BBC Radio #SundaySupplement flowers/ hedgehogs/ my garden, 12 August programme

Some photos to accompany today’s BBC Radio Leicester gardening Sunday Supplement programme. It was my turn to sit in and answer listeners’ gardening queries on the phone-in today.

As always, I ran round the garden and picked some flowers for my mother-in-law Joan and my Mum Marion to take in to the programme. Despite the heat and drought, my cut flower patch hasn’t let me down. There’s plenty of colour just now.

In the pink and blue theme posy there’s zinnia, Mophead hydrangea, cosmos seashells and white wild goats rue. The green umbels are actually parsley that’s gone to seed, and the whole bouquet is wreathed with blue borage. The pink whirls are Diascia Hopleys. Plants have grown to 5ft and been in flower for 8 weeks. There’s just one glorious inky-blue gladioli, and one annual pink chrysanthemum (Tricolor Mixed) which are only just starting to flower.

In the orange-theme bouquet there’s calendula, rudbeckia, spikes of verbascum, and seed heads from love-in-a-mist. White jasmine provides a wonderful scent, even if there are only two sprigs included here. Any more would be overpowering.

I could talk for hours about flowers, but the conversation steered towards wildlife in my garden. So for anyone wondering how my hedgehogs are getting on, we have four precious babies this year, one less than last summer. They are a month later than last year, but very healthy and active. I am feeding them with Spike hedgehog food to try to build them up for the winter. Fresh water is also really important and in scare supply, so lots of little dishes are placed all around the garden.

So far these hoglets are just 5″ long. I’ll keep an eye on them to ensure they meet the target weight of 650g by winter hibernation time.

I wrote about last summer’s hedgehogs Here. There’s also hints and tips on helping hedgehogs on the highlighted link.

Radio Leicester Sunday Supplement is available on i-player. There’s a link Here. . Gardening starts at 1.09.31. Put your feet up and have a listen in.

Let me know what flowers are doing well in your garden right now, and do any of you have hedgehogs nesting in the garden this summer?

Please kindly share this on any social media platform, and don’t forget to say hello in the comment box below.

24 thoughts on “BBC Radio #SundaySupplement flowers/ hedgehogs/ my garden, 12 August programme

  1. I love reading your posts, Karen, your kindness always shines through. So sweet that hedgehogs and their babies have come to stay; do they usually set up home in one area? There’s too much concrete for me to have hedgehogs here and I’d worry about foxes getting them if there were any. On the flower front, I’m just trying to decide what to grow next year – a very pleasurable task! Wishing you a lovely week, Caro x

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    • Thank you Caro. I’m just making some hedgehog shelters for the winter. I’m basically putting a small pallet on one layer of bricks, then a layer of bricks to weigh it down, then piling all the woody prunings and leaves on top to make it cosy. Badgers hopefully won’t be able to get under the pallet to get the hedgehogs. Failing that, they have got the hen house and the duck house to go under, which is where they usually go. Thanks again for your kind comments. Have a lovely week x


    • Makes me very happy. I’m currently mooching round the garden with a bag of Spike hedgehog food and listening for rustles in the undergrowth. There’s more babies than I thought. Hurray! Just hope I can get their weight up in time for hibernation. I’m taking advice from a hedgehog sanctuary. If we get more rain there’ll be more natural food for them. But it’s been a poor summer with the drought.

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  2. That thing looks terrifying! We do not have any hedgehogs in the garden because they do not live here. We do have more flowers than I can list though. However, they do not look as colorful as your do in our semi-arid climate. The borage is done for the year.

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  3. Karen, your photos are magnificent. Your bouquets are wonderful, I love both but especially the first one because of the colors and the amount of beautiful flowers that you have used and the blue borage that I like a lot. I can not list all the flowers that I like because they are all. The second bouquet is very special and the spikes of Verbascum are divine like the white Jasmine and its perfume. And to think that these wonderful bouquets are for your Mother and for your Mother-in-law: you are a sun Karen. The guests took to the radio program of the BBC Radio Leicester gardening Suplement Sunday, that I never miss it even though I do not find out about almost anything but I really like to hear it. How wonderful that you have four cute hedgehog babies and take care of them with special food and give them good water everywhere. You take care of them so much that I’m sure they’ll reach 650 gr to hibernate. I do not have urchins. I hope that your Mother will recover completely soon: send her from me, love and memories. For your family a lot of health and love. Karen love, health and take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – cut flowers from my garden | Bramble Garden

    • Oh that’s a shame Mike. They are becoming a very rare sight. I’m just trying to sweep all the dead leaves off the gravel paths. I keep having to check that I’m not sweeping up baby hedgehogs. I’ve just decided all leaves and debris must stay in the garden and not go in the green bins- just in case. So I’m making huge habitat wigwams under the shrubbery. It will look a bit untidy, but I don’t care.

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  5. You are doing such a good job with your hedgehogs, Karen – well done! – and what pretty posies too. Sadly, my Diascia Hopleys has gradually disappeared and had been in decline for a few years – as you, it flowers for ages. Hope your Mum and Mum in law continue to improve, and that you are coping too.

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    • Thank you Cathy. I wonder if that diascia just flowers itself to death. I’m taking cuttings and will send you some. I’m just about to post my IAVOM . We’ve had quite a summer with both Mums. My Mum is taking a long time to recover. Love karen x


      • It may well have done Karen, although I had heard before I bought it that it wasn’t aways hardy, although it did last a few years – some cuttings would be welcome, though. Thanks, and regards to your Mum

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Those a beautiful arrangements of flowers. My zinnias, scabious and cosmos are my top producers at the moment. My borage got too big for the bed and I had to cut it down – I regret that when I see your borage! Dahlias are a mixed bag – tubers in a raised bed bought new this time are fab, but those in pots and those from last year are so far very slow.

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    • Hi Ali, thanks for your kind comments. I’ve kept my borage short by constantly harvesting it for posies, and also sowing fresh seed all the time. It’s growing between the dahlias, which keeps it from sprawling everywhere. My dahlias are very late too. I’m hoping that the late sowing of cosmos and calendula will flower now the temperatures are coming down. We need more rain though. Good luck with your patch.


  7. It was so interesting to read about the hedgehogs, Karen. We don’t have them in Australia, but we do have echidnas and I haven’t seen a hedgehog since I was a child in NZ. I had no idea it’s possible to do so much in the UK to help preserve them and a suitable habitat for them.

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    • Thank you Anne. You might have noticed the areas where the hedgehogs live are full of fallen leaves, twigs and debris. The shrubs and trees in the wild area are really suffering. Hopefully we will have more rain soon and they will revive. The cut flower patch is up near the greenhouse and on a no-dig system which seems to preserve the soil moisture. Thankfully. Thanks again for your kind comments. Karen x


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