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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