Sunday, 21 December 2014

Merry Christmas , Happy Holidays from Diary Of A Wild Country Garden!

It is the Winter Solstice today 21st December 2014 and right now is the shortest day of the whole year. That is the shortest hours of daylight for the year. After today we very gradually gain a little more daylight every day and nature responds.


Where I live the worst of the weather is potentially still to come. I has been quite a mild start to winter really this year.  The garden is still and quiet to our eyes but is getting ready to steel itself through the winter and burst forth in Spring. 


Many of our creatures like the hedgehog are still in hibernation. Sometimes I think they have the right idea! They will have found a cosy spot in the gardens or maybe even in our garage for the winter.


If you do see a hedgehog outside in winter and it looks underweight or sick do contact your local hedgehog rescue or wildlife team for advice. You can read more here Caring For A Sick Or Injured Hedgehog 
Hedgehog, Mug
Hedgehog, Mug by mag26s
Browse Hedgehog Mugs online at Zazzle.com


 Others like the Robin are a regular feature in our garden now. He is so used to us he is not afraid though he does seem to miss our digging activities! Now our heavy clay earth is hard as a rock so no digging for us until it warms up a bit. 


Still our Robin hops up close whenever I am in the garden and I often watch him through the window as, mainly now at dusk, I see him looking for his dinner. His eyes are sharp and able to see at this time, when the competition is much less, as other birds retreat.


We have a big bag of wild bird seed and filling up feeders so the little birds so do not suffer  for when it gets very cold. I often wonder how any do survive a winter and they need all the help they can get.



Our bird bath is regularly refilled. The birds of all sizes still visit often to drink and to bathe so its important to keep it clean and fresh. I still think its vital to provide water as well as food all throughout the winter.


Amazingly and probably due to our very warm autumn and mild start to winter our snapdragons are still out blooming! Admittedly there is only one left now and it is looking a little sorry for itself but it is still there shining yellow. 


So my thoughts now turn to the next year of gardening with wildlife in mind and it wont be long before I am looking at those seed catalogs and dreaming of a beautiful Spring and Summer in the garden. Like most gardeners I try each year to improve upon the last and make the garden a better place for us and our wildlife.  


So I will soon be taking a little time off for a few days. Then as it will be very quiet in the garden in January that is when  I intend to reflect back on the year and share some highlights with you for inspiration and to cheer us up in the deep winter. 


For now I wish you a Very Happy Christmas if you celebrate it and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year for all and of course Happy Gardening !! :) 


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Friday, 19 December 2014

Do You Love Winter?

While it has to be said that Winter is not my favourite time of year there is a special magic about it that I find I love...


The flowers are largely gone and many of the trees have lost their leaves and it can all look a little bleak.


However, if you look closer you start to notice the tree bark on its trunk and branches. Usually we do not notice it so much, the leaves and blossoms take centre stage most of the year and the bark plays only a supporting role. 


However, now if we take the time to look, we see the beautiful intricate contours on its trunk, the different colours and the often lacey pattern the bare branches make against a clear winter sky.


The winter berries shine out red and glistening in a winter frost, providing a beautiful and powerful splash of colour just when we most need it most. 


Of course the holly berries are wonderful and the cotoneaster, if they have not all already been eaten by the birds! 



In some trees such as the Magnolia you can, just look closely again, see the buds forming all ready to burst forth in Spring. they are all there ready, just protected for now and waiting for the right time.  


It can be a great time for birdwatching. Feed the birds, give them fresh clean water and watch them frequent your garden. Hours of enjoyment from the comfort of your armchair!


If it does snow then, although it can be a pain to travel in,  it can also be very magical, beautiful and you get to see the prints of the animals and birds that frequent your garden. 


Yes I have to work harder to find things to really love about winter but it still gives me much to enjoy in nature and in my life.


I love bright sunny cold winter walks all wrapped up in gloves, hat and scarf and my red winter coat. 


Often country walks are quieter at this time and I love to see the birds and animals, take in the winter scenes and get some good fresh air.   


Of course part of what I do love about winter is coming back from those winter walks, getting all warm and cosy inside with a nice mug of hot chocolate, into my PJs in front of a roaring fire with comforting low lights and candles and just being cosy!

Winter Pajamas Mug
Winter Pajamas Mug by AmazingMart
Browse Funny Mugs online at Zazzle.com


On this page is a detailed look at why I Love Winter 



Do you love winter, do you like getting out and about, can you find some things to enjoy about it? 


Or do you prefer like some of our garden friends to hibernate until its all over ! 


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Monday, 15 December 2014

What do You Do With Autumn Fallen Leaves?.

We have several trees that shed their leaves in late Autumn. 


We get a beautiful carpet of glorious golds, bronzes, reds and bronze on the grass and gravel. Its gorgeous....


It is so lovely it is tempting to leave it there but for some at least we have a good use for it. 


We used to just rake them all up and put in the bin for the council to take away. However, we have since discovered a few better uses in our own garden to help us and the wildlife. 
 



We take some of the leaves and use them to cover our little wild mammal shelter. It is really just a collection of logs and sticks left over from prunings in a corner of the garden but I like to think it gives some shelter from the wind and cold and rain for the little mammals and the hedgehogs if we are lucky. So the leaves go on top for some added warmth. We add a few more sticks on top of that to keep them somewhat in place.



OK some of the leaves we put in the borders. There they provide a little shelter for tiny creatures in the winter. Of course usually blackbirds come along and as is their way ruck up the leaves to find dinner beneath so the leaves benefit them too.


We also leave piles of leaves in corners so that if any creature wishes to use them as bedding or a warm place they have some available.  



Finally to us. We scoop up all the remaining leaves and bag them up in strong garden bags and seal securely. Then pick a few holes in the sides and bottom of the bag for air circulation. If the leaves are dry we add water just with the hosepipe or watering can before sealing up. 


Then we put them somewhere out of the way and simply leave them. The idea is that the leaves will rot down and by next year will be lovely useable leaf mould. 


This saves us money and puts the leaves to good use all over the garden, some for the wildlife and some for us. Not at all bad for an hours work and a totally free resource given very year by nature.


In addition if you have children or grandchildren it is is wonderful to collect the autumn leaves and use them to teach kids about the different leaf shapes and colours and types of trees. 


As a child I used to run in the leaves then collect them to press and learn about trees. It was so much fun!  



If you love the colours of autumn you may enjoy these items below.


What do you do with your garden leaves? If you have any other uses do let us know


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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Snails In The Garden

I was looking through my photos today of the garden over summer and autumn and came across this one of a snail. Its not really cute and certainly not cuddly but it is fascinating and a part of the garden and it does live there....quite happily.


Now snails are not generally on a gardeners top most wanted visitors list ! However as a life form and a part of nature I respect them.


Yes I do have some choice words for them when they eat all my marigolds as they did this year and when they and their slug friends eat holes in my plants leaves, but they are a part of the gardens rich tapestry.  I accept it.

I also do feel that some of their shells are quite pretty and when they pop their heads out they can really be quite cute :)


Also somewhat morbidly I know, if there are snails in my garden it is helping the survival of the Thrush bird who eats snails and the hedgehog who is partial to a snail in the diet, both creatures who are not doing so well in nature at present. You can read more here about How To Help Hedgehogs In The Garden


Many a morning I have woken to the sound of snail being bashed against rock by a thrush.  I have stepped out onto our patio and our stone steps to find a litter of empty snail shells.


This is a little sad, but also is the way of the natural world. Many, many more snails do go on to survive and thrive pretty well in my garden ! They love to live behind my pots and in the deep foliage of the big leaved plants like the Elephants ears. We even found a whole colony under some boards that hubby forgot to move for a couple of weeks propped up by the fence!  Some were huge snails and so they do pretty well !



My friend who is a keen gardener of flowers is horrified that I leave the snails alone! He wants to stamp on them, use beer traps or any of the other methods of killing snails. I do nothing and let nature take its course. Yes I have lost flowers and vegetables but I am learning not to plant the flowers they love- unless its a decoy away from the veg!


I will not use slug and snail pellets. They are in my opinion unnecessary and dangerous for so many of our creatures.  We have to think about the food chain. When a slug or snail eats a pellet it dies, it is then eaten by a bird or small mammal who then they themselves may die or if they do not die quickly they can be eaten by say an owl who then ingests the creature and its pellet and gets sick or dies.

So in the end many pellets do not just kill the slugs and snails. Equally if there are no live healthy snails around, what will the hedgehogs and thrushes eat?

 For me, well, despite the odd grumble I think I would miss the snails and their slow, but sure antics in my garden  if they were gone....


Snail Mail Postcard by juliacollard
Design unique photo postcard at zazzle.com

Also you know there is something about a snail...the way they slowly but surely roam around carrying their house on their back. So slow and yet, somehow travelling so far and allowing no obstacle to stop them it seems.


Watching them scale huge heights in relation to their size and for my snails anyway not letting minor trifles like gravel, or sharp sand, or vaseline, or any of the other anti snail deterrents deter them for their main aim of eating my plants!!


You have you, don't you admire their tenacity!!


If you are someone who likes snails and I know a few people who really do, the ones below are actually rather cute ! The snail shell can be very pretty and especially when done in silvers and golds look lovely and a little bit unique and unusual.




So how do you feel about snails ?

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Our Curious Squirrel Visitor



Look at this little guy! He is adorable and he visited our garden.


 Its getting cold here now and I think this little one was looking to increase his store of food before the real winter sets in and thought our garden may have some hidden treasures no other squirrel had found. 


He is a grey squirrel, not native to UK but originally from America and certainly successful in colonising many areas and finding opportunities for food and shelter. 


Our native squirrel is a Red Squirrel, smaller and much more reddish in colour than a Grey Squirrel,  but we do not see those  anymore here, the nearest to us are in Northumberland and Scotland.

Cute Squirrel Mug
We don't very often get squirrels in our garden, they seem to prefer the woodland nearby and the cemetry where there are huge mature trees with a good supply of nuts. This one however decided to try his luck. 



 

Order custom mugs on zazzle.


We do not encourage squirrels, mainly because there are a number of houses here and if a squirrel took up residence in a loft space and started chewing through any electrical wiring there could be disaster for many homes! So if they visit, they do, but we do not feed them deliberately.  Still it is lovely to see them visit occasionally.



Well this guy or gal (I am not sure) took a good look around. He was not very afraid of me and seemed very curious, foraging for a while near me then looking directly at me as I stood really still. He seemed to almost  "pose" for a few photos before he dashed off at great speed again flicking his tail and scampering away to the big trees...


Cute Squirrel Keychain 

It was a lovely half hour he stayed and I was freezing cold, not having anticipated being out that long with my camera, but it was all good and I am thawing out now :) 


Cute Squirrel Keychain by RaintreeDesigns
Look at Zazzle Keychains





I even made a few gifts with squirrels photos which I hope you enjoy. 

I have a feeling this little guy may be featuring on more designs if people like him :)

    
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Hummingbirds And Flowers Pillow

Painterly Hummingbirds And Flower Pillow
Painterly Hummingbirds And Flower Pillow by JATPCREATIVEDESIGNS
See other Painterly hummingbirds and flower Pillows at zazzle
This time of year when its dark early, cold and often drizzley and cloudy I start to long for colour and flowers again!

 I came across this beautiful design for a cushion yesterday and I just kept looking at it and thought it was so beautiful and really uplifting.

 It did my heart good to see such lovely colours and flowers  and of course hummingbirds are so beautiful. 

So I wanted to share my find with you and hope that it brightens your day too.

I love the colours in this design and it reminds me of the summer garden with all its beauty. Our snapdragons are bravely hanging on in there with their yellow flowers but they too will soon be gone as we go into winter. 

The shortest day is only weeks away now and then we start to get a little bit more daylight each day after 21st December. 

However until then the days continue to draw in and hours of daylight diminish. So I start looking for flowers where I can find them! I think this is beautiful and it certainly helped to bring some light and colour into my day ! I hope you like it too.



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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Woodpigeons Eating Berries In Abundance !

Berries Abound In Abundance ! 

Berries abound on the Cotoneaster and in the hedgerow. I wonder as there are so many berries what the winter will be like.

 It is often said around here that if there are many berries that it will be a severe winter.

 I don't know about that. It is perhaps that we had such a good spring and summer and the trees and shrubs produced more berries.

 I guess only time will tell as we go through winter. 

The birds have started to notice the berries now and are eating a few already as they ripen.

Many birds visit for the berries. In particular large pigeons sit on our garage roof savouring the tasty berries. Often they will simply sit in the Cotoneaster eating berries within their reach! Our visiting Woodpigeons are looking quite plump now!

Of course birds are one of the main distributors of berries and it works well. The birds get their food and the berries get distributed far and wide and of those that land on favourable ground, some will grow. 

We know how well it works as in the Spring quite often I find new young plants growing up in places I certainly did not plant them.  Sometimes it is a very nice surprise and we get a brand new plant for free! 

Other plants start to close down for winter, they will not flower again until the spring or summer. They conserve their energy now. It is beginning to be the time of the berries.

A quietness is in the garden at the moment.

The birds sing but it is not the frantic activity of Spring. It is quieter, calmer they need all their energy for the cold , harsh time to come. 

They spend time looking for food and I see them resting in the hedgerow and eating what they find.

 Such is the time of Autumn...


Do you find the birds eating berries in your garden ?




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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Virginia Creeper Stunning In Autumn


Our Virginia creeper comes in to its own just now, in Autumn. It shines a stunning vibrant red. We value it as much as the Daffodils in Spring. 


Most of the year it is hardly noticed but now it shouts out and is beautiful. A plant swan song before it too loses its leaves completely here. 


I love its rich red shiny leaves at this time of year. The way it trails up and over structures and other sturdy plants and shows off its amazing colour.


On a bright sunny day the leaves seem to shine and I think they look very beautiful. Even dark, dull rainy days are brightened up by its glorious display shining out for us to see. The vibrant red giving us a a boost at a time many of us start to slow and slumber.  


Virginia creeper is quite an easy plant to grow. It likes sun or shade and is not fussy about soil type either, wet or dry it does not worry it, it can even grow in slightly alkaline soils. A lovely plant to have in the garden.


Obviously in a very dry spell it is advisable to water it and in its first year especially keep a close eye on it but it really is easy to look after. 



Being a vine it likes to creep and crawl and grow up structures or along the ground. The stems attach themselves onto surfaces with like small feet structures. It climbs by means of aerial roots. It can provide a lovely vertical feature in the garden.


 I would certainly not advise planting it too near guttering or  important structural features as it can become quite heavy and may break the guttering or structure. 

The trick is to plant in the right place and keep it under control before it gets to that point, which is quite easy with simple pruning.


Do watch for the little feet getting into and breaking away in between weak crevices.  To be on the safe side we do keep ours away from the house. We have not found it a problem anywhere.


Most of the year it has green leaves and flowers in summer with tiny green flowers. It is in Autumn that it reveals its true beauty with its vibrant reds and what a beauty!  So bear in mind when you are planting, it is not for spring or summer colour.


I have found that as long as it is in the right place, i.e. away from sensitive structures and happy, it needs little, if any care. I simply prune it back if it gets too big and remove any dead or dying shoots.



 It can grow over fifty feet so its a good idea to give it a bit of pruning each year just to keep control but it is not difficult and the plant is very forgiving in my experience. Early Spring is the best time to prune. 


The little fruits it produces after flowering can be toxic so bear that in mind if you have children. The fruits can be simply cut off if its an issue- but if you are happy to leave them the birds like them and is a welcome added food source for them. 




There are several types of Virginia Creeper, the links here are to plants available on Amazon. As we inherited our plant I do not know its specific type so may not be not exactly the same that I have in my garden.



Do You Like Virginia Creeper?


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Monday, 10 November 2014

Protective Parent Swans

OK so this is not in my garden, it is nowhere near big enough to have swans! However,  I really wanted to share this video with you.

 It shows a rescue of a baby swan that has got stuck in a fence. The video also highlights just how protective parent Swans are.

I do think this video demonstrates the very valuable work of the Wildlife Trust. 

Organisations like this and the hardworking people who conduct the rescues really help our wildlife, when they find themselves in trouble, wherever they may be.

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Do You Have a Bird Bath In Your Garden?

I wonder how many of us see a bird bath as an essential item in the garden? 

I know many of my neighbours do not have one yet and even though they feed the birds and some put up nest boxes and allow hedges to grow they do not see the need  for a bird bath.

However I feel that it is an essential item in any garden, be it a wild one or not. 

When we got ours a few years ago i had no idea how much it would be used! 

It took a few days but iti wasn't long before we had a lot of inquisitive visitors and took them no time at all to be drinking and bathing :)  We have ours on our patio close to the house but they do not seem to mind this at all and it gives us a close view of them.

It is essential for birds to be able to drink and to be able to bathe and preen their feathers, they very lives depend upon it. So a clean safe source of water is of vital importance to them.

All year round they use our bird bath. Just yesterday when I was talking to  friend on Facebook there were twenty birds all jostling for a space in the bath! I am seriously considering getting a second bird bath! 

In Spring it is in constant use from first light. There is much bathing and preening going on. In summer I think they find it a respite from the heat, as many seem to simply sit in the water for quite a long time. I am often replacing the water at this time of year to keep it clean and fresh.

In Autumn and Winter the baths are certainly shorter but they still visit -usually early morning and just before dusk.  
We have many different bird species visiting depending on the time of year, but the most regular ones are the sparrows who visit in small flocks and flutter about quite prettily in the water, while others seem to be keeping a look out. 

Then the blackbirds who especially the males seem to like to bathe alone and chase off any others! We have two doves who are resident to the area who come and so sweet they often bathe together... so romantic! 

Then we have the big wood pigeons who always come every day and so huge when they bathe they displace nearly all the water!   

Occasionally we have our migrant birds and more exotic visitors who find our birdbath and partake for a drink and a bathe which is lovely to watch. 

So for very little effort and time and only the cost of a birdbath we can really help these birds with a safe, clean source of water so vital to them. In return we get an amazing show and insight to their lives and it does attract more birds to your garden regardless of what else you do.

Birdbaths vary enormously in styles and prices so it really is what you want in your garden and how much or little you want to spend. There is a birdbath for pretty much any style of garden and almost any budget.  From Simple birdbaths to the stylish,  hanging birdbaths, glazed or solar and even heated. I have included a few here to give an idea and if you like any of them or if you wish to explore more you can simply click through any of the links to search for more. I especially love the heated ones and the solar ones.





 



A simple birdbath helps so many birds. Do you have one in your garden? 



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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Are We Too Tidy In Our Gardens?

I was thinking about this, are we too tidy in our gardens?

I love to see a beautiful neat and tidy garden, everything with a place and everything in its place. I have a friend whose garden is like this and I have to say it is very restful - for people.

You can walk across the lawn- not grass- a proper lawn, and even barefoot you would not sting yourself on a rogue nettle sapling, or hope to meet with a bee or wasp. 

Each flower is in its place and as soon as it fades the seed head is plucked off and replaced by another beautiful flower. My friend loves her garden and I love her garden...but the wildlife... they don't love it so much.... We discuss this and well the debate is ongoing.!

I also have to say my garden is, somewhat sadly, not like that! It is not by design it is just the sort of garden that does not lend itself to over tidiness, it would not look or feel right. It is intrinsically for the wildlife and it is theirs.  

We have left some of the leaves that fell when we did some pruning, they are lying on the ground near and under the shrub. Beetles and all manner of little insects have already moved in. When I turn a leaf there is a whole colony of critters there. 

Worms come up and pull down some of leaf litter while others munch across the top. In turn birds find a worm or other creature for lunch. We often see blackbirds kicking up the leaves to see what they can find underneath. Our resident Robin eagerly watches the ground for signs of breakfast. 

We have a small nettle patch- for the butterflies to lay their eggs. We avoid it as it is certainly not comfortable for people and we contain it best we can to that one area. For our small sacrifice we have lots of colourful butterflies!  

Our grass-not lawn- is scattered with an assortment of other plants -some call them weeds- yet the bees and wasps seem to appreciate them and the clover and daisies look so pretty when in flower. My husband does a valiant job of mowing every week, yet the native plants somehow always spring back.

 In spring and summer we do have to be careful for bees, who coast across the top looking for nectar. We hear their gentle humming noise and they sound content. 

We have a small log pile in one corner, mostly out of sight, a few leaves and sticks around it. It is wonderful shelter for bugs and woodlice and also for the hedgehogs who grace our garden sometimes. We think we are so lucky to see hedgehogs. Maybe its not every ones idea of a garden feature but they like it and so do we. 

It saddens me to see more paving going down instead of grass or plants  in some neighbours homes - the paving is for easy maintenance. One person told me recently they are laying artificial grass so no more mowing!

 If we continue like that where will the worms and bugs and bees and birds and hedgehogs live and feed? Thank goodness our immediate neighbours love birds and wildlife too so at least we have a small corridor for them to roam.

Yes we have our nice patio area and our beautiful pots of flowers and we keep things there and nearer the house very tidy. It is quite possible to have a wildlife friendly garden that also looks quite nice.

You may have to bear a little more untidiness than you would otherwise, especially in the Autumn/Fall but  in my opinion the rewards are tenfold. 

For me I do want a beautiful garden, certainly,  but never at the expense of the wild life who love our garden so much. 

If we don't make a place for nature, where will nature live? 


What is your view, are we too tidy in our gardens, do we need to accept wildlife more or is a neat pristine garden better? 


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Sunday, 19 October 2014

As The Leaves Fall...


So we have now in mid October reached Autumn or Fall. 

I cannot believe how fast this year has progressed. I do love the month of October  though as we lose the occasionally fierce heat of summer and cooler weather gently or not so gently sometimes takes over.  

We have had a beautiful warm and sunny summer and a fairly mild September and just now we feel the hint of autumns influence upon the garden.

I can look out now and see the once green trees turning into the reds and golds and bronze colours so typical of this time of year. I love these autumnal colours, they are the most wonderful, rich and interesting of the year and so beautiful. All the more so as we know they will not be here very long before winter takes a hold on the landscape. 

The winds are starting to grow stronger now and the trees bow majestically to their great force. The ones that are flexible and gracefully moving with the wind, the survivors in this. Sadly the rigid that brace against the wind, often succumb to its force at this time of year, snapping off the great branches. 

Big leaves start to fall to the ground making a colourful carpet of crunchy, rustling underfoot of a beautiful carpet of colour.

In the high winds some all bunch together and rise high in the air dancing a whirling quickstep, until they fall clustered together. 

The sound these leaves make is a wonderful orchestra of rustling magic.

 I never tire of walking through leaves.... 

From a very young child I would walk through the leaves with my parents, looking at the colours and feeling the stems and leave patterns, learning about nature. It was a special time I now treasure so much. 

Nights are drawing in now and there is no more gardening after dinner. Time to savour what we can during the daytime when I am here. 



Do you love the Autumn or Fall leaves?  


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Monday, 29 September 2014

I Saw A Mouse!

Where? Yes I did. But not on the stair as the little song goes, no in the garden. 

He or she was taking full advantage of  our bird feeder set in a secluded spot with nice ground cover in the form of bark mulch. 

This feeder was providing  a steady stream of food via the birds who messy eaters as they are dropped so much on the ground. 

He or she was a very cute looking mouse and was joined by another one as they got used to us. 

However, while I am OK with them in the garden I do not want mice in the house so we moved the feeders much further down the garden and are more careful about spilt bird seed grain now. 

Our neighbours are avid bird feeders as well so we warned them to just be careful with feeders very close to the house. 

The mouse is -we think- a wood mouse and they rarely like to come into homes but it is certainly not unheard of so its just being careful. They are usually nocturnal mainly so it was surprising to see them out in the daytime. He must have been very hungry.

They are very common in gardens and most gardens have far more many mice than we realise. Of course where you see one mouse there are usually soon many more ! 

Wood mice usually have about two or four litters per year and can have their offspring from March to Autumn. In winter they go into a semi hibernation or torpor state to save energy.They have many predators from cats to owls and foxes

Its natural habitat is hedgerow and woodland but gardens provide for all its needs. Thy can climb up to bird feeders but will happily take seed spilt. They can and do hoard  food they find. 



Do watch this short video it is very funny. I learned this song as a young child.  Its a song about about a mouse living in a windmill! You may even be singing along with the chorus before long  :) 


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Friday, 5 September 2014

Perfect Waterlilies

I wanted to shares some real beauty with you today. 


Not in my own garden today but visiting another,which I find important to do for inspiration and just the joy of appreciation. 

Yesterday we visited a beautiful garden near us. It has a large lake which at this time of year, just on the edge of summer going into autumn,  is filled with gorgeous water lilies.

 There are many types and colours and my all time favourite is this  one with its pristine while petals and vibrant yellow centre. 

We don't have a lake or even a pond in our garden so when I like to see water loving plants we come to this garden and it is wonderful.

The lake was so serene, just a gentle breeze on  warm day gently rippling the surface of the water with the hazy sunlight dancing sparkling across the waves. It was so relaxing and so lovely. An afternoon off to appreciate the beauty of a waterlily on the lake.... precious moments indeed. 

Do you like water lilies?


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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Garden Full Of Birdsong!

I was lucky enough to be working from home recently and looking out of the window on a coffee break I saw a beautiful sight! 


I had heard the birds singing as I worked but when I looked our garden was filled with birds of such a variety of types and sizes, they were so lovely. 

Read more about my happy experience here. It is always worth looking out of the window !  

A Garden Filled With Birds


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We Certainly Have Weather!

There is an old anonomous saying that goes something like this:-

"Wether the weather be fine,
Or wether the weather be not
Whether the weather be cold,
Or wether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather , whatever the weather,
Weather we like it or not !"

Yes its a bit of a tongue twister but so has our weather recently. So far this winter we have had no or little snow and it really hasn't been that cold. 

However in the north we had a tidal surge that flooded the city near us and we have had gales and it has rained, rained  and more rain of late. We are also having massive coastal erosion and losing especially in the east coast much of the land and many houses that were built on the coast line. It is devastating for people and some of the wildlife.

The last month has seen the south of England hit hard by gales, waves of over sixty foot high crashing into coastal areas and massive devastating flooding. The flooding has been in some areas like Somerset for over a month now and many peoples homes, farms, businesses and lives are ruined. Wildlife has its losers in this situation as well especially those who rely on freshwater rivers for survival and it is not good for anyone with standing polluted floodwater. The recovery , when it eventually stops raining and the rivers stop breaking their banks, will be long. 

So while I am not wishing to wish our lives away I do say now roll on Spring or at least some dry weather so the areas so badly affected in UK can take stock and recover an rebuild. My thoughts to all affected. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Glorious Winter Sky

I wanted to share this stunning winter sky with you. 

This amazing beauty appeared over the tops of houses near me one evening, what a glorious sight! 

It certainly is worth venturing outside now and again these cold evenings, wrap up warm and keep safe of course but just to see just what is going on out there. 

It is better than anything on TV ! 

Signs Of Life In The Depths Of Winter.

Even though we are in early January, walking around our garden today I can see signs of life. Winter is well and truly here and bare branches are everywhere on the trees but look closely, look for longer and you can see the promise...
 This year so far we have not had snow just fierce winds and storms and rain and tidal surges but no snow so its easier to see the tiny signs. 

The elephants ears are starting to bloom one is out in full pink bloom a welcome sight on a cold dull day. 

There are a few shoots peeping up from the bulbs I planted in the autumn. The Camillia is laden quite heavy with tightly closed buds I sense waiting for warmer weather and is doing very well despite being somewhat battered by the destructive winds we have had.

 Our large Magnolia from a distance looks in the depths of winter but upon closer inspection I can see the buds all there just waiting biding their time before they burst forth in gorgeous creamy white blossom.

Oh yes its cold and rainy and windy and still gets dark early but the hours of daylight are lengthening each day and each day we creep slowly closer to spring. There is much to celebrate in winter but now and again I need to know that nature is preparing for the better weather ahead and today I saw that. 

Stay warm, keep healthy and now and again take a look for signs of new life in your garden.