• August in the Wildlife-friendly Garden

    Hopefully by now, your garden is full of bouncing babies - chocolatey and speckled Blackbird youngsters, sandy-coloured Starlings, troupes of insistent House Sparrow chicks following their parents, plain-faced Goldfinches looking so different to their red-faced parents.

    Maybe you'll even have red-capped Great Spotted Woodpeckers coming to your feeders. Here is a grabbed snapshot of mine at the birdbath this week taken…

    • 29 Jul 2016
  • Happy Hogging

    Our headline Giving Nature a Home activity this month is all about getting Hedgehogs into tiptop condition, through giving them some little handouts to supplement their diet.

    And, boy, do they need it, given the calamitous declines they have been going through. The latest estimate is that there are less than a million left (less than one for every 60 of us humans), although getting an accurate count is difficult. My…

    • 22 Jul 2016
  • Sploshing with the floral paintbucket

    Call me cheapskate, but I love those gardening activities that involve very little effort or cost for maximum reward.

    And right up there in the list is growing annual flowers. For the cost of a couple of packs of seeds and the effort of a bit of digging and raking, you can transform relatively large areas like a floral version of Jackson Pollock's colourful sploshes.

    This year, I have been trying out some different…

    • 15 Jul 2016
  • Sometimes you have to take a stick to wildlife...

    Having put in my new pond at the tail end of last year, it was always going to be interesting to see what wildlife turned up to use it.

    I've had my Grey Wagtails and bathing Sparrowhawks and tadpoling Little Egret; the Frogs and Smooth Newts have bred like wildfire; the Whirligig Beetles are now in a spinning flock 30 strong.

    But what of dragonflies and damselflies? The three small ponds I inherited are all too…

    • 8 Jul 2016
  • July in the Wildlife-friendly Garden

    So here it is, the Big One, the month when - on a sunny day - there is an audible hum throughout the wildlife-friendly garden. Hoverflies hang in the air with precision, bumblebees mosey around on their endless mission, and everywhere has turned into a bustling insect metropolis.

    Many hoverflies are wasp mimics, but note the large eyes and funny little antennae on the front of its face, proving that this is definitely…

    • 1 Jul 2016