• The Hole Truth

    I was in garden centre at the weekend and had a look at the 'wildlife gardening accoutrements'. There was shelf after shelf of it all - bird boxes, bird food, hedgehog houses, bee boxes...

    It then struck me how far things have come, in particular regarding pollinating insects. Back in 1982, the RSPB produced a book called 'Gardening for Wildlife' in which there is no mention of solitary bees or what you can do…

    • 31 Mar 2017
  • The Wildlife-friendly Garden in April

    Three cheers for April! There are likely to be days this month when the sun's warmth seeps under your skin and when the birds just can't stop themselves from singing.

    Then again, there might be other days when it feels like winter all over again. As Ogden Nash, the poet, said:

    "April soft in flowered languor,
    April cold with sudden anger"

    But none of that can stop the lengthening days, and key activities…

    • 24 Mar 2017
  • Don't you love spring?

    Sometimes it's healthy, I think, just to look, rather than to think too hard.

    So here are the results of me looking around my garden this week, not thinking, just enjoying.

    And then you chance upon something you've never noticed before...

    Know what it is? It's the flowers of a male Yew tree, ready to drop their pollen into the breeze, without which we wouldn't have the red 'drupes' (Yew berries) in autumn…

    • 17 Mar 2017
  • Going blue for bees

    I often bang on about the difference between a wildlife meadow (mainly perennial plants; on poor soil; includes grasses; once started, never cultivated; cut with a mower or scythe) and annual plantings (can be on good soil; using annual flowers; that gets cultivated anew each year). Don't be fooled by seed packets and magazines that talk about meadows and show you fields of poppies - two VERY different things!

    We…

    • 10 Mar 2017
  • Life among the tapioca

    It was a bad day when you arrived at the school dinner hall to find that pudding of the day was tapioca. "Eeeuuurrrgghh - frogspawn!"

    However, it is a good day when you peer into your pond and find that it has filled with tapioca overnight.

    And this week turned out to include some very good days indeed in my pond. My Chiffchaffs have yet to arrive, it is still about five weeks until the first Swallows return…

    • 3 Mar 2017