• Flying Ant Days: A date with fate in the sky

    When I arrived home from work on Wednesday, there was a mass of gulls very high over my garden, each one gliding in its own little circles, creating overlapping, rotating patterns in the sky. You can just make out some of the flock here.

    There are actually 94 gulls in this photo. Yup, I counted them (and they are a mix of Herring, Black-headed and Mediterranean for those who like to know these things). I reckon in…

    • 27 Jul 2018
  • Helping wildlife in the garden's summer heatwave

    There is one job I haven't had to do in the garden for 48 days now - read the rain gauge. As I enviously watch the blobs of blue move across the weather charts in the far north and west, tongue lolling, I'm sure almost all of you and your gardens will be feeling the effects of this desiccating summer.

    Just look at my lawn, if you can now call it that.

    I know it takes considerable nerve to hold off from trying…

    • 18 Jul 2018
  • Butterfly birthdays

    Right now in the first couple of weeks of July, garden butterfly numbers tend to rocket. The summer emergence of Peacocks, Commas, Brimstones, together with Meadow Browns and Speckled Woods, plus a surge in the number of 'cabbage white' butterflies, mean that there is a flitting and fluttering going on in a way not seen until this point in the year. The only problem is that it can all be very distracting when you're meant…

    • 13 Jul 2018
  • Bring on the burnets

    When I moved house (and garden) four years ago, I set out a list of target wildlife I wanted to make a home for. That then determined the habitats I needed to create and the plants I needed to grow.

    This target setting I find is a good game - it gives a focus, and it then gives a sense of achievement when the wildlife you're aiming for arrives and settles in.

    I like to believe my goals are ambitious, but it also…

    • 6 Jul 2018