As I mentioned in January’s patch post I have been given permission to make the landowners garden more ‘wildlife friendly’. Well I’ll be honest, it wont be too difficult to do! This is what the garden looked like in December…
As you can see it is plant-less more or less. There are some roses, and a pussy willow tree to the left with a bush beside it and a hazelnut tree to the right but other than that ‘weeds’ covers it for the vegetation, I guess weeds is a harsh term ‘plants that have not been chosen’ might be a better way of putting it. I raked through the dead plants and it was mainly grasses and crop that have crept through from the field and taken over the raised bed.
In January I marked out where the snowdrops have come up so I know not to dig them up once they have died back and also the cyclamen that I have identified. Now I don’t know a lot about gardening so it will be a new experience for me and the owner as he doesn’t know much either! The bird feeder was a new addition in December and the birds seem happy that their feed has been moved away from the windows. They seem to like that it is located near the tree and the bush. It does need to be put into a base rather than just the soil as high winds have blown it over on a couple of occasions. I plan to plant a shrub behind the feeder to give the birds even more cover to dart into if the sparrowhawk comes looking for lunch!
The first stage of the garden plan is cleaning and protecting the fence and moving the rose bushes back in the beds. I have also learnt that I need to prune the roses back harder! as a first attempt in December, apparently it wasn’t too bad. I pruned them a second time in February and have done a better job! I think I’ll be tuning into Monty Don and Gardener’s World on a Friday night for some advice!
Over Easter I spent a morning in the garden tidying, there was a lot of leaf litter that had been left decomposing over Winter. When I lifted it there were a lot of creatures scurrying around. Although a lot of it was removed I also used some of it at the base of a basic log pile I started to create. I have put it in an old wooden plant pot so it can be moved if necessary. There was a lot of rubbish in the garden and turning over a car mat I found a centipede (Cryptops parisi), I was quite excited as I have never found one before! I moved it to the log pile for safety.
There is a lot of work to do and I realise I might not get it all done this year but I do hope by the end of summer it will be a wildlife friendly habitat.