What a terrible time this is at the moment, but we can take solace in nature and if you are lucky enough to have a garden you can still enjoy what it has to offer us.
At this time as a self-employed wildlife gardener I'm still working so getting a good fix of sun fresh air and wildlife, however in some ways it would be good to get an enforced break to actually do some work in my own garden. But mortgage and bills mean I will continue until provisions are made for the self employed.
What it does give me though, is the opportunity to share some tips and pictures on here for those that may be missing nature during this period...
The easiest way to see pollinators at this time of the year is to allow your garden edges to remain overgrown or a little 'ragged' from winter neglect! Don't be too eager to clear things up now that you have extra time as you will be spoiling good habitat and to be honest losing valuable nectar sources.
The beautiful Lesser Celandine will add a huge splash of yellow and in turn offer nectar for a host of early pollinators such as bees and hoverflies. Eristalis pertinax is the prevalent hoverfly species in my garden at the moment and the yellow Celandine attracts clouds of them!
The other yellow plant in favour in my garden at this time of the year is an aquatic on the edges of my various ponds: Caltha Palustris or it's common name of Marsh Marigold! Again the Eristalis pertinax like these but also do some of our 'real flies' such as the lovely Fly - Chloropidae Sp pictured below.
Real flies including our commonly named blue-bottles and House Fly are in fact fascinating insects and many do the hugely important job of pollination. Next time you see a fly, rather than swipe it away, stop and take a look as they really are an interesting group of insects.
Everyone loves butterflies and it's always the signal of Spring when we start seeing them. For me this week we have recorded: Peacock, Brimstone, Red Admiral and Comma in the garden. It's been interesting watching them nectaring on Primrose in particular. Another yellow flower just starting to emerge is of course the Dandelion again a yellow flower, making Yellow the true colour of Spring!
I think the moral of this is to embrace your weeds at this time of year as the garden slowly starts to awaken from it's winter sleep!
So below are a few snaps from the garden for you to enjoy..
Here's hoping that you are all keeping safe and well in these difficult times!.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
Thanks so much Higgy for the recommendations for our balcony, we certainly want some plants/flowers on there and have plenty of space to play with, we even have outside power source so may try adding one of those small water features with real plants around it to attract the pollinating insects. The balcony is south facing so will have to choose plants that like sunshine even though we have roof canopy cover above. Surrounded by parkland and water beneath us which used to have water lilies which attracted dragonflies and damsels; fingers crossed they return as the works draining much of the water had to be done. I believe It is a naturally fed pool from underground springs which is good.
Here's the balcony we will have to give you an idea …. we miss our old garden but it was getting too much to look after being close to one acre with the pond. All we have to do here is keep the balcony tidied and plants watered ! You can see the outside power source at the end partition where we could plug in a water feature.
looking other way ……...
water level is looking a bit low at the moment as they had to drain it to renovate lower wall/;pathway area but hopefully the natural fill will top levels up and the water can regain its balance to attract the dragonflies back in. I saw Southern Hawkers for sure last year.
thanks again Higgy; it will be a while before we are ready to sort out the balcony as we don't move in until start of May and the furniture and fittings will have to come first ! I hope we can do something by end summer and I will keep you updated.
In reply to HAZY:
Lovely photos Higgy, always a pleasure to see.
Since my accident, I have a gardener who comes to keep the garden tidy, but not a show case. He's learned to leave things a little rough in places for nature, and he takes an interest in whats occurring in the garden.
I guess it makes a nice change from posh jobs.
Flickr Peak Rambler
In reply to Mike B:
Yes I love it when a client really embrace's the 'wildlife' part especially when they maybe weren't seeing it originally!
I have one client who had a real prim and proper garden without a blade of grass out of place! She was really 'fierce' with me whenever I mentioned leaving something for wildlife at first but as we've worked together over the last year or so she has mellowed and has now given me a section of back garden to turn into a wildflower lawn! She mentioned that she loved Snake's-head Fritillaries as they reminded her of her late husband. She asked if we could have some in the lawn but as it's an upland garden I said it's highly unlikely they would grow. I planted a 100 bulbs as a 'chance' and blow me the blooming things did actually put in a Spring time performance this year! Apparently she now views me as a 'friend'!!
Amazing as this time last year I was struggling to leave a weed anywhere in the garden!
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