener, very bad gardener. Many are now solidly rooted to the ground below and will need manly help to be budged.

    I will say that I am good about not buying any new plants and haven’t done so all year, but my in-laws keep showing up with things that “don’t fit” in their garden, and it seems that all the cuttings I shove into pots seem to root, so I’m just creating more work for myself. Must purge pots.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      We rented a cottage for three years between houses and I had a lot of pots in transit. I know just what you mean about them rooting into the ground… I virtually had to dig some of them up again to get them here. Your nursery will stand you in very good stead as you continue to develop the garden.

  21. Island Threads May 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    I too am guilty of a pot ghetto Jessica so you are not alone, mine is not just because of time of year and seed sowing either, when I rescue plants from the grass and weeds unless I have somewhere to plant them straight away I put them in pots, in one way it is quite nice as when I clear an area I can go see what in my pot collection I can use, instant free gardening, the best kind,
    I have no problems with your blog, I’m logged into wordpress and can just comment, there are some wordpress blogs that I have to put my details in but not yours, also I think (could be wrong though) that remembering detail so they come up automatically is on our individual computers, the reason I think I have to do them manually on some blogs is because I don’t allow my computer to remember my details, but logged into wordpress I can just comment on most wordpress blogs,

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      Frances, I think you are right. I remember when I bought my current laptop it had autofill as the default. It doesn’t anymore so I must have changed it for some reason. I can’t remember why now.
      I do the same sometimes when I rescue plants. Perhaps I should start calling it a nursery and convince Mike that it is actually saving me money?

  22. Suffolk Pebbles May 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I did wonder what this post was going to be about when I read the title! I comment via my Google account so I don’t have to enter my details each time. I can relate to the backlog of both planting and catching up with the blog, but I tell myself that blogging should be fun and not a chore.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Blogging is fun Ann, I just wish I had more time for it. And, stupidly, feel guilty when I don’t.

  23. Linda aka Crafty Gardener May 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    I never have to enter any detail to comment, it is always there as I’m logged into my WordPress account. I like the centre justification, and use it myself. I do find the text a bit small and light but that could be my eyes. But I use the command + to make it bigger to suit me.
    I’m doing lots of visiting today as it is so windy, it isn’t a good day to be doing much outside. I can relate to your pot ghetto … mine seems to be getting bigger and I’m still hauling the tender ones into the garage overnight.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      I’d have hoped by now that we’d be free of worries about frost, but it seems not. It’s quite chilly here tonight.
      I’ve increased the point size and weight quite considerably from the theme default, which seemed ridiculously small for my eyes too. It must be our age Linda!

  24. paxton3 May 12, 2015 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I never have to enter my details. They remain stored, because I have a wordpress account. I ma thinking of a bloggy update/shift around too. Changing the header and so on. I have to say I love all your pictures, and the fact that you can ascribe names to all your plants is great for a heathen like me. As for plant ghetto… it. A woman after my own heart.
    Leanne xx

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Leanne, you are no garden heathen. Wash your mouth out. Yours is beautiful. And I only remember the names because I keep the labels in a box.
      I like change, that’s the problem. Love tinkering. Can’t leave things alone. Garden, house, blog. It’s all the same.

  25. Linda from Each Little World May 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Got a pot ghetto here, too. I like the look of yor blog: it’s not cluttered, easy to read and loads with no problems. Lately I have had to fill in details to comment but not today.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Well that’s interesting, so it’s an intermittent problem. How very odd.
      I have been telling Mike this evening it’s not just me who has a pot ghetto. I don’t think he believes me. Not a gardener you see.

  26. Sam May 12, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    It’s all lovely, enjoy it very much, especially the photos of plants I can never grow in sometimes subtropical, sometimes arid, sometimes underwater Brisbane Australia! Cheers Sam

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Sam, thank you and welcome to rusty duck.
      Oh no! Please don’t tell me Brisbane has flooded again. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Queensland. How would I get the pot ghetto out there, that’s the problem.

  27. Brian Skeys May 12, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I enjoy reading your blog and like the layout Jessica, I am considering? changing my theme to one with bigger pictures.
    I do not have to enter any details when leaving a comment using my word press account. I will try with google and see if it is any different.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks Brian. The bigger pictures do make it easier to see details of plants, I would say go for it. Although if I click on your photos they do enlarge.

  28. Brian Skeys May 12, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Google + account works just the same. Is the requirement for entering details only for those without an account?

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I think it must be, unless your computer or device has autofill enabled.
      As I comment on a lot of Blogger posts I opened an account. It means I have the same luxury there too.

  29. Caro May 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Can’t speak for others but I’m always hard pushed to keep up with my own blog let alone reading and commenting on others and yet I always enjoy catching up when I have time. I’ve been spending an hour after work each night planting out the perennials that have overwintered on my balcony to make more space for seed sowing – I’m rapidly moving towards a ‘no room at the inn’ situation and mostly just gaze at the full beds wondering where to put plants – so much for my design training!!! (PS blog lovely, have to fill in comments but not a problem. Love the clean look of the your blog. V nice.) Caro x

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      I know the feeling.. time constraints and ‘no room at the inn’.
      With a patch that is forever under threat of being reclaimed by the wild my problem is clearing enough space to allow me to plant. Just two pots made it into the ground today, but it took hours of preparation to get that far!

  30. mattb325 May 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    I’ve got a pot ghetto as well and it’s almost winter here, so there are definitely no excuses for me! I like the look and feel of your blog, it’s very clean and easy to read.

    • Jessica May 12, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks Matt.
      I kept a small pot ghetto throughout last winter. And the one before.. different plants though. Mostly.

  31. Lindsay May 12, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    It’s a WordPress thing. I had that too then switched over to Disqus. You can import all your old comments too. It’s fairly easy and so much smoother. 🙂

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the tip Lindsay. If it’s WordPress then it doesn’t seem I can do anything about it, unless I switch comment systems as you have done.

  32. Rosemary May 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Even though I am with Blogger I do not have a problem commenting on your blog. Keep your blog as it is – the photos are a nice size, but you probably realise that I like large photos myself, and I too prefer the writing centred as it gives an orderly feel and read.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      You use a lot of pictures Rosemary, as I do. The centred text does seem logical in that context. Thanks!

  33. Haggiz May 12, 2015 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I too have a table full of plants to plant out… it’s whoever shouts loudest at this busy time (the family are just about getting fed!) Your blog is all wonderful, I don’t have to type my details each time and I like the centred writing and large photos x

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      It’s crazy isn’t it. Not helped by the weather.. frost warning last night, now it’s heavy rain. I’m glad the blog format works for you, thanks for your thoughts.

  34. jannaschreier May 13, 2015 at 4:19 am - Reply

    Love everything about your blog! Hadn’t even registered it was centre-justified – obviously not a problem. Love big pictures, love the ‘style’, I don’t have to enter details (I’m much more likely to comment on a WordPress blog as had lots of problems with others). A little slow to upload the photos but I would prefer them big and slow to small and fast. And for me, I’m not at all worried if you vary the intervals between posting – best to enjoy it than it become a hassle, I say! Also love the Bad Badger comment!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Rosemary, above, uses centre justified text and I hadn’t clocked that either until she mentioned it. I got a Blogger account which helps me with most of the others, especially as so many people these days are dropping the free for all option to counter spam. Thank you for your comments Janna!

  35. Beth @ PlantPostings May 13, 2015 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Yes, I understand the backlog–I’ve experienced it a bit lately, too. May is always a crazy month. Our absolute last frost is always so late, so I wait to put out most of my plants until the middle to the end of May. Which means everything happens at once … along with graduations, and weddings, and birthdays, and work, and …

    Anyway, your blog is fine. I enjoy everything about it. I guess I have a slight preference for flush left text, but that’s simply a personal preference. I haven’t had trouble commenting on your blog, although I’ve had the problem you describe on other WordPress blogs. Thanks for your top quality content!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Thank you Beth.
      One year I will get my act together so I can enjoy the beautiful month of May without feeling the pressure. But then I say that every year! You’re right about the last frost. We were supposed to get one last night, always makes you think twice about planting out too early.

  36. Sue@GLAllotments May 13, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

    As you know I use Blogger which means that I do have to enter details but as someone else said each section autofills when I hit the first key. I like blogs with large images and also like how you split your text into small chunks using white space as i find large solid areas of text to be off putting. The only small thing I would say is that there is quite a lathe amount of space between some paragraphs which implies something is missing.

    The font is very readable and justification is just down to personal preference and I don’t really mind one way or another.

    The blog loads just fine.

    The only small issue that I have with WordPress is that each time I opt to have updates of new comments I am sent am email asking me to subscribe. I would have thought that subscribing to a blog once would be sufficient but maybe this is how WordPress work.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      The space between paragraphs is just one line space believe it or not. It always seems large to me to. That is why I sometimes use a centred ‘.’ to mark a natural break or moving on to another subject. I have to confess I don’t understand how the subscribing thing works. I’ll subscribe myself to test it and see if I can work it out. Thanks for your comments Sue.

      • Sue Garrett (SueatGLAllotments) May 14, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

        The normal paragraph spacing is fime but every so often there is a bigger har – for instance between paragraphs one – ending in May and the next paragraph.

        Unlike as Jayne commented, the logging in when making a comment still comes up when I am already logged on to Google+ it asks for email name and website, and I don’t get an option to keep me logged in. This is true for most wordpress blogs for me.

        • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

          The commenting issue seems to be a combination of so many different factors, not just WordPress. Don’t think I’ll solve it easily, but I will go into the documentation and see if I can understand it better. Thanks Sue.

  37. Jayne Hill May 13, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    1. Blog style – it’s lovely, and if something’s not broke, please don’t try to fix it. Personally I prefer left-aligned text but that’s just me. Photos are a great size, text is a good size, captions are wonderful, site loads fine. If you have the spare hours to contemplate redesigning Rusty Duck then don’t. Use that time to enjoy your own space, plant up some of those new arrivals, or come up here and help me (ha ha ha).

    2. Logging in every visit – this will most likely be nothing to do with your blog and everything to do with the settings on your visitor’s computer. (1) They need to allow a cookie from WordPress which is what stores the login information and prevents the request on every visit. (2) They must ‘check’ the “Keep me logged in” box which tells WordPress to assemble the cookie and install in.

    3. Pot lag – just the sign of an enthusiastic gardener at this time of year. Damned if I’m going to show you my backlog! See point 1 above!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Jayne. Re point 2, does this mean visitors have to have a WordPress account to start with? Not everyone might want to do that.
      I am getting the ‘if it ain’t broke’ message loud and clear. Of course, I might still want to tweak it a bit. I can’t resist tweaking.. Can I count on you to tell me if I screw up?

  38. Mike @ A Bit About Britain May 13, 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Love your blog – though it just took awhile to load, but that could be something to do with my steam-driven broadband. I don’t understand WordPress and haven’t got time to figure it out, even though it often looks clearer than Blogger. As for being behind – worry not; I’ve had so much on with the day job, garden and other project that the current Love Of My Life, A Bit About Britain, didn’t get a new post for over a month. Tsk tsk.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mike. Steam driven broadband is a real pain and don’t I know it. If I added together all the time I spend watching a blank screen and that little wheel going round… I wonder how many years I am wasting?

  39. Sigrun May 13, 2015 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Sometimes your blog is not open very quickly, but that is no problem, I open it and look later.
    You are a plant messie – such a mass of pots! Where do you plant all those wunderful things?


    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Sigrun, I am so sorry the blog is slow for you.
      At the moment most of the plants are going up on the steep bank. Although there are some peas and other veggie seedlings in there too. I think I’m just about ready to risk planting them out.. fingers crossed there is no more frost!

  40. Anny May 13, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Functionality: For me (wordpress), there are no issues about commenting. I struggle much more with Blogger, which makes me fill in details every time and then scroll down to the bottom comments, twice, to enter and then to prove I’m not a robot. This does make me comment less frequently. Your pictures load more slowly than most other sites I follow, but I’ve always assumed this is due to their size, and quite frankly I love those gorgeous shots, so it’s a tiny thing I’m not at all fussed about. I like your theme and layout, but completely understand your desire to freshen-up, I do it far more often! But these days, I browse most of the blogs I follow through Feedly or Bloglovin, on my mobile, so style is immaterial – but it also means that commenting takes longer because of needing to click through to the website itself.

    Blogging & Content: Although it’s nice to maintain a blogging momentum, I’ve always advocated that we should all blog when we can and not because we think we should. I suppose we pay the price in stats, but I’d rather read a well constructed, interesting post which arrives infrequently, than a ‘filler’ post which is just there to maintain a schedule. As you know, I’m not really a gardener, but I derive a lot of inspiration from nature, and I find your posts entertaining, inspiring and educational. Who knows, one day this might even make me into a gardener!

    So, obviously go with what feels right for you, but please do keep posting – whenever!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      You have the right attitude to blogging Anny and one I am coming round to. All the advice suggests blogging to a schedule but with the readers, Feedly etc, I’m not sure that’s so relevant anymore. Posts find their way to people as and when they happen.
      And there is nothing worse than staring at an empty screen when you can’t think of a single thing to say!
      One of the most satisfying things about gardening for me is being outside, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sounds of wildlife. Apart from the mice. Something really needs to be done about those!

  41. Jessica May 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Charles wrote:

    Works fine for me. always an interesting and fun read. As I hope to get out of london by the end of August I like reading about other peoples adventures outside the office. Yes oddly enough I seem to have to sign in here, to comment but I do on some other bloggs. Download time is a bit of an issue but I suspect that is due to the photos, and those are great so leave them in. Blogging while trying to garden in the summer….

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      My apologies Charles. Your comment had somehow attached itself to a photo and in trying to move it back to the mainstream I completely messed it up – converting it to Chinese and dumping it in the spam file????? Goodness knows why, it’s worked in the past, but obviously no longer.

  42. Donna@Gardens Eye View May 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I do not have the re-enter issue because I logged in with WP…of course I could have used G+ or FB and that solves the issue too. I have heard similar issues from time to time on my WP blog. I have a similar yet worse problem on other blog platforms especially Blogger that requires a pint of blood to get a comment posted so I think it goes with the territory. I really have no critical comments for you, but boy that is a lot of planting waiting for you Jessica.

    I agree with a prior comment that you should not worry about blogging regularly and blog when you can…I have your posts come up in a reader so I see them right away. And like you I get a week behind sometimes almost 2 weeks what with writing, chores and garden projects…no worries!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Ha! Yes, I’d agree with the pint of blood. Especially those ridiculous Captcha things. Although I haven’t seen too many of those recently. Just as well because I read more and more on a tablet these days and from there they really are impossible.

  43. Jo May 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    It’s always the same at this time of year, so many plants just waiting for attention and a lack of space in the greenhouse. I don’t have any problems with the blog. I have to fill in my details each time but it isn’t a problem as I only have to enter the first letter on each line and it will fill it in automatically as the details have been saved from last time.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jo. The autofill thing does seem to work. I must find out how I get it back on my laptop.

  44. Julie May 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I really enjoy your blog and the format you have. Like you I am in a rural tin can area with an internet speed of less than 1. But your blog always loads for me and lots do not, especially folk who write on Blogger. I do not know if you reply as it does not come through on my wordpress notifications, so I do not ask a question just enjoy what you’ve written or now again pipe up. Everyone is busy at this time of year too, we are all in the same boat.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Oh that’s a shame about the replies.. come to think of it, I don’t get yours either although I do for some other WordPress bloggers. Which implies there must be a setting somewhere that we could change?

  45. Vera May 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I love your blog, and like the format…..we are all busy at this time of the year, so not to worry if you don’t get round to visiting my blog, especially since I haven’t written one for a few days, and it took me an age to catch up with yours! But it is a joy to share time with you when I do get time to catch up, and I always enjoy your wonderful photos.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vera. It is a pleasure to catch up with you too, although I feel tired just thinking about all the things that you manage to fit into a day!

  46. Dorothy @ The Nature of Things May 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I can fully relate to your gardening problems. I am , I fear, permanently behind and will never catch up unless I break down and do what my husband suggests and get professional help.

    I have no problems with your blog. I do not have to reenter my details each time and I’m perfectly happy with your format. Keep it up – whenever you can find time!

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Yes, the G word (gardener) was suggested to me a couple of days ago too. What’s needed here I think is a bit of young muscle 🙂 to clear the ground ahead of me so I have somewhere to plant out. It seems to take about two hours weeding for every new plant in the ground.

  47. Angie May 13, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I too think Rusy Duck is fine the way it is. It’s actually one of the blogs I find easiest to read. I can though echo the comment above re time it takes to post a comment but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I don’t have bother with signing in unless I am commenting/reading on my phone and in which case, it’s the phone’s issue not your site as I get that issue with all wordpress blogs and my phone doesn’t seem to stay logged into wordpress.
    Keep up the good work and I’m sure those pots will find their way into the garden at some point, how soon I can’t predict though 🙂

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Angie. Good to know it’s not just me. I don’t know what the problem with processing a comment is. I do see it though, posting a comment takes a lot longer for me if I do it through the site (front end) rather than via the dashboard. Weird.

  48. Kris P May 13, 2015 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    I can appreciate the spring backlog, both in taking care of garden tasks and keeping up with blog posts. Re your blog, I do have to re-enter my details with each comment now, which isn’t the case with other WordPress blogs, but it’s not a big deal – the information auto-fills after I type the first letter in each line. I have no problems with your photos or your text, which I find more readable than many others.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      I think I will pursue the commenting problem with WordPress. It may be because rusty duck is self hosted rather than on their server, but there still may be a solution. Thanks for letting me know.

  49. SeagullSuzie May 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    My details always seem to be present-so I thinks it’s a cookies thing when they don’t. I love the size of the pictures.
    Pot ghetto…what a brilliant description for this, my friend Anne will laugh heartily at that.

    • Jessica May 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      I pinched the term from the US bloggers, loved it when I first saw it too. But it doesn’t matter where you live, if you’re a gardener you’ll have a pot ghetto. It’s like a knitter or crocheter having a stash.

  50. Freda May 13, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Love your blog Jessica, and your garden. My details fill automatically – no problems. Your large photographs are a joy.

    • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Freda.

  51. CherryPie May 14, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I don’t have any problems with your blog. It loads fine and the font and picture size is fine. And yours is one of the few WordPress blogs that I don’t have to confirm my details or re-enter my password before I can comment…

    • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

      It’s very odd how these things work, it does sound very hit and miss.

  52. Christina May 14, 2015 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Rural Italy internet is probably a bit slower than yours but it doesn’t take long for the pages to load. I use ‘bloglovin’ to follow your blog, but actually I should probalby just try to use the wordpress reader as bloglovin has to load three times before I can actually read your posts.Don’t worry about catching up with posts; there is so much to do and enjoy in the garden at present and that is the most important thing.

    • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 11:48 am - Reply

      It is pouring with rain here today, a good opportunity for a bit of catching up! Thanks Christina.

  53. Jayne Hill May 14, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Jessica, wish WordPress allowed threaded comments; this won’t make sense to anyone else unless they scroll back a very long way…

    In answer to your question about logging in, WordPress allows comments if you are logged in with themselves, Twitter, Faceache or Google Plus.

    • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Re threaded comments: it does, and I’ve enabled them. There’s a ‘Reply’ option in the comment meta, on the same line as your name. It’s tiny though.. reading glasses on!

  54. elaine May 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Sorry I’m a bit late to the party – like you I am lagging behind. I have to enter my details every time I’m afraid – usually on blogs other than blogger. Your posts do take an age to load but I would hate to lose the large pictures for the sake of quicker loading. I think that you just have to design a blog that suits you and we followers just have to adapt to each and every blog we come across – that’s blogging life.

    • Jessica May 14, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      It should work though and it’s a shame it doesn’t always. I struggle with a lot of blogs too, especially some of the new WordPress parallax themes which test my broadband capability to the limit. Sometimes I have to take the iPad right up to the BT hub box to make it work at all, which somewhat defeats the purpose of wireless!

  55. Peter/Outlaw May 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Everything on your blog works well for me! I love your picture of part of your pot ghetto! I feel much better about my own stashes of plants waiting to be planted in my already crowded garden!

    • Jessica May 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      The pot ghetto is about twice the size now! There was another plant fair today and there have been evictions from the greenhouse to make more space. It’s madness!

  56. Josephine May 20, 2015 at 12:55 am - Reply

    Everything works well on this end Jessica, beautiful blog with beautiful content, and most inspiring.
    The only time I have to re-enter my information is when I have deleted my cache, and the cookies have been deleted.
    You’ve got lots of planting there !

    • Jessica May 20, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Thanks Jo. The planting backlog is getting even longer! After a couple of days of rain the weather looks to be on the up again so I must get out there.

  57. Polly May 21, 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Hello Jessica, sorry for the lateness, I’m behind with everything at the moment! As you said earlier it’s May. I love your blog, the theme, layout, pictures, everything, and I don’t have any problems with loading or commenting.

    • Jessica May 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your help Polly. I seem to be getting further behind every day!

  58. Piddlewick May 23, 2015 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Sat reading your blog with our little ducklingMaggie (not rusty) sat on my tummy cleaning herself. Oh, she just feel asleep – we’ve hit the terrible two’s I think. She is just one bundle of energy, and a nippy little thing, and then collapses in a heap and sleeps. Anyway, as a sort of geek, the whole sign in thing is dependent on where people are coming from, as well as how you set your settings on WP. I’ve built a few WP sites, including my own (as well as Blogger, etc.) and each one is different. WP is often diffiult to find the information you need (best is google it rather than try to search WP itself). This might help from a WP perspective:

    This is still an area I am learning about as well, as it does keep changing and sometimes can also be dependent on the theme you choose, so interesting to read the various comments above. I think your site is great, and I love the look and feel of it. It really suits your photographs and writing style.

    I would love your feedback on Feedly, mentioned in your post. I do find WP’s blog follow list very basic and would like something that assist me in reading what I want to read, as well as orgnising. Or is it really another tool that just gives me more work?

    Now my turn to go to the garden, once the little munchkin finally falls truly asleep (she’s fighting it). Planting courgettes, pumpkins and cucumbers. Going to use old ladders to try and manage (ha!) the plants.

    • Jessica May 23, 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      I shall be over shortly to find out how you came to have a duckling on your lap, although it does sound a very lovely thing to have!
      Thanks for the link, it sums up well how wordpress seems to work.
      Feedly is good. There are ways to organise blogs into categories but I just have the one list, set up to present me with unread articles which I can then scroll through at my leisure. The app for tablets and mobiles is good as well and with a touch screen you can just swipe from one article to the next so it makes reading very quick. Although it does depend on how the author has set up their blog.. if they have allowed only the first few lines of a post to be displayed then you still have to go through to the blog to read it, as you have to to comment. I keep meaning to give Bloglovin’ another try and see if that is any better.

  59. Piddlewick May 23, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    A question for you. My memory is telling me you wrote a post on the settings or such used for blogging, e.g. allowing comments, etc. Could you direct me and also would love to pick your brain personally on your settings (as a wordpress user too) as I am uncertain mine are to my best advantage.

    • Jessica May 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      I’ve emailed you, hope that’s OK.

I'd love to hear from you..