Thursday, December 2, 2010

HEDGES

No self respecting English garden could call itself thus unless it had a hedgehog or two. When I was growing up, in England, we once had a hedgehog visit our garden. We gave him the rather unimaginative name of Prickles. Our dog used to rush around the garden looking for his hiding place and received many a prick on his nose for getting too close. Prickles was pretty flea ridden but he had an appetite for slugs which made him very welcome.
This harmless, nocturnal little creature came alive in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, where he was used as a croquet ball. His natural tendency to curl up into a ball made him the perfect subject. Beatrix Potter treated the hedgehog a little more kindly in Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
Hedgehogs are closely related to moles and shrews but their fur has been adapted to form sharp spines. They molt every 18 months or so and hibernate in the fall, during which time they can lose up to 1/3 of their body weight.

It seems I have quite a weakness for the little critter. This is my collection of hedgehogs picked up at car boot sales on trips to England. They are my indoor hedgehogs. No, I don't belong to the hedgehog fan club or wear a hedgehog T shirt and I won't be standing with a placard. Nor will I be sending off to a breeder in the US for an exotic pygmy hedgehog. I'll just have to do the slug hunting myself.

10 comments:

  1. I love the first two - wish we could buy them over here!

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  2. I agree with Rachel. The first ones are really interesting to look at. Thanks for sharing. I don't have any yard art thus far. Maybe I'll make embelishments my garden focus for 2011.

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  3. By the way, I saw your Blog2Print icon in the right column. I was thinking about preserving my first year of garden blogging in a book but was wondering about the photo quality with Blog2Print. Photos are the focus of my blog so it's key that they look good or at least not bad.

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  4. Rachel-They are cute, aren't they? I have lots of metal whimsy in my garden. It's a Texas thing. I'm sure Gardeners Supply would be happy to ship, at a cost! Hope you are enjoying the snow!!

    Abbey-You can download your book for free, and it is so easy to do. Take a few minutes to do it and take a look. No cost to do that. The photos are small but quite good so if you are wanting a record of your photos then this would not be the way to go. I would use Apple, Shutterfly, Blurb etc. for thatThis is really a record of the blog itself and you can't beat the price. I like to look back easily and see what was happening this time last year. Look for a discount coupon if you decide to do it.

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  5. Your collection is great.
    I like it, especially the first photo.
    I love the little details in the garden, thanks for sharing!

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  6. Your little hedgehogs are cute! Especially the top ones. I didn't know they (the real ones) ate slugs. What a great thing for the garden! :)

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  7. I just adore hedgehogs -- and Mrs. Tiggly-Winkle was always my favorite Beatrix Potter character. I still have her as a figurine, in face -- she brings to mind happy memories of both my childhood and my grandmother.

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  8. Did you use your gift certificate at GS to obtain those first two? I love the material they're made of. Charming!

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  9. I love your hedgehogs - the craftsmanship on the first two is wonderful.

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  10. Yolanda-This is the first garden where I had any whimsy, and I now have quite a bit!
    Ruth- They also eat ground nesting birds eggs, which has got them into quite a bit of trouble in the past.
    Meredith-I love them too and they could do quite a bit of good in my garden. Unfortunately they are not native to this part of the world.
    Pam- I did use some of my very generous gift certificate. Couldn't resist these little fellows but also bought some work tools as well- clippers, gloves and heat mat for starting seeds. It was a fun shopping spree.
    Jayne- I agree they are well done. They suggest coating them with lacquer to maintain the finish, which I have yet to do.

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