Sunday Supplement #4

Sunday Supplement is an occasional round up of the virtual and real here at VP Gardens. I'd like it to be a weekly event just like the best bits and reviews you get in the Sunday papers, but I'm not promising ;)

Web Watch

Kate Bradbury in her Gardeners' World blog this week reported on the study carried out by Gardening Which? recently on the effectiveness of commercially available wildlife shelters such as bee boxes and those used by hedgehogs for winter hibernation. Their study and Kate's own experience revealed many of these aren't actually used by the wildlife they're designed to help.

Nick Mann from Habitat Aid said pretty much the same thing to me earlier this year when I met him. He believes getting the habitat right e.g. providing a meadow rich with the flowers and plants attractive for bees is a much better option. From what Kate and some of her commenters say, perhaps combining a shelter with a 'messy area' comprising grasses, log piles, piled up leaves etc. might be another option to consider if we don't have the space for a full-on meadow?

Trending Topic

Stick around on the blogosphere for a while and it's almost inevitable your posts and/or photographs will get scraped to provide content for a 'blog' designed purely to provide advertising revenue or worse. However, that's relatively small beer compared to the Cooks Source story which exploded onto the internet this week.

What makes it different is not only the editor's alleged response when Monica Gaudio asked for redress for her article being lifted, but also the resultant viral reaction across the internet which spawned spoof Twitter and Facebook accounts in addition to the many howls of protest. The internet community's work has uncovered content was extensively lifted from relatively minor bloggers through to some of America's big names such as Martha Stewart and Disney.

I expect the fallout from this story will be felt for many weeks if not months to come as at last it looks like this kind of copyright infringement will be tested in court. It would be great if it also results in improved help being made available to any blogger who experiences content scraping or other forms of plagiarism.

Update 7/11 @10.45: Oh the irony. I've just been checking my web stats only to find my content is appearing here on this Italian news aggregator site which is simply re-publishing my RSS feed. It's even more ironic because if I'd submitted my blog to them to feature, they'd reject it as I break their first rule of acceptance. NB Liquida - this is a personal blog, not a news/topic one. This issue needs a bit more thinking about and a follow-up post.

Link Love

There's been an interesting debate over at My Tiny Plot this week concerning Heritage vs. modern F1 varieties. It follows her report of a trial conducted by Gardening Which? where the results were quite variable. The arrival of Gill's baby's also imminent, so I wish her well when she finally makes the dash to Chippenham Maternity Unit!

Blog Action

I seem to be taking part in NaBloPoMo after all (post every day during November - something I've done for the past 2 years). Last month the sheer thought made me feel tired. I hope I can keep the momentum up!

Comment of the Week: is from Mark who had a confession to make about the photo he sent for my Unusual Front Gardens strand: I also nearly crashed the car taking this photo - the things I do for Veg Plotting! Well Mark, I nearly did the same thing gawping at the autumn colour last Sunday, so that makes two of us!

Keyword Search of Note: is Ornate Drain Covers which somewhat confusedly sent the searcher to my post about becoming a film producer. I haven't posted about drain covers at all yet, so perhaps I should do so as soon as possible?

Back to Reality:

There's lots of autumn leaves to sweep up in the back garden thanks to all the trees on the public land which drape themselves over our fence. I need to empty the leaf mould bin first before I can cram in this year's contribution. Our next door neighbour's been very kind and swept our front drive in addition to his and the entire access road to our little group of 5 houses, so thankfully the front garden's been taken care of already :)

Time Out

This week saw me start a beginner's pilates class, from which I seem to have recovered quite well, so onwards and upwards to next Thursday's lesson :o

Today is Remembrance Sunday, so you won't be hearing a peep from me for 2 minutes at 11am. Oops, this is carried over until next Sunday. Thanks to Steve for commenting that I'm a week ahead of myself.

The picture is of an information board (click to enlarge if needed) I found not far from our holiday cottage in September about Shropshire's emblem plant, the carnivorous round leaved sundew.

This time last year I was looking at some unusual topiary; 2 years ago NAH had been given some honey; and in 2007 I was making deductions about a certain comet.


  1. Umm..Remembrance Sunday is next week VP.


  2. Eek! You're right SteveC - thanks for pointing out my error :)

  3. what i find most irritating about Cooks' scraping is the rudeness--i don't see the relevance of 'everyone is doing it' when what they're doing is stealing anothers' words. a pity about hedgehogs not preferring man-made homes, but it does seem less effort & much wiser to maintain the habitat, letting the creatures make thier own homes. hedgehogs still seem to be an 'it' pet stateside.

  4. Good luck with pilates - maybe it will give you the stamina required for NaBloPoMo?! Interesting about the wildlife habitat - thanks for the pointer to the article, I'd missed it. I've got a log pile, (and lots of messy areas!) but have been feeling bad about not having got around to creating an insect habitat by drilling lots of holes in pieces of wood, and was tempted to buy one. Think I will stick to growing nectar-rich flowers and enjoying the pond life.

  5. I'm enjoying your Sunday roundups a lot!

  6. This was fun--I don't get out to many blogs when I'm buried in work-reading, so these roundup type posts are terrific. The Cooks' Source fiasco has been hilarious to watch...but I'm sorry you're being scraped by some nefarious site. They're everywhere...

  7. Petoskystone - yes the rudeness was breathtaking wasn't it? I find it unbelievable that someone would say those things even in an email.

    Plantaliscious - I think the best wildlife habitat I ever 'made' was forgetting to shred a bundle of sticks!

    Lu - thanks

    Jodi - I've seen your tweets on the subject. I suspect most of us who experienced content theft are cheering that for once someone has been caught out publicly rather than the long round of sorting out we have to do on our own.

  8. I love the round-up post too. I never heard of Blog Posting Month before. I do post 6 days a week, but on the 7th day I rest. Nefarious sites are everywhere and we need to be vigilant and let it go unchallenged.

  9. As usual I am always behind reading the Sundays. Some most interesting snippets of news here VP. I think that himself may be getting a reprieve from building me that insect hotel at the lottie - he will be pleased :)

  10. Commonweeder - thanks and congratulations on your TV debut :)

    Anna - only too glad to help!


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