Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tales from the bottom of the garden ..

Following on from a desperate plea from our hard pressed editor for things to put in to our newsletter I decided through shame that starting in the new year I would do two things:-

1. I would compile a garden list as I’ve always got time to look out the window but not always time to go round the local area

2. I would re design the bottom of the garden for wildlife rather than a rubbish dump!

The first one I will try and do monthly and send to Lloyd but the second I reckon I can string out over the year thereby satisfying our hard pressed editor ( he’ll have articles) and me – I won’t have to do it in a weekend J

So let’s set things out. The area I’ve got to play with is about 20ft x 13ft. My garden being long and thin (Mr Maddox, you’re making up your own punch lines).It already has some benefits to it as I inherited an old Hawthorn bush that I tried to train in an espalier sort of formation to stop the little gits from the school climbing over. And the last time I looked down there I’d got some self set Hollies growing – Berries hopefully but they are only about 12” high at the moment. The best feature though is the self set Silver birch that is currently around 30’ high and houses the feeders. There is also a small shed down there that I could move and use as a “hide” but the background is a bit boring (6ft fence panel)so there is plenty of scope for more plantings that will hopefully enhance this.

So what does it look like, I didn’t want to include photo’s as this would cost the club extra in photocopying expenses so I’ve done a couple of “not to scale” sketches a before and a proposed.

This shows the main bits of the plot. The Hawthorn, Silver Birch, a couple of Lawson’s Cypress and the shed. Underneath this is a load of rubble that was buried by the previous occupant which includes scrap iron, bricks and who knows what and I regularly get Bumble bees nest in it.

This is the proposed layout, removing one of the Cypress to give a log pile, and as it is a bank I intend making a dry stone wall on the front. I’ve left out the bird table that’s currently there as I’m not sure if it will stay in its current position or not. And as to the ground, well I’ll plant it up with a sort of Woodland edge mix although as it runs roughly North/South as you look at it on the page I could get away with pretty well anything. Something else I’ve got to fit in is my Compost bin as this seems to be popular with the local population of Grass snakes!

Added to this is a wildlife pond in front of this, extra feeders and a small wildlife meadow ( it means I don't have to cut it every week like a lawn :-)

Then all I need is the time to sit and take loads of photo’s but that would be another tale ...