Friday, 18 September 2015

Wild Birds Visiting Our Garden


Birds Visiting Our Garden

I Love birds, feeding them, watching them and we have quite a few regulars to our garden. Our garden birds helped me so much when I had severe back and sciatic pain. When I could do nothing else and barely move out of my home, I could watch them out of the window and laugh at their antics and marvel at their beauty.

Here are some of our bird visitors. Please note that my priority is always not to disturb the birds so for this I do sometimes sacrifice photo quality.Please do not copy the photos without my permission. 

I have included some videos here not taken by us but which are very lovely too, I hope you like them.

Two Birds In A Bush!

Source: Authors own


They say that a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush - well give me two birds in a bush any day !

Our Garden And Our Birds

When we first moved into our home, the garden was not much to speak of. It was of a moderate size and just grass. It did have a mixed hedge at the bottom of the garden.

The previous owners had used pesticides and slug pellets etc to keep insects and pests away from their flowers in pots.

The garden seemed a bit too quiet for our liking so the first thing we did was to plant some nature friendly shrubs and get rid of any trace of pellets etc. We have never used pesticides but were aware that it could take years for a garden to recover from that useage.


We planted shrubs and flowers that would attract insects, butterflies etc and also piled up some logs to rot away so a good home for many bugs.

We planted dense growing shrubs that would eventually be great nesting places and shelter from cold winds and snow for the birds.

We started feeding the birds every Autumn and Winter and provided a birdbath for their use.

Eventually we were rewarded with more wildlife coming into our garden. That was a wonderful thing to have happen.


Beautiful Blackbird In The Garden

Source: Authors own

Bird Feeder-For Birds Only!

It is lovely to feed the birds,. However you may also unintentionally be feeding other wildlife as well! 

One of the animals who like to visit bird feeders are squirrels. While it is magic to watch their antics you may find the food disappears very fast. So you might for at least some of your bird feeders get one that is as squirrel proof as possible.

I would personally be surprised if any bird feeder deters squirrels completely but this one does a good job.


 

Feeding Birds On The Ground

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Some birds like Woodpigeons will find it difficult or impossible to feed out of feeders so I always put some seed on the ground they can take advantage of. We have two pairs of woodpigeons who visit our garden regularly now.


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."
Chinese Proverb



Birds Loving Fatballs!

Look at this cheeky one! It has a fat ball all to itself. I watched this bird chase off all the other birds so it could have its meal all by itself. A hungry one !

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Bird Tracks Loved finding these bird tracks one very cold snowy morning !I thought this was an amazing sight to greet me one frosty morning. I had no idea that the birds came so close to our house or that there were so very many tracks all over our garden.

Source: Authors own


Spring would not be spring without bird songs."Francis M. Chapman

Greenfinch Calling In The Spring

 

Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes."Abram L. Urban

Gorgeous Garden Visitor.


Nest Boxes.

If you love birds in your garden it is a good idea to put up a few nest boxes for them. You can buy many different types for different species of birds form the very tiny right up to Owls.

Here is a fairly standard nest box easy to site in any garden.
When siting a nest box do make sure that it is not sitting in the full sun all day as this could kill baby birds as they will overheat. It should be best positioned in at least partial shade with some natural covering and away form easy access of cats.

Wooden Bluebird House

 

 

Bird In The Bath.
I love this photo greeting card of a bird having a really good time in our birdbath. You can customise this card for a loved one with your own special message. 



 I do think having a birdbath in every garden is just as , if not more than important than feeding the birds. Our birdbath is used every day by a wide range of birds from sparrows to blackbirds to woodpigeons. It is vital to keep it clean and well filled up as once the birds get used to it they will come often to drink and bathe.

Bird Bath Covered In Snow!

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When the snow is this deep there is no way the birds can make use of the birdbath. So every day in the freezing weather my Husband or I would go out clear it and put in fresh water.

It was quite a task as it was snowing heavily and freezing deeply but at least we knew for a while the birds could get fresh water and do a little bathing - if they wanted to !



Song Thrush and Blackbird

 



“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence"Robert Lynd

Birdscapes Tulip Garden Lantern Bird Feeder

 Lovely Bronze Bird Feeder.

Here is a very nice looking bird feeder in bronze. It will look lovely in any garden and help to keep the birds well fed.
 


It is good to have a variety of bird feeders. Mine vary from very standard ones to ones that are more beautiful to look at.

The birds really do not care! However, it all depends on how you wish your garden to look.

For me the bird feeders form part of the look of the garden as well as being useful. So I put the more nice looking ones where they will be on show more.

Wood pigeon Visitor

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Our Wood Pigeons.

I love this photo of one of our regular wood pigeons. Looks right at home! These wood pigeons are very bold and look me right in the eye when I look at them. I guess they know by now that I will not hurt them in any way. They are regular visitors to the birdbath and then spend ages walking around the garden.

Bird Feeders To Buy - Enjoy watching the birds as they feed

Lovely bird feeder you can fix to your window.

These types of feeders are great to keep the birds well fed and healthier and also give you the opportunity to watch them at your leisure.

Over time if you are patient and quiet you may be able to get quite close to the window to observe them feeding. Often nice for children to watch birds via one of these feeders.

Dine Around Window Bird Feeder

  


You May Be Interested in this page about Our Nesting Blackbirds


Visit my Zazzle Store for many Bird Gifts and craft items. Here are some bird stickers. 
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Thank you for stopping by my page about the birds in our garden. I appreciate you taking the time. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our garden bird life. Love to hear from you :)

Do You Love Birds? Tweet To Me!

Here are some comments from when this page was published on  different platform. We would love to hear from you 


jmsp206  Melbourne, Australia
What lovely birds you have in your garden. Birds brighten the day.

smine27  Tokyo, Japan
What a beautiful hub. Enjoyed this very much.

Paula Atwell  Cleveland, OH
We put up a bird feeder for the first time this summer. I really had fun watching the birds.

ecogranny San Francisco
Lovely! I look forward to seeing more of the birds as you add them throughout the year. I especially appreciate your Chinese Proverb about the reason the bird sings. A good reminder for us all!

billybuc Olympia, WA 
I love the spirit of this article. We have a bird garden, and bird sanctuary, and we have an aviary with twenty quail....yes, we love birds. :) Nice to meet you. Looking forward to more from you. Have a great weekend.


RaintreeAnnie  
@Craftymarie: Thank you so much for your lovely comment and blessing:)

RaintreeAnnie
@PNWtravels: Thank you Vicki, I appreciate that :) I will have more beautiful bird photos to add as I take photos through the year!

PNWtravels  Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA
I enjoyed seeing so many beautiful birds that visit your garden!

Craftymarie 
I love your nature pages - just filled with wonderful photos which you have taken and your personal thoughts. Highly recommended - I'm awarding this one a blessing today.

annieangel1 England
nicely done



Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Birds in garden and nature on Pinterest.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Do You Visit Farmers Markets?

My Farmers Market

Source: Authors own

Local Farmers markets

Of course I don't always stay in my garden and part of my life is to visit Farmers markets where I do get many of my plants and items for the garden and food for our home. As things start to slow in the garden I wanted to tell you about our Farmers markets. 

I love Farmers Markets. We always go to our local Farmers Market when it is on and as its not on every week we sometimes go to to others in nearby villages and towns.
The atmosphere at our local farmers market is great and we buy fresh, lovely produce and crafts. This page is a celebration of Farmers markets, local produce and why we love them!

I will be honest with you and say that I do shop at supermarkets and local shops as well but I do try to shop local whenever possible.

They can also offer goods farmers markets do not and are available every day while our local farmers market is once a month. I am grateful that they are there for me but I do love to shop at the farmers market when I can for the reasons I give below.

Please note that all the photographs were taken by me or my husband and I appreciate you not copying.


Why Shop At A Local Farmers Market? - Reasons to buy local produce at a local farmers market.


Source: Authors own

One simple reason is that it supports our local farmers. By buying directly from the farmer and their stall there is no middleman. This means that the prices are lower for the buyer and the farmer doesn't have to work with anyone else to sell his goods. Therefore he or she can keep more of the money you give to him/her.

This helps farmers, especially on the smaller farms, stay in business and make a decent profit-while you still get the goods at a good price.

In addition you can ask the farmer at your local Farmers Market, directly any questions you want to know about how the vegetables are produced, how the animals are kept etc.

Sociable shopping at your local farmers market



Source: Authors own

I Love Shopping At A Farmers Market

Its a really different feel shopping at a Local farmers market to shopping in a supermarket.

To us supermarket shopping feels like a bit of a slog. It always feels rushed and its rare anyone talks to you, except for the often wonderful checkout staff. It is a job to be done.

However we look forward to the farmers market. We often walk down and its great to see so many people there. We always have fun there and get great goods and it feels much more relaxed.

Now that we have been doing this for a while we know the same farmers and are building up a relationship/rapport with them. I now know exactly who I like to get my free range eggs and veg from.  I always fuss the stall holders dogs if they bring them!  

We also meet other people there, some we know, some we don't know but people seem to be happier to chat and pass the time of day with you when its in this environment. Often there are charity stalls who explain their work and receive donations.

Parents bring their kids who can run around safe and no one minds if they laugh and shout and have fun. People bring their dogs too and again no one minds and in fact its a very sociable meeting place for dog owners. All in all its a good sociable atmosphere.

Often at our local farmers market there is live entertainment from local groups and bands as well. People just seem more relaxed somehow...

It is really lovely to have this sense of community so sadly lacking in many areas of life now.

Tasty food at your Local Farmers Market

Most of the food at a farmers market is really fresh. Vegetables and fruit picked very recently are sweet and tender. It usually hasn't travelled far, so is fresher and better for you.

From the second food is picked or harvested, any natural sugars start to turn to starch, so the longer it travels and takes to get to you the less tasty it will be.

When you buy direct from a farmer, you are in touch with the seasons and generally seasonal veg and fruit will be on their stalls. This produce is therefore at its best and most abundant and therefore often cheaper.

For anyone used to supermarket goods though there are a few things to get used to. The carrots will not necessarily be of a similar size. Vegetables might not be trimmed to the same length. Many farmers bring their goods form straight form the earth so they may have a light covering of earth in some cases. The fruit especially the apples smell of fresh air and sunshine , the greenness of the produce is natural with some flaws. You get to choose from a variety of sizes of cauliflower. It is all much more natural.

Local farmers market shopping list...

Carrots
Cabbage
Fruits
Greetings cards
Cheese
Free range eggs
Gifts from the craft stalls. 
Potatoes
Greens
Homemade jam

Your Local Economy. How farmers markets can help

If you buy locally grown produce at your farmers market, not only are you cutting the miles food usually travels but you are helping your local farmers and craftspeople. The better they do potentially the more job creation there may be available.

Also farmers markets have become a bit of a tourist attraction in some areas, attracting people visiting the area to try out local produce and if self catering in a holiday cottage or camping to buy their food there too.

It is not all about the food either, at our local market there are a variety of craft stalls run by local people including handmade soaps, candles, and items like picture framing. 

Sometimes there are handmade baskets, wooden carvings and even very large items like solid wooden garden furniture and beautiful metal items for the garden and home. Garden goods can be found such as wormeries, outdoor decorations, herbs, fruit trees and flowers.

It can be a great place to find that special unique present for friends and family or even just for you or your home!

Some of The Best Aspect Of Farmers Markets.

  • Sociable shopping
  • Local fresh seasonal produce
  • Less food waste
  • Helps the local economy/supports local farmers and crafts people
  • Local crafts

Farmers Markets reducing waste. - Don't let good food go to waste.



Source: Authors own

Sadly some food heading for supermarkets is rejected as it does not look the standard the supermarkets want to sell, i.e. it is the wrong size or shape or sometimes not quite the right colour. This is what supermarkets think we want. So good food is rejected and goes to waste.

Personally I do not care what size my carrots are, or if my cabbage is a perfect shape, just that they are good to eat! You may well find a variety of shapes, sizes and colours of produce at a local farmers market, but it's all tasty!

I am not knocking supermarkets. They do an incredible service and are there for us many hours almost every day, supplying us with all manner of foods that we cannot get locally. I just feel we need to celebrate our farmers markets too as we do not want to lose them.

Stalls You May Find At A Local Farmers Market

There are many stalls that can be found at a local farmers market! Its is not all about fruit and veg and meats either! Here is a selection(not a definitive list) of the type of stalls you might find....

Free Range Eggs
Cheeses
Wormeries
Herb plants
Fruit trees
Flowers
Fruit and vegetables
Locally made /handmade Greetings cards
Local crafts
Handmade soaps/candles etc
Garden decorative crafts
Garden furniture
Speciality meats
Local produced sausage/fishcakes etc
Standard and more exotic meats
Homemade jams, marmalades, pickles etc
Local artists
Pet supplies.
and many more

The Farmers Market Is Where I Get A Lot Of My Plants For Our Garden

Thank you for your visit. Do You visit Farmers markets?


I would love to hear about your local Farmers market. I do read each comment before publishing and appreciate you taking the time to comment.


Thank you for your visit

I would love to hear about your local Farmers market. I do read each comment before publishing and appreciate you taking the time to comment.Here are some comments from when this was published on  a different site.

Thank you

RaintreeAnnie profile image
Oh that is wonderful! I wish ours were that often. In addition to our local one, we tend to now go to a couple in villages around us so that we can visit a farmers market nearly every week. Thank you for visiting I appreciate that :)


Virginia Allain profile image
Virginia Allain 10 months ago from Central Florida Level 3 Commenter
We are so lucky in our retirement community that we have a market on Mondays and Fridays. Very convenient.


Pam Irie profile image
Pam Irie 3 years ago from Land of Aloha
On Tuesdays and not too far from here. Lots of fresh produce. Love it!


CastleRoyLisa profile image
CastleRoyLisa 4 years ago from Rhode Island
I love farmer markets . we used to have a big one In my home town wonderful lens.


Tamara14 profile image
Tamara14 4 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe
Great lens! I'm just finishing my another health lens today and this was such a nice reading. I'm from Croatia (Europe) and we still have this great tradition of having farmers markets in ALL cities. So, I enjoy healthy foods every week:-)


MargoPArrowsmith profile image
MargoPArrowsmith 4 years ago
We have a great one here, but I don't go enough. Thanks for reminding me!


Wednesday-Elf profile image
Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia Level 2 Commenter
I participated in a local Farmers Market in South Carolina (Pendleton) for the past two summers, having a table selling my crafts, and usually coming home with my fresh vegetables for dinner and/or a tasty fresh homemade baked treat! The local farmers are great to know and by buying from them you know exactly what you are getting. Farmers Markets everywhere are the best places to shop for fresh fruits & vegetables and nifty & unique locally handmade gifts.



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Friday, 11 September 2015

Why I Bought The Wildlife Gardener Book Twice



This is about The Wildlife Gardener Book by Kate Bradbury. I adore this book ! It is all about gardening for wildlife in our gardens. Something I feel we all need to do much more of if we are to help and preserve our diverse and natural wildlife.

As we increasingly build on our countryside, our small or large gardens, even our patios and window boxes,  are going to be more vital than ever to provide food, shelter and habitat for our wildlife. It is so easy to do and helps them so much.    




The Wildlife Gardener: Creating a Haven for Birds, Bees and Butterflies 


 I originally bought this book for a friend as a present and spent the week in between buying it and wrapping it up avidly reading it. In the end I loved it so much and found myself wanting to refer back to it and missing reading it, I had to go and order another one to keep for me!

The photographs are beautiful and for me that is really important in a gardening or wildlife book, especially if it is a gift. It is the sort of book that is a joy to read and you are happy to leave out and pick up any time you like and it simply is a lovely book.

However its not all about good looks and the content is very interesting and inspiring. Interesting as it covers how to bring all manner of wildlife into your garden from birds, bees, insects, hedgehogs, badgers, butterflies and more. It even helps with basic identification of birds.

Beautiful Butterfly On Flowers
Beautiful Butterfly On Flowers by RaintreeDesigns
Browse additional posters and prints from zazzle.com.


It discusses the type of plants and habitats and how to incorporate them in to an ordinary garden. It is inspiring as though I thought I knew a fair amount about wildlife it goes further and has ideas I had not thought of as well.

If you know someone or are someone who loves gardening and wildlife this is a lovely gift at a very good price. I was proud to hand this over as a present at my friends Birthday party where it was opened and we spent quite a bit of time discussing the book!

I think I like it most as it is a lovely relaxing read incorporating beautiful photographs with real ideas and projects most people can easily incorporate into their own gardens. It feels totally achievable and even on a very cold day makes me feel like to I want to get out there in the garden.
 

Some ideas For Attracting Pollinating Insects To Our Gardens.

Do You Garden With Wildlife in Mind?

Help The Bees.

It is always a good idea to have some plants that are loved by bees.Our bees are in trouble right now and need all the help they can get.

So do plant flowers that are of an open habit so that they can land and feed, there are so many pretty flowers you can choose.

Bees Are Essential



Wildlife In Our Gardens.

I love to garden and we are in the process of really sorting out our garden once again.

A garden is an ever changing, evolving entity really. Plants grow and change, others die, we decide on a different colour scheme or theme.

We need it more low maintenance, or we decide to grow our own fruit and vegetables for the first time.


Wildlife gardening has become more popular recently as people realise that with the destruction of habitat in the wild many creatures are having to move into our gardens to survive.

However, wildlife does not always find a welcoming place in our sometimes over manicured gardens. Then again we do not wish to have gardens that look like briar patches or full of weeds.

This book can help you to gain that balance between being wildlife friendly and having a lovely garden. It is perfectly possible to have both. 

If you are interested at all in encouraging more butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and birds into your garden this is a very good place to start.

Birds Are Fascinating In The Garden



Wildlife Friendly Garden Ideas.

Take a look at these videos all about gardening with wildlife in mind. Once you get some ideas and guidance it is not that difficult to have a beautiful garden suitable for you and your family and somewhere for the wildlife to visit and maybe set up home. 

Birds, hedgehogs, butterflies and especially bees all need our help now to survive and thrive. Bees are very much in danger and if we lose our bees we are in danger too as they are our main pollinator for our food. 

If every garden incorporated even a small area that is considered wildlife friendly it would make a huge difference. 


A Wildlife Garden in A Suburb Or CIty?

Yes it is perfectly possible to have a very wildlife friendly garden in a city environment or a suburb of a city. Your garden may be smaller but you can still have those elements in it that attract wildlife.

Many relatively small plants such as lavenders and rosemary will be excellent for bees and butterflies and also very good for you as you can use in cooking, for lavender bags and they are also very beautiful.

There are very many flowers which also attract insects, butterflies and bees to your garden and at a very small cost you can easily populate a small city garden or even if you only have a balcony or window box with a feast for the eyes and a haven for wildlife.



I would love to hear about your wildlife gardening experiences. I do read every comment and enjoy hearing from readers.


This book makes such a beautiful gift. Happy Wildlife Gardening!




Here are some comments I received when this was published on another site

RaintreeAnnie profile image

RaintreeAnnie 7 months ago from UK Hub Author
Sandy Thank you for visiting. Yes it is a lovely book, lots of information and beautiful as well. I love to see especially bees and butterflies in my garden and you can have a wildlife garden that looks lovely:)
SandyMertens profile image
SandyMertens 7 months ago from Frozen Tundra Level 2 Commenter
This would be a book that I would love to see as well. Love flower and wildlife gardens.

  • RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 9 months ago from UK Hub Author
@annieangel1 Thank you so much for visiting! Of course I am happy for you to share and pin, I am glad you enjoyed it enough to want to do that :)

annieangel1 profile image
annieangel1 9 months ago from Yorkshire, England
hope you don't mind me pinning and sharing this

TonyPayne profile image
TonyPayne 12 months ago from Southampton, UK
We have foxes that come into our garden most evenings, a hedgehog that we have seen a couple of times, and in the last few months badgers have been using one of our flower beds as a toilet. We haven't seen them yet, but we are planning to buy a motion activated camera so we can video them.



JoanieMRuppel54 profile image
JoanieMRuppel54 14 months ago from Keller, Texas
It's important to consider wildlife in any planting situation, be it a buzzing bee or a black bear! I just saw a squirrel eating my strawberries the other day and we also have a lot of lizards but they seem to stay out of the garden and flowers. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@paulahite: Yes hedgehogs are a real fave of mine :) Thank you so much for including my book review on your Facebook page. I do appreciate that :)


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@Sylvestermouse: I agree it is fascinating to watch wildlife in our gardens, I have passed many fun and interesting hours that way :)


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@nightbear lm: Yes I mostly love to try to attract butterflies, bees, birds and hedgehogs :)


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@Ruthi: I agree beautiful and informative is key to a good gardening/nature book. Wow Black bears! I have no experience of bears at all as I am in UK and we don't have any wild bears anymore. I can see how a plant that would dissuade them from visiting so much would be helpful to you !


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@Diana Wenzel: I hope you enjoy it. It is lovely to create a nature sanctuary and feel the garden come alive with nature.


RaintreeAnnie profile image
RaintreeAnnie 14 months ago from UK Hub Author
@Wednesday-Elf: Yes I love it, even now after reading it cover to cover several times I still dip into it :)


paulahite profile image
paulahite 14 months ago from Virginia
I adore hedgies! Unfortunately, we don't have any here. I shared your book on our Facebook page today.


Sylvestermouse profile image
Sylvestermouse 20 months ago from United States Level 3 Commenter
This sounds like a wonderful book! I love surrounding myself with beautiful flowers and wildlife. I still get excited to see a squirrel eat corn from the corn cob holder/feeder and watching the blue birds nest every year in my blue bird house.


nightbear lm profile image
nightbear lm 20 months ago
The main wildlife in my yard are birds, rabbits, squirrels, that kind of thing. I would love of the kinds you have had, like a hedgehog. How wonderful to have unusual critters around.


Ruthi 20 months ago
I love beautiful books about nature and wildlife, but yes, informative is important too. I am most interested in planting to attract butterflies and birds. However, we are a neighborhood over-run by black bears in our yards and I would like to know what to plant to dissuade them from visiting my yard every day! Now, that's a wildlife book I need.


Diana Wenzel profile image
Diana Wenzel 20 months ago from Colorado
I can tell I would enjoy this book. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. When I lived in Texas, I specifically created a nature sanctuary that would benefit both myself and the creatures who shared that habitat with me. It was a joy. I would like to do the same here in Colorado.


Wednesday-Elf profile image
Wednesday-Elf 20 months ago from Savannah, Georgia Level 2 Commenter
I live in an apartment, so don't have a garden. But I can see the enjoyment one would get from focusing on enticing wildlife to your garden. This sounds like a fascinating book.




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