Sunday, 30 June 2013

Garden: the beginning and a temporary hiccup

I moved to this house in March 1996 and it was the first time I had a garden where I could see what was going on from the lounge; a lounge with a conservatory on too.
It also meant it was the first time I could feed and watch the birds properly.

© Gibby Frogett

The garden is small, about 30ft x 30ft, and was pretty empty except for the back privet hedge, with the right side a wall of Leylandii trees and on the left Buddleia, Weigela and Lilac trees.
We backed on to the side of a very long garden, probably 180-200ft which was full of old gnarled fruit trees, lots of shrubs and was like a mini forest. There was a lot of squirrel, bird and hedgehog activity because of this.
In the early years we had masses of butterflies each summer on the Buddleia but gradually over time this has dwindled to virtually nothing. The way the Buddleia were growing and the condition they were in meant all of them had to be removed, but were replaced by Hebes; another Butterfly loving shrub.
Since 1996 the garden has been changed about and re-designed several times, but always trying to encourage wildlife to visit.

© Gibby Frogett

© Gibby Frogett
One day something very sad happened. The large garden over the back had all its trees cut down and completely cleared ( bit of a story) but now although tree-less it is overgrown with weeds and wildflowers (for now at least. 
Our little wildlife world completely changed virtually overnight.
Gone were all the apple trees that the birds sat in and squirrels played in and this meant numbers of birds visiting suddenly dropped.
As time went on an elder has replaced one corner for the birds to sit in again.
© Gibby Frogett
This year due to some of our conifers dying and the back hedge (not ours) insecure and bare in places, meant we had to remove some trees and put a fence up on our side. It's like which we have gone back to the beginning almost, but hopefully this is just a temporary hiccup
until things start growing again.
When the hedge was trimmed back to the boundary we noted the places where the hedgehogs would come in to the garden so we could make some little tunnels for them.
© Gibby Frogett
© Gibby Frogett
© Gibby Frogett
The start of some tunnels for the hedgehogs to be able to get in still - and they can, as I saw them on the first night these were dug.
Next job is to to make the garden wildlife friendly again and a fair amount of re-planting.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Turnip sawflies and Bird egg identification query

Yesterday afternoon I was stalking Turnip sawflies, attempting to get a half decent photo but every time the sun went in, and that was often, they disappeared. Got one eventually.

Turnip Sawfly © Gibby Frogett
 I had never seen a Turnip sawfly until about 2-3 years ago when there was a bit of plague of them in garden and they have appeared every summer since.

Polygnum © Gibby Frogett
 In bloom in the garden today is the lovely Polygnum, I love the varied shades of colour on this.
Quite easy to grow and the hedgehogs seem to love rooting about this.

© Gibby Frogett

Found this eggshell and you can sort of see the size of it from the walnut shells nearby.
Thought it probably was a Collared Dove or Wood pigeon but not certain.

© Gibby Frogett

Any ideas what this egg is ? © Gibby Frogett

Looks like the top of egg is inside, does it look like something hatched or were the contents eaten... what do you think?

Monday, 24 June 2013

New blog

Well I never thought I'd have a blog let alone three of them. This one is going to be about tales of feathered garden friends I have known and about hedgehogs, garden life and maybe some poetry and recipes, gibberish jottings about this'n'that...and perhaps the odd craft project ...who the journey begins........

For a while this will be a bit of a work in progress while I am sorting out old diaries where I have kept notes of my encounters with various birds and hedgehogs and also to log new information too.

I warn you now dear reader that I give my birds names - some daft - but easier to identify them in records I've kept. And spending time with some birds and getting to know their personalities; they become like little people and deserve to have a name.

Harold and Madge
Coming soon....the story of Harold and Madge's life in my garden will cover a period of two and a half amazing years with them.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will visit again soon x