Creation and collaboration are two words becoming increasingly more significant. As long as natural habitats are being created, the wildlife will continue to thrive. Gardens cover a much larger area than all the RSPB reserves throughout the UK, and it is therefore vital that they are suitable for our wildlife. The installation of bee-friendly plants, small ponds, bird boxes and even holes in your fence allowing the movement of hedgehogs can improve the biodiversity of your garden dramatically. These small changes are all part of my new project. I am offering my services and guidance for family and friends to help transform their urban gardens into havens for butterflies, birds, bees and other species. I have already been planting shrubs, laying down turf and arranging bird feeding stations at a sub-urban house in Nottingham! Here are some pictures of the progress so far:
We bought 8 rolls of turf to create a lawn! It took a while to unload them all from the car but we did it eventually. We made the ground really wet before the laid the turf down and then we gave it another big water after.
Here is the garden before we started any work on it.
A blackbird kept visiting as we worked throughout the day and Ange named it "Blacky the blackbird" - very imaginative!
Here are two flower patches I planted, including plants such as lavender which bees and wasps love! I also added a few other bedding plants for colour.
We set up some bird feeders and a bird table too!
Mixed seed on the bird table.
Fat ball feeder.
Squirrel-proof mixed seed feeder - don't worry, I am planning on putting up a squirrel feeder too!
Suet block feeder.
Ground feeder and sunflower seed balls.
We made sure to check that all the plants were suitable for bees and other pollinating insects. The flowering plant below said it was "great for attracting and feeding wild honey bees" which was great!
A water bath.
As we started to pack up at the end of the day, it started to rain and there was an amazing rainbow! The rainbow provided some great photo opportunities and the rain made sure that the turf was properly watered, win win!
And roll on the second day!
We have constructed a VegTrug and a small greenhouse shelter.
EXCITING NEWS! We had a visit by a hedgehog the day before. We named him 'Harry'.
We were a little concerned that he may not have anywhere to go as the garden is fairly securely enclosed, so we made him a house from boulders. He must have found his way in under the gate from the road. As we didn't want him to venture to close to the road we decided to make a cosy hedgehog house for him to encourage him to take up residence in the garden! We arranged 8 big boulders into a group, with a chamber int he middle.
We added a border, a bag of compost and lots of leaves to nest in!
We planted 2 varieties of wildflower seed around the house. Hopefully, in spring next year, they will completely cover the whole area!
Here is the first episode on "The Urban Garden Project" explaining our views for the future and much more…
All of the herbs and vegetable that we planted in the 'Veg Trug' and doing great. Nearly ready to harvest I think!
08/03/15 - Snow drops, crocuses and daffodils all out!
The garden is now decorated with various bulb plants, and has been getting visited by some new species. The current species list is: all three common tits, house & hedge sparrows, goldfinches, jackdaws, magpies, feral & wood pigeons, song thrush, collard doves, blackbirds, robins, wrens, dunnocks, hedgehogs and squirrels! And probably more…
The bulb plants are brightening up the garden, and hopefully providing food for insects that are foraging. We are hoping to plant bluebells too, which will hopefully completely transform the look of the garden.
The hedgehog home is still standing, and hopefully provided a location for "Harry the hedgehog" to hibernate. If it didn't, i'm sure it was good for other sorts of wildlife, including beetles, worms and other insects.
We also installed a wooden bird box into the garden, ready for the forthcoming Spring! There is plenty of ivy around the garden too, providing ideal conditions for sparrows, wrens and blackbirds.
The old fence at the back of the garden has been replaced with a lower fence to let in more light, hopefully making our wildlife-friendly plants grow better! We are now in the designing stages, getting prepared for the construction of a pond and a pergola!