• Gardening for wildlife in years past

    Well, what a wash-out it has been for me this week in terms of doing anything meaningful in the garden. From the weather reports, I suspect for some of you it has been white-out rather than wash-out. Again.

    At such moments, penned indoors, I like flicking back through my gardening diaries from previous years. I don't write in them religiously, and it is usually no more than a few sentences when I do, and at the time…

    • 26 Feb 2010
  • Lamb's tails in the bushes show spring is coming

    On it goes, the seemingly endless cold and damp, frost, snow and hail we're having this winter. The daffodil growers say the season is a month behind schedule, so the borders are looking all rather bare at the moment.

    But travelling by train this weekend, I saw one of those wonderful tell-tale signs that the season is on the move. In some hedgerows and gardens, little shrubby trees were festooned with streaks of…

    • 22 Feb 2010
  • The wildlife gardening blog turns seedy

    It may be still incredibly cold and wintry outside, but the calendar doesn't lie - we're into the second half of February, and that means that wildlife gardening is about to get very exciting indeed!

    The big job looming, for those who like the challenge, is to start planting seeds indoors. I still find that it feels really premature to be thinking of this while snows are still falling and ponds keep freezing…

    • 19 Feb 2010
  • New homes going up all over

    I'm delighted to welcome back to the blog Derek Niemann, who's been building a bit of birdie 'real estate' in time for the BTO's National Nestbox Week:

    House hunting began in my garden this morning. There were two - no, three - couples inspecting, but thankfully, while they weren’t exactly time-wasters, they hadn’t got as far as making a down payment of straw in their new homes.

    Blue…

    • 15 Feb 2010
  • Loppers and choppers at the ready

    I had a rare day off in the week. Bliss! I spent a good six hours in the garden and, boy, my muscles aren’t ‘arf aching. I wish you could have seen me, swinging about like Tarzan in a Leyland cypress with my loppers and choppers. (I say it was like Tarzan, but my other half says it was more like a sloth).

    The reason for my acrobatics is that this is the time of year when I like to get my trees and hedges into…

    • 12 Feb 2010
  • The frog croaked

    As I write, we look set to move into yet another cold snap, reminding us spring is still a little way around that corner. Saturday was a lovely day and good to get on with some more gardening, but it too had its reminders in store. Before I’d ventured far, I made a grisly discovery floating in my pond. Obviously taken by a couple of mild evenings a frog had decided to ‘cast his clout’ and come out of hibernation…

    • 11 Feb 2010
  • Wildlife Pond SOS

     I received an urgent phone call in the week from some good friends with a plea for help - their beloved pond had sprung a leak, half the water had gone (right), and what should they do?

    Now this time of year isn't the best from a wildlife point of view to go emptying a pond (summer is better), but when you've got a leak and the existing liner is old, thin and brittle, there's nothing for it but to get in there and change…

    • 8 Feb 2010
  • Chocolate and cream comes to the Old Moor garden

    For today's blog, we head to the wildlife garden at RSPB Old Moor near Barnsley, where Julia Makin has had the tastiest Big Garden BirdWatch!

     "With the snow finally gone, a riot of colour hit the feeders in the Old Moor garden just in time for the Big Garden BirdWatch. Top of the visual feast were hot pink Bullfinches (six at least, right), plus chocolate Tree Sparrows and coffee-cream Willow Tits. What a confection…

    • 5 Feb 2010
  • Unsupervised gardening

    Another action packed weekend in the garden but this time without the guidance of my little friendly robins to keep a watchful eye!  Is it safe to leave a child unsupervised in the garden, handling dangerous tools? However will I cope? I thought I managed remarkably well under the circumstance.

    Having taken delivery of my drought tolerant plants, I set about positioning and planting them. All that is required now is to…

    • 3 Feb 2010
  • Big Garden BirdWatch - a signal of changing times

    Well, I'm pretty chuffed with my hour's tally for the Big Garden BirdWatch. Thirteen species isn't a bad haul for my little garden (though I hastily add that I'm in competition with no-one but myself!). I hope you all has an enjoyable hour taking part, and got to know your garden visitors just that little bit better.

     Pick of the bunch for me were a couple of Goldfinches. In the past we've had over 30…

    • 1 Feb 2010