• The Wildlife-friendly Garden in November

    It has been an incredibly dry autumn in many parts of the country, as a 'blocking high' (as the meteorologists say) has held the usual Atlantic gales at bay.

    As a result, I've been having to water my pot plants and new lawn when I was expecting nature to do the job for me, and my pond remains resolutely three-quarters full when I was expecting to see it lapping the margins.

    The conditions seem to have made…

    • 28 Oct 2016
  • What to do when nature offers you gold

    I'm sat at my desk with a view out into the garden, and every few seconds a golden leaf detaches itself from my Cornus kousa tree and flutters wistfully down to the ground beneath. I love autumn!

    It brings to mind a neighbour I once had who liked nothing more than using a large kind of Ghostbuster suction machine to hoover his leaves up.

    There's a good reason for doing so on lawns, for they can so shroud the turf…

    • 21 Oct 2016
  • I didn't expect autumn's colours to be blue

    Back in the summer, I presented the 'stick trick' - erect a stick in or near a pond in a sunny position and there is every chance that it will be commandeered by a dragonfly as a launch pad.

    But I can't deny that in the back of my mind I had a vague hope - no, let's call it a dream - that one day something even more spectacular might use it.

    Sometimes, you know, dreams come true.

    Yes, I realised…

    • 14 Oct 2016
  • The Dragonfly Ambassador

    This week, my new pond has continued to be buzzed by up to six dragonflies at a time, including a couple of egg paying pairs.

    Right now at the tail end of the season, they are all Common Darters, the little red or yellowish ones, and they are very fond of sunbathing on planks and benches, like this male:

    The number of dragonfly and damselfly eggs that must have been laid in my pond this year must be in the thousands…

    • 7 Oct 2016