A Weekly Journal of an English Garden.
My garden is a little rough around the edges. The grass in the lawn grows longer than some would like and even goes to seed. Daisies jostle for position and star quality with Germander Speedwell (veronica chamaedrys ). Moss thrives in the shadows of the shrubs and trees. Lichen creates coloured puddles on the paving. Toadflax ekes a living in the stone wall boundary and blue tits nest in the holes between the blocks.
I could tidy up. Scarify the lawn, disinfect the paths, weed the walls and mow the grass to within an inch of the soil. I could turn my garden into a green desert.
But as it is, it’s a source of daily joy and happiness with the comings and goings of hoards of different wildlife. The hum of insects, the birdsong, bright colours, changing seasons all making a difference to every day.
This article will be a work in progress, adding the highlights of each week and shedding light on some of the interesting details.
February 5th — 11th
One of the best ways to bring nature back to your garden is to provide a food source. One of the easiest is food for birds. We buy a 12kG bag of wild bird food and that lasts all winter. This is supplemented by filled coconut shells (with beef suet and seeds) from the RSPB and a few meal worm pellets. These are supplied high off the ground to deter cats.
We had 2 visitors of particular note this week.
Firstly, The gorgeous, tiny, gregarious long-tailed tit.
This is my absolute favourite shot, taken this week.
This shot shows just how well named this tiny bird is, showing off it’s tail which is over half his 5.5 inch length. The bird’s small size means harsh winter weather kills off their insect food source and populations can be decimated. A little helping hand doesn’t go amiss and we are rewarded with their jolly antics as they gather in little groups.
A second species, whose insect food source is harder to find in the cold weather, making it more daring than usual is the Great Spotted Woodpecker.
We had visits from both a male and a female. It’s the first time we’ve seen them in our garden during the 3 years we have been here. We have heard their drumming in the nearby wood but had never seen them.
This is a female as she has no red mark at the nape of her neck.
The male shows off his flash of scarlet at the back of his head which is matched under his tail.
This week has seen visits by 14 species of bird
Blue tit, Coal tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Robin, Pheasant, Magpie, Jay, Crow, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock and Blackbird.
The only mammal we spotted was the squirrels, although evidence of night visitors was observed.
February 12th — 18th 2018