Six on a Saturday: 24.11.18

Well, the weather has certainly taken a turn for the worse this week. I have few leaves left on the trees. I now need to start keeping an eye on the pots blowing over each night. We do have a date for the work starting on the house having the render redone. After that, the patio is going to be repaved. So next weekend I will be clearing everything off the patio. So you may start seeing photos with random pots placed in the border.

1. Bird feeder poles

My bird feeder was looking a bit tatty and these poles were on offer. I’ve been concerned about the birds coming in at the same time as next doors cat. The previous stand the cat could get up. These have a bit more height, which I’m finding is quite nice as I can see the birds on the feeder from the house better.

I have catcher trays under the feeders to cut down the mess on the ground and it allows a few different birds to hang onto the feeder that couldn’t otherwise.

As soon as I came in the starlings swarmed over the feeder.

A bit blurry as it didn’t stay when it saw me taking photos, but nice to see the goldfinches in.

The little robin from last week is still coming in to keep a close eye on me at work.

The ground feeder ends up a bit of a mess but brings in the blackbirds.

2. Hedgehog house

I have two wire dome hedgehog houses, but on one some of the wire had come unravelled. A while back a bird got stuck on it. I’ve since been dubious of that type and been keeping my eye out for a wooden one. This one is only small.  I would like a bigger one with a feeding chamber, so keeping my eye out still. I’ve previously made a home made one but this has been broken.

3. Unknown evergreen shrub

I don’t know what this shrub is. It doesn’t offer much excitement generally. It has small, dark, evergreen leaves. The yellow rose grows straight up through it. They are currently towering over the bush. It adds a bit of structure though and acts as a barrier to stop Alice falling off the raised patio.

However, I noticed last Sunday we have a few small delicate white flowers blooming.

4. Conifers

These three conifers came with the garden. They are about a metre high. They’ve been planted too closely together. If I take two out and leave one I’ll be left with dead growth where there squashed together. They aren’t really adding much to the border. They don’t fit with any of the rest of the planting. Instinct is to take them out next year. What do you all think? Stay or go?

5. Borage

The borage is flowering again. Great news for the remaining bees.

6. Windfalls

I’ve had a few apples fall from the tree that I left on the ground. The blackbirds love them and can see something has been enjoying them. If you have fruit trees it is good to leave a few for wildlife. Brings in the birds who will then remove other unwanted pests from your garden.

After saying my bulb planting was done I picked up some cheap mini iris. So got these to get in. Going for a few in pots and a few in the border. I’ve got my little helper to get out with me. She’s been keen to help clear leaves. I’m not sure she’ll enjoy the colder weather though.  Enjoy your weekend!

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25 thoughts on “Six on a Saturday: 24.11.18”

  1. It’s so lovely to see the birds in the garden. I no longer have cats of my own so can encourage birds in.
    I’d say get rid of the conifers, far more decorative plants could go there. Is your mystery shrub Choisya ternate, Mexican Orange Blossom?

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  2. I agree… Mexican orange blossom!
    I’m happy to see that wildlife is all around your home, but you contribute to it and that’s a good point. Alice would be happy to see a hedgehog in the little wooden house built. Fingers crossed it will succeed

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  3. I ‘d love some hedgehogs to make their home here, but haven’t seen one in decades! And I have lived in a fair few places during that time! Alice looks chuffed to pieces to be helping – kids don’t seem to feel the cold so much so wrap her up warm and I’m sure she’ll continue to enjoy being outdoors for a couple of hours with you.

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  4. Hi! It’s strange how bulbs leap off the shelves into your trolley isn’t it 😀. Your unknown shrub is a choysia I had one in a sheltered spot in my last garden and it flowered all year round. Never quite got used to it’s smell when pruning it 😷

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  5. Various seed suppliers also have bug & animal houses – I think definitely (is that an oxymoron I just created – think definitely?) Suttons has a range, but other catalogues that’ve come through my slot have them listed as gardener’s gifts. Not sure the going rate for hedgehog property, so can’t advise. I absolutely love the smell of Mexican orange – just touch the leaves & fingers to nose, I’m happy. That particular conifer self seeded all over the place (well, probably bird seeded) in one of my gardens & I had some about the size of yours in the middle of an island flowerbed. Because I rented, I wasn’t permitted to kill anything, so I ‘brushed’ the trunks & up the branches until they looked like menorah planted throughout the island. Odd looking as hell, & gave me a good laugh every time I looked at them, which I did often.

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    1. I gave the Mexican Orange a good prune this year as suffered badly last Winter. I quite like the smell, but a lot don’t.
      Not in a rush to get another hedgehog house as probably wouldn’t get used now until next
      Year. May look for one cheap out of season.

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  6. The seed catcher trays are a great idea. The goldfinches waste quite a lot of the sunflower hearts in our garden and even the wood pigeons struggle to keep up (though a squirrel has discovered us so that might help). Did you make the catchers yourself? Great photographs of the birds – mine are rubbish!

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    1. I got the seed catchers from the original factory shop, cheap purveyors of random items. It isn’t quite big enough, but saves a bit of mess. As for photos, got a mid range telephoto lens. Not good enough for great distances, but perfect for the garden.

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  7. I have had very few birds over the last year, possibly due to our little 🐈!? However, the feeders are well out of his reach so if I persevere with feeding them, they might come back. Recently our helpful Sixers
    u identified my Mexican Orange Blossom. It does an excellent job of hiding my brown bin and doesn’t mind being pruned. I hope the work on your house isn’t too stressful – I am sure your Little Helper will enjoy it!

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    1. This is the thing, they aren’t really a backdrop to anything. They block the view from the house to a camelia that looks good in flower. Then a run of things too close together. I think I may remove these and the camellia as it isn’t really hardy enough and put in one solid plant suited to Northern Sea winds.

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  8. I’ll join the “remove the conifers” group, having removed the last of mine this year. Apart from the difficulty of removal once they get big, they can naturally start to die from the bottom and look tatty. Plus if you pull back the green layer you will often find it’s only about a couple of inches thick, if that, and what’s underneath is already dead. As the conifers get bigger, the dead underneath will expand and you could end up with a 6 foot high and 2 feet (+) wide lump of dead stuff wrapped in an inch or two of green.

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