Sunday, 28 March 2010

Garden friend and foes

Another busy day out in the Garden, 200 onion sets have been planted out, The apple tree stump has finally been lifted, the hedge has been cut and the flower bed has been tidied up a little removing all the old brown iris leaves to make way for this years growth. It was when I was tidying up the flower bed that I made the following discoveries.
This Garden friend, the 7 spotted ladybird, is a very welcome inhabitant of our garden.

But hiding in amongst the same leaves were these not so welcome,

the colours are so varied , it's such a shame that they cause such devastation in the garden.

Then more were found hiding inside an old chimney pot.

 I don't like the idea of killing them and I know that if I just toss them across the track into the common most of them would be back in the garden by tomorrow, so I put them into a bucket and carried them up the lane.

I then emptied them out onto the verge half a mile away from my home and no where near anybody elses property either, hopefully most will be found by the local thrushes and badgers.

 But some will survive I am sure.

On my way back home I stopped on a few occasions to pick up some litter and to photograph these lesser celandine  (Ranunculus ficaria)

And to finish the day off perfectly we watched a March hare running around on the common which lifted a Meadow pipit.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Busy Bee

Who needs daffodils to prove spring has arrived, when the sun is shining and the cold wind has dropped.

A spring garden wouldn't be complete without primroses would it? I have always loved seeing primroses, of course they are best seen in hedgerows, but I had to have some in my garden too.

our Rhubarb, we don't do anything special with this, it just keeps coming up year after year.

One of our first visiting bees, I lingered a bit longer than I would have done here, and watched as this bee flew in to collect pollen from these crocuses.

If you look carefully you can see the pollen collected by this bee in its sacs located on its hind legs

my Helibores are promising to burst into colour soon.

I was in two minds about posting this, my poor Bay, I've had it for years and never had to protect it over the winter months, in hind sight I think I should have done this year.

And lastly I've put this in as a bit of a teaser, I know what this is, do you?
There is a reason for me including it - all will be revealed in a few weeks hopefully.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

It's time to sort out those nest boxes

A very productive time in the garden this morning.
First job was to dig over our raised beds and dig up our remaining carrots and parsnips, we are now ready for this years vegetables.
The call of thirteen curlew across the common gave us a welcome break , as did eight raven which flew over the garden.

We then turned our attention to our 6 nest boxes. You can indentify the birds which have been using your nest boxes by looking at the construction of the nests and by looking at any remaining shells. This year we didn't have any shells but we did have these beautiful nests.
The one on the left is a blue tit's nest and the one one the right is a sparrow's.

The blue tit's nest is kept low in the box, neat and compact.

A sparrow builds it's nest upwards, it even builds a domed roof and fills in any cracks such as around the top of the door. very snug.
Once they are emptied they are returned to their trees ready for this year.

Of course there are birds that prefer to find their own nest sites in the most unexpected places.

A blackbird chose this old antler which is lying in our wood shed to build it's nest last summer.

Lunch break is over time to get back into the garden for a spot of weeding, oh joys!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Look what our neighbour has placed in his garden

I love this, it reminds me of Narnia and now when I walk or drive past it towards my home it feels as though it is marking the entrance into my own enchanted land, I don't know if he is planning on putting a light on it or leaving it as it is but I just think it is wonderful!

and back to that enchanted land, our first two crocus 's have poked their heads out this week, so we have a little bit more colour in our garden now.

and as you know, I do like colour!!!