Tag Archive | bug hotel

30 Days Wild-Day 1

It has been too warm to roam far today so, as it was my turn to walk the pooch, I decided to go really wild and turn it into a nature walk. I took my camera and enjoyed the experience so much more being more mindful of our surroundings. I noticed the different smells and colours along the hedgerows. The trees in the churchyard with different shades of green really showed up against the clear blue sky and it made me think how many shades of green I have in my paint box- not that many.

I am lucky to live in a village which prides itself on its dedication to keep the village looking beautiful and well tended all year round and in addition to the usual summer and winter bedding shows, the volunteers for Lubenham in Bloom have created a wildlife garden, incorporating a small insect hotel, and a separate bug hotel in the church yard. A bug hotel is fun to make and can be any shape or size and many of the items will be hanging around home and garden already. I will do a separate post on these later in June.

We have a stream/river running through the “back” of the village which often floods in the winter but after a very dry and warm May is running very low. This means you can see the mud banks better and all the holes excavated by, I assume, water voles. I stand to be corrected as I am no expert on water wild-life. A bit further on we walk along an old railway line which starts off in a lovey shaded area where the path has been taken over on either side by trees. Thick ivy covers the ground so its lovely and cool even in the warmest weather. Heaven for dog walkers. A pile of railway sleepers provide a wonderful home for all sorts of insects and wildlife but as I dont like creepy-crawlies I’m not looking too close.

The shaded path opens out into an open walkway, which should now be part of AdamSmile, taking us into a field where the dog (Jasper) can run off the lead. The field is a mass of buttercups and along the typical British hedgerow we find Cow Parsley, Vetch, Nettles, and a variety of grasses growing waist high. Above these are the blackberry and elderflower bushes, both of which can be used to make wine, as well as blackberry and apple puddings in the autumn! Elderflower cordial is also popular and is really easy to make.

I have a hate-hate relationship with grasses as they are the main contributor to my hay-fever in summer when the pollen count is very high so I try and give them a wide berth if possible.

 

We found a patch of thistles which Eyore would be quite happy to tuck into and a lovely briar rose-typical of an old-fashioned English hedgerow.

Altogether Jasper and I had a lovely walk and it was a real pleasure taking note of all the different wild flowers and trees instead of walking by.

We must do this more often.

 

My wildlife garden 12 months on

Some of my more resilient readers will remember that this time last year I requisitioned the piece of ground that hubby used to grow vegetables on for my wildlife garden. Hubby didn’t have the time, and I am more interested in hedgehogs, birds and frogs than vegetables and so, over the next few months, a wildlife garden it became.

Only 12 months after my first efforts, I agreed to open my garden to the public on our village Open Garden Day. I was a bit worried that no one would be that interested and wasn’t expecting many visitors. Hah! how wrong can a person be? In this case I was hopelessly wrong and desperately ill-prepared for the masses that descended on my small garden.

Between 11.00am and 5.30pm we had a constant stream of visitors that were interested in how to attract wildlife into their gardens. For these enthusiasts, my garden is perfect. I was in the lucky position of being able to develop a garden from scratch purely with wildlife in mind, and although I didn’t plan it formally, the garden which evolved organically is beautiful and what’s more important, definitely attracts the wildlife. I am very proud of my efforts but am even more in awe of the plants that have established themselves so comfortably in the last year and presented a garden to be complimented last weekend.

More details of how I achieved the end (but ever evolving) result in later posts but here a just a few photographs of the finished product as at 11 June 2017.

Wildlife gardening

I have a new project. I am donating part of my garden to the local wildlife and over the coming months will be adding creature-friendly features and plants to increase the variety and number of visitors to the area. Of course, one of the best plants for encouraging bees is the poppy, my favourite flower, so I will be sowing plenty of these.

I have so many ideas and plans and of course I want to do them all at once but first I need to collect the materials. For this, thank goodness for “Streetlife” and “Freecycle” both community based on-line groups where items are listed as “offered” or “wanted” for no cost. It is a wonderful idea as people get rid of stuff they no longer need or use whilst others recycle and reuse the very same items.

So far, my pleas have resulted in two lovely bird baths, some large bird feeders and a moulded pond liner. My neighbour has also been bringing me some wooden pallets so I can start to make my bug hotel; 5* of course.

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The foundations of my 5* Bug Hotel

The good thing about this project is that being out in the fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine helps lift my mood but if it starts to rain, there are plenty of things that I can make indoors. I will share these as I go along. In the meantime, here are a few pictures at the start of Project Westland Wildlife!