Wild about gardens

It is wild about gardens week. One of the key focusses this year is making gardens more bat friendly. One of the ways we can do this is making sure there are plenty of insect attracting flowers. As the bats main source of food this will help attract them to your garden and help their numbers.

Ways to help on the wildlife trust website.

I have made another contribution to the wildlife in my garden planting the free wild flower seeds I got from Kew’s flowers to the people. As I’m not sure I want all of the varieties across the garden I have planted them in a container, then can collect seeds of ones I want for next year.


I’ve also made a start on digging over what was previously designated as a vegetable patch. However it has become overgrown while the house was rented and is in need of clearing. It gets sun for part of the day and then shade as the day goes on, so I’m not going to remake it as a vegetable patch.

As it was:


I’ve dug out the weeds. And turned over the soil today.




I’m going to leave it a week to see if anything starts growing back, turn it again and then I’ve got some ox-eye daisies and poppies to plant into it. Amy requested daisies and I like poppies. I’ve got a number of insect attracting flowers doing well in the front garden, time to get more in the back.


Today Amy has gone out and I am home marking. While marking I have set up our tea in the slow cooker. We have had an abundance of apples from our fruit and veg box from the local grocers. So in the slow cooker today we have pork and apples cooking in pear cider. Hopefully be scrumptious.


I’ve also had a go at cooking apple chutney using the apples from our garden. It used up all the of our tiny apples. Next year hopefully cultivate them a bit better and give the tree a bit more love than it has had under renting tenants.

I used the recipe from farm on the hill’s blog. I used cider rather than vinegar.


So while I got on with my marking had this simmering away. It smells delicious, but have to wait a month or so to see if it.



Meet the parents

Yesterday mine and Amy’s parents met for the first time. We went up to Amy’s sides house up at Robin Hood’s Bay up on the North Yorkshire coast. The house is up on the cliff edge with spectacular views. Their garden is beautifully kept and still has a good number of flowers still blooming into Autumn. Our parents got on well happy discussing mutual loves of folk music and craft skills.







Amy in the garden.


After dinner we took a walk down to the sea front.


A view of the stream running down to the sea.


Robin Hood’s Bay forms the end (or start of Wainwright’s coast to coast meaning there are always a handful of walkers around.


Down at the bottom.




Our little family together.



For traversing the steep path of the bay I was trying out the mama and papa’s baby sling, which I have to say has been very good. It supports well across my back and I can put Alice in and out by myself which has been an improvement on other types we’ve tried and looked at. So far I’d just tried it round the flat areas of Hornsea, so it was good to try it over some more difficult ground.

Back at the house Grandad Foster and Alice and our dads talking in the garden.



We had a lovely day out, a good meal, a nice walk and our parents got on. I’m sure Alice will love visiting the bay as she gets older and can enjoy getting out and about in the waves and rock pools.


Today is a day for indulging in the traditional Zen activity of creating haiku’s. With Alice not sleeping well my daily acts of meditation help a little towards my alertness and calm. A quick little poem following the traditional haiku subject of the seasons.

Autumn leaves falling,

Drifting down to the wet ground,

Crunching under foot.


I have managed to get Alice down in her cot. A rare event during the day. We’ll see how long this lasts.


And on the subject of seasons the Wildlife Trusts anthology on Summer is on offer on kindle at the moment.

From the blurb:
Capturing the high point of the year’s progress, Summer presents prose and poetry spanning eight hundred years. Featuring new contributions by Simon Barnes, Michael McCarthy and Esther Woolfson, classic extracts from the work of Charles Dickens, Mary Webb and Philip Larkin, and diverse new nature writing from across the UK, this vibrant and evocative collection will inspire you to go out and enjoy the pleasures of summer.

Summer anthology-Mellisa Harrison (Ed.)




Walking around Hornsea today I was struck by the number of surfaces covered by ivy. As a seaside town with an elderly population there are many houses and gardens with ivy that have been allowed to dominate areas. I’m rather fond of ivy, but it has become a plant many avoid as it can take over a garden and then need regular maintenance. My partner won’t allow me to plant any in our own garden for that reason, but behind us is a jungle of ivy allowing moths, caterpillars, spiders to multiply.

However ivy has many benefits. It provides all year round habitats for many creatures. It is an excellent source of nectar late in the year for insects. Despite popular opinion it doesn’t necessarily kill trees or harm buildings. In some cases it can protect.



But apart from anything else around Hornsea it is providing a burst of green as the other leaves disappear.

In the closest park to our house it is providing some ground cover as well as adding to the habitats on the trees.


In the Hornsea memorial garden it is providing a breeding ground for ladybirds.



In Hall Garth park it is adding the coat to the trees, providing pollen for insects, providing a home for a multitude of spiders and as a result feeding many birds.





So all in all a very useful plant.

Oh roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.

Christina Rossetti


Flowers to the people

A while back I signed up for some free wild flower seeds courtesy of Kew Gardens through growwilduk.com 

They arrived today. Each set has been made up for the UK country of destination. Contents are on the back of the pack. I think I’m going to use these for container planting rather than in the bed. Should add a few treats for the pollinators. 

Polly’s path

For a while I’ve been interested in a little snicket named Polly’s path. It runs out of the carpark of Hornsea Freeport, a small retail centre of mainly outdoor clothes shops. Today my partner is sadly very ill. She’s had a temperature over night and little sleep. She’s too weak to look after Alice. So today I just went into work to get set up for supply and then came home. I took this opportunity to go out on a long walk with Alice to give Amy a rest.

We wandered down paths I’d not explored yet and eventually found our way to Freeport and Polly’s path. Polly’s path took us down a delightful little tree lined snicket. Along the way I found a few conkers for my Autumn tray in school.



At the end of the path I discovered a small cemetery, Edenfield cemetery. The cemetery has some wonderful flower displays and a nice aisle of trees planted in memory of former loved ones.





Among the graves a pair of robins hopped and grey squirrels bounded around.


Alice spent the time fighting going to sleep. She doesn’t like to miss anything.


A nice little find and cut through on our walk.

We returned back home via the mere.

Along the way we saw many wasps going mad for the ivy.


And the sheep passed the time of day with us.


The birds were out in force with several people feeding them.




Autumn is here, but Summer flowers hanging on.

Yesterday took Alice for a walk along the seafront past Hornsea Floral Hall. The hall has spectacular flower beds and there were a good number of Summer flowers hanging on in there.




Although a few have made the shift to Autumn. The dunnocks were still enjoying playing in the bushes.




Along the hedges were a few more harlequin invaders._dsc0296




And a spectacular web.


My wildflower meadow planted earlier in the year is starting to get going ready for flowering next year.



Further homes for nature

I have been trying to add further to my gardens homes for nature the last week with a log pile and trying to get the border filled to keep the weeds in check. Still plenty of empty space, but it is gradually getting filled. I’m aiming to get a greater seasonal spread across the garden. There are a lot of Summer flowering plants, but I think it will be a bit bare across over seasons. I’ve already got some daffodils in pots on the patio. I’ve gone for some blue bells and snow drops for some native Spring flowers. I’ve spread them under the shade of the tree down by the shed. Hopefully come Spring there will be a nice spread of blue and white.

I’ve built a small log pile in a bad area of weeds to hopefully suppress some of them and provide another good habitat for beetles and other creatures.


I’ve planted a couple of Christmas Rose (helleborus niger) to give the garden some Winter flowers. This lovely little plants have beautiful little white flowers that can last through December when little else will be showing.


A small patch of heather as I like having the colour through Autumn.


And a rose campion (Lychnis coronaria), which I’d grown in the last garden and loved the mass abundance of the little pink flowers in Summer. Hopefully it will do as well in the new garden.



I took a walk down to the mere today. Saw two swans standing apart from the throng of birds around the corner. Two proud to mingle. The mere is packed currently with a lot of birds possibly getting ready to migrate.


Earlier in the week Alice visited a friends house and showed a bit more interest in horses than our previous encounter.