Start a wildflower meadow

Continuing my RSPB home for nature plan I have set aside an area in the front garden for a wildflower meadow. Wildflowers creates a feast for bees, butterflies and other insects. From that it gives the birds another supply of food. There also very attractive looking.

RSPB link

The patch chosen is a little strip alongside the front path. It had nothing growing of any major use. A couple of dandelions, but no great variety for attracting insect life.

I started by turning over the soil and taking out the couple of dandelions.

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I broke up the soil to make it finer. Wildflower mix will generally find a way to grow, but might as well make it easier to take.

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I added a thin layer of compost from the heap to give the soil a layer of fresh nutrients. The soil in my garden is mainly clay, so the compost will hopefully help the flowers a little further.

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Then scattered a box of wildflower mix, a bag of seeds from the friends of the earth bee pack then a few poppy seeds and other seed packs.

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Lastly walked over to step it in and watered.

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I was concerned that it was too late in the year but watching a gardeners world episode it encouraged setting up an area pretty much any time except late Autumn and early Winter, so we’ll see what happens.

Currently we have not moved into the house so took across one bird feeder from the current house to see what comes in. So far just pigeons, but at this point of the year most birds will find their own food while insects are plentiful. We are by the sea, so slightly concerned that the seagulls will scare away some of my favourite garden birds, but will have to wait and see.

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I’ve potted some lavender. I like lavender as an insect attracting flower and cat repentant (don’t want the birds eaten), but it does badly in clay soil, so I’ll see if it can manage in pots.

I’ve added a insect home and butterfly home ticking off another home for nature activity.

Build a bee B&B

The garden is currently pretty wild, which I’m in favour of, but mainly just for slugs and snails. So I’ve worked on clearing the dandelion forest to claim a flower bed back. A good afternoons work digging and turning over.

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I’ve got some ivy ready to continue adding to the  on the fence. Very important for many moth species, spiders and giving some further cover.

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And a butterfly enjoying the garden.

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Highways and byways

I made a start on my RSPB nature plan yesterday. Currently I’m decorating the new house before moving in. Over the day I took a couple of breaks from painting to do a few gardening jobs.

I took the saw to the back gate to make a gap for hedgehogs and frogs as part of the highways and byways activity. This will give smaller animals a chance to get in and out of the garden past an otherwise impenetrable fence for many animals.The garden is currently pretty wild with overgrown grass and weeds filling the borders, so no issue with ground cover currently. We got some ivy giving cover along the back fence. Next year I think I’ll try and get some climbers maybe honeysuckle along the side fences.

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A hole for hedgehogs.

While I’m decorating I put up a few quick coconut bird feeders and a jar feeder before I move house properly and bring the bird feeders across. The new house is by the sea, so seen lots of gulls, but few garden birds so far. A few pigeons, but nothing else, so be interested to see if I get much else coming in.

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And a bird house above the compost heap where it’s got a bit of cover from a bush.

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Not much, but it’s a start.

Home for nature

As I prepare for moving house I want to plan the new garden for being as wildlife friendly as possible. My current garden has improved over the three years I’ve been in, but this time want to get more going from the off.

The RSPB have a set up to make your own personal plan for nature

You put in details of time, garden type and who will be doing it and it gives activities to suit.

My plan:

Open a hedgehog cafe

Make a butterfly banquet

Open a bird cafe

Create highways and byways for nature

Sow a poppy patch

Build a bug hotel

I reckon these are all quite achievable. The poppy patch won’t be until next year, but I can clear a space for that ready. The garden is already quite nicely set with a number of good bee and butterfly attracting bushes, a compost heap, so I can build on that. I’d like to get some trellis up for some ivy for helping the highways and biways and give a bit more cover on the fence. Going to have a reread of the wildlife garden.

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My talented nephews

In a break from my climate change petition efforts I’d like to share some nature efforts from my nephews. This morning they’ve been having a go at watercolours at my dads.

Jacob did a super shark and Joe an excellent effort at a fox.

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Then Jacob and Joe had a go with my camera at capturing some snaps of my parents garden.

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Some excellent photos by Jacob of bees in passion flowers.

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Joe took a good one of my dad, his granddad.

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Jacobs photo of the most wild thing of all.

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One from me on my phone.

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And some by me of my baby Alice being fussed over my family.

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A new garden

Me and my partner, Amy, are set to move house. While we’re very happy in our current house it just isn’t going to be big enough as Alice gets bigger. Amy has a house in Hornsea, a small seaside town on the North East Coast. It has been rented for the last few years while she was living in Indonesia and then at mine. Her tenant has now moved out and we are set to move next month. We went to check out the house today. I’m excited to get to work on the garden. The flower beds are a bit heavy on the dandelions. It needs a bit of love and attention to encourage a greater variety of wildlife than the mass number of slugs and snails currently.

It already has some lovely flowering bushes. A good collection of roses and a small apple tree.

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The roses are looking good.

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With a bit of love and attention maybe get enough apples for a crumble.

The back is a bit bare currently. We need a rail around the decking for when Alice is walking. A few pot plants will add some colour and get some wildlife closer to the house. I reckon one of the bird feeders can go up this end close to the house so I can see through the windows in the kitchen.

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There are two bays for vegetables at the side of the house, but there pretty shaded. Considering a mud kitchen for Alice.

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Various flowers.

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The shed has been overtaken by a rose currently. Unfortunately we need to replace the shed at some point so it will need cutting back but currently it is festooned with pollen beetles (identified thanks to the 30 days of wild facebook group)

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Being a wet grey day the snails were out in force.

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I’m looking forward to getting to work. We’ve got a good compost heap at the bottom which looks like it has some compost ready at the bottom for me to use. I’d like some trellis to put some more wildlife cover along the edge. The trees need a bit of care to encourage some upward growth. I’d like a small water area somewhere. I don’t want to go for the full pond while Alice is little, but can at least have a small water feature somewhere. I’m hopeful for a greater diversity of birds than my current garden gets. There is a nice passageway behind of hedges, so there is the possibility of hedgehogs or foxes. Within Hornsea there is a mere where bats sly, so may look at getting  a bat box up. A whole new world of wildlife possibilities.