So has there been any progress within the size challenged Wildlife Garden of mine I hear you ask with baited breath? Well just a tad, with some more plants added, more plants bursting forth, a small increase in the amount of visiting fauna and some construction work going on. Firstly then the construction work. If you, by some strange miracle read my previous post you would be aware of the pile of
.... well I told you that clearing out my workshop will enable myself to start some projects off and I've now started to divide what will the hard standing area for the terrible twosome to come and go without me worrying about them taking a swim or chewing plants from the garden, oh and it'll also be where 'big' projects can be done. So this is what it looked like t'other day....
|Not exactly a defined boundary for the TT's yet|
.... and this be what it looks like today....
So part of that pile of debris has been cut down and sized enabling me to make a start on the garden divider and the only cost to me was of some decent wood preservative and two post holders. Still a work in progress but when finished there will be trellis right to the back end of the shed making the garden far more private. It certainly will not be left as bare trellis either as I would like it covered with plants. With this in mind there was already a purple leaved grape vine clamped to the corner of the small 'sun room' that, to be honest I thought had passed away, but it looks as if there may well be some life in it yet. Taking it off the corner revealed the probable cause for its ailments as it was held on by pipe clips which were restricting growth. I have laid the main part of the vine which can just be seen as the lifeless looking branch at the bottom left of the trellis. Also I have once again had some 'plants for pennies' from the local 'un-super market' which included a Wisteria and Clematis Montana which together with the vine, all being well, will spread rapidly along the trellis over the next few years giving cover for an assortment of fauna. Nearer the shed I am thinking of planting a third 'plant for pennies', a Honeysuckle, to add to the variety of flora upon the trellis. Hopefully in years to come the blooms of this will provide a rich food source for Bees etc. though in truth my main reason for acquiring the Honeysuckle was for the gorgeous fragrance it gives off, especially of an evening.
As for other new plants? Well as I am always repeating this 'Wildlife Garden' of mine is one of many compromises as it has to perform several tasks and please not just myself but my partner G. If I was to just have a garden for wildlife then my task would be simple...I would level the whole plot removing any rich top soil, into this I would dig a large-ish pond fed off the house gutter and then I would simply sit back and let nature take her course over the years. After all nature did not require our help before we landed and she certainly does not need it now. But unfortunately this is not 'practical' gardening for many humans as we all require different results from our 'outdoor rooms', so hopefully my approach in such a small space will show how gardening with wildlife in mind can be achieved to a point and encourage others to take small steps into turning our gardens, or at least part of them, into mini nature reserves.
So back to the garden, again from my last post I referred to Bug Woman's blog and was inspired to order some seeds online. The seeds in question were Red Dead-nettle & White Dead-nettle, also ordered was some Sweet Violet/ White Viola seeds (seen on the post's walk) all of which have arrived safely and been sown within the last couple of days. A visit and garden raid to the aged parents yielded this little box of goodies....
.... Amongst the plants 'acquired' were these ....
|One of several 'old fashioned' Primula, this being my all time favorite|
|Bergenia or Elephant's Ear|
|I'm not sure but I think it's a form of Dead-nettle?|
|Inspired by the last walk, Lesser Celandine|
|Michaelmas Daisy (Aster), good source of Autumn nector|
I already have the majority of these plants in small amounts but the extra are always welcome. Leaving the aged parents we called in for a coffee and walk around a local garden centre where thru gritted teeth my wallet was prised open and some more plants and seeds were purchased....
|Erysimum, Perennial Wallflower|
|Polemonium, Jacob's Ladder|
|Tagetes Patula, French Marigold|
|Selection of 'Bee Friendly' seeds|
So compromise dictates a mixture of planting although I always try to lean towards insect encouraging plants. Oh one plant from Mother's that I forgot to mention is a Rose that she reckons must be around a hundred years old as it's been passed down the family. I have no idea of its name as I've always known it as 'Grandad's Rose', it's old fashioned, beautifully pink and has the most wonderful scent imaginable. I've badgered Mother countless times for it and unbeknown she has grown for me one from a cutting of the original, which I have now just planted along with three other scented Roses of various types.
I've also added a couple more plants from the edge of people's gardens where plants have self seeded into what I like to call 'the free plant domain' ( see pirate)...
Plants in the garden now seem to be coming thru thick and fast with two of my favorites showing signs of life....
|Solomon's Seal just pushing up through the Crocus'|
|Water Hawthorn's first leaf of the year in the small pond|
I've noticed that visits from Bees are becoming less rare, Butterfly sightings are rare still but a Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterfly have briefly flitted into the garden and a large Hoverfly seems to be a permanent resident around the Acer bush. Not enough nectar rich plants yet in flower but we're getting there. Oh and finally two Beetles to add to the list of species in the garden....
|Poplar Leaf Beetle|