Tag Archive | plants

Wildlife garden-autumn update

It was lovely to have some warm, dry days in July and August. We managed a trip to the seaside and I enjoy sitting outside late at night  on balmy evenings hedgehog-watching.

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Old Hunstanton beach

High summer in the garden is very different to the lovely, fresh Spring we had when everything was green and lush; juvenile fledglings arrived to munch on the mealworms, frogs appeared in the ponds and hedgehogs came in their droves to feast in their café.

During the hot and dry few days, the fledglings flew the nest and found their own food-sources, the frogs remained in the ponds but were sheltering from the bright sunshine under the pondweed, and the hedgehogs spent as much time drinking as eating.

Now that we are in early autumn, the teasles have gone over with curling brown leaves, and the teasle heads are no longer an attraction for the bees and butterflies. I will have to wait patiently for the finches to arrive and enjoy the seeds.

The bushy and colourful nasturtiums have been eaten in their entirety by cabbage white butterfly caterpillars so that only stalks are left.

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Cabbage White caterpillars

I thought this was interesting………

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End of the road?

 

I’m not sure what happened next but I wish that I’d stayed to watch!

Our apple tree is laden with fruit and I am surprised that some of the branches haven’t broken under the weight.

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Apples galore!

We also have plenty of fresh raspberries…

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Now that most of the bee-friendly perennials are in place I thought it was time for something different. I haven’t tried gardening with succulents before and on researching them I was amazed to find how many colours, shapes and varieties there are. My options are limitless but starting small I went ahead with a selection from the local garden centre.

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Bird-bath with a leak-now a planter

No garden of mine is complete without a girlie-man cave and so to rival hubby’s double garage space, I went to town on my new little greenhouse. It cost me less than £20 and was easy to assemble. It has plenty of room for my stuff, and a chair where I can sit and drink my tea in peace. Naturally it had to be decorated, and so I made a long trail of bunting to hang up.

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My girlie-garden grotto

One of my favourite areas of the new garden is the pond and bog garden. I am blown away with how well it has grown and settled down.

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A perfect frog pad

It was only a few months ago that it looked like this……

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This was hard work! But worth it.

It will be interesting to see what autumn brings. Our last pictures of the hedgehogs before they go to sleep for the winter; chaffinches on the teasles and lots and lots of apples to pick and freeze.

It’s our village scarecrow festival at the weekend which is always a great event as long as the weather is kind to us.

Keep your fingers crossed for fine weather 🙂

Waiting for good

When I last saw my Doctor on Wednesday we chatted at length about the time it is taking me to recover from my latest bout of depression. I suppose like all things, it gets harder as you get older.

She reassured me that I am heading in the right direction, albeit at snail’s pace, but that during my recovery phase I can expect to have good days and bad days. I have to learn to accept the bad days and be kind to myself and I also need to recognise good days and not do too much. I have been waiting for a good day and today has been one of the best for a number of weeks. Of course it is all relative and I need to remember that I am not recovered, I am just not as despairing and hopeless as I have been. But it feels good.

I have achieved more today than I have for a long time but made sure that I had plenty of rest as well in between short bouts of activity.

I managed to pot up my seedlings. Sitting in the lovely warm sunshine with a barrow full of compost in front of me, I was quite content.

Seedlings potted up

Seedlings potted up

I did a tour of my garden taking note of all the new growth bursting forth at last. Here are some of my favourite bits.

Green shoots

runner bean seeds

Today I have one aim. To sow the seeds of my recovery and devise and write-up my personal “Depression Buster Plan”. It won’t be a 5-minute fix but it will  focus on;

Short, medium and long-term strategies for recovery

Aims and goals for sustained improvement over the coming weeks

Plans A, B and C to take into account days where some aims will just be too difficult.

Rewards for success; Rewards for trying; Rewards for not beating myself up when I can’t face Plans A, B or C.

Work, exercise, diet, lifestyle and hobbies will all come under the microscope with the sole aim of reducing stress and increasing resilience.

But first, I need to get outside in the fresh air and space. Hiding away from the world might be comforting but I am in danger of turning into a troll so I will spur myself  on to spend an hour or two looking through my seed packets and decide what to plant this year.

Herbs for the kitchen windowsill, a giant pumpkin for fun, bell peppers and tumbling tomatoes for the patio and I must have some sunflowers for late summer. Everything else I will leave to my better half who is much better at growing vegetables than I am.

It will be nice to measure my progress against my seeds and plants.

Nothing forced; strong, steady, healthy growth with plenty of water, good nutrients and sunlight.

Perfect.

Runner bean seedlings

A walk in the Leicestershire countryside

015Today I was left to my own devices at the local garden centre, Wistow Rural Centre, there to browse the new crop of plants and choose some for my revamped garden. The Centre is a perfect way to spend a few hours of  “me” time and I made the most of every sunny minute.

After buying some plants and leaving them safe whilst I busied myself with other things, I went to the cafe for my lunch. A nice and healthy baked potato with ham salad went down a treat before I was off across the nearby fields to commune with the new-born lambs and swans. The woods are still carpeted with a mass of snowdrops and looked a picture in the dappled sunshine breaking through the trees.

018I walked along the stream into the fields where the sheep and their lambs were mostly snoozing in the warmth of the early afternoon sun and I enjoyed watching the lambs snuggling close to mum and every now and then helping themselves to a little sustenance, little tails wiggling away merrily whilst they fed. Like the apple blossom in May, it’s a favourite sight of mine and a sure sign that Spring is on its way even if it’s taking it’s time this year.

008On my way back to the centre I stopped to look at the large bare-earthed field which in just a few months time will be transformed into a Maize-Maze. This is an annual phenomenon with the maze changing shape each year. I remember taking William around the maze when it was in the shape of a pirate ship, trying to find our way out of the 6 feet high maize without cheating. When you enter the maze you are given a flag to wave if you need help and there are  number of “spotters” standing on platforms dotted around the maze looking out for anyone who needs help to escape. Children and adults alike have great fun wandering around the passages formed by the  maize searching for clues to the quiz that is also part of the experience.

A hot cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake were the perfect end to my afternoon and I managed to fit them in just in time before hubby arrived to bring me home.

How’s that for good timing!

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