A massive happy new year to you all and a great colder start it is as well. The first few days here in Hampshire has seen the mercury drop down to -5c, bringing the coldest snap of the winter so far, lets just hope we get a few days of this to kill off the bugs that were everywhere after last winter. I don’t know where the time has gone since Christmas, I had so much planned to carry out over the Christmas break but I don’t seemed to get too far with it all, but thats life.
The garden is slowly coming to life isn’t, so many bulbs are sticking there little heads above the ground. Some of these little further coming delights will be in flower very soon and doubt will feature very soon on the six on Saturday theme.
until then, I hope you enjoy these six
Adding mulch to the borders is such an important job in any garden and once I have done the first winter tidy up, I like to add the mulch soon after. This particular mulch is pretty new for me and I will be giving it ago during the next 12 months and seeing what happens
Well that’s my six done for this week, I hope you enjoyed them and if you would like to see more, please go to the excellent Mr Propagators site and there will loads more on offer
I will give next weeks a miss but I will be back in two weeks with more six things that are happening in my own garden, until then, take care and happy gardening
I have always so loved seeing wildlife around both within the garden and outside in. This love has been there since childhood, where I spent hours watching blackbirds nesting within the hedges that surrounded our house, spending ages within rock pools, seeing what would crawl out of the woodwork.
Even during the times I was fishing, watching wildlife was always part of that, the enjoyment of watching a kingfisher landing on the rod tip, only 10ft away at times was as pleasurable as seeing a big fish in the net. Of course, fishing depends of wildlife from feeding the fish and to the fish themselves, so gaining that information of what is going on, was a great learning curve
My aim in 2018 was to spend more time seeing wildlife and listing what I had seen. Part of the reason behind it was to try and help control my depression and anxiety. This had started to vear its ugly head over the past year or so and I needed something to focus on other than work and family and this was idea. It brought me a lot of enjoyment during the year despite it being my worst year mental health wise I have had for many years well at least 10 anyway.
I always need something to aim for in what ever I am doing, so I set my self a few targets, one was to see 200 species of birds, 20sp of butterflies, 10sp of damsels and dragonflies and 15 sp of bees. Quite tough aims but could of been achievable but in the end I failed to achieve those goals for them all apart from the butterflies, where I scrapped in with 20! Do I care? Nah not at all, it was a little bit of fun that got me looking more into the beauty of what’s surrounding us and looking out for small things within the garden and whilst out walking in the wild and towns.
My highlights have been seeing so many birds for the first time, some I have wanted to see for many many years. Within minutes of driving though France, I spotted a large group of Avocets just feeding on a low reservoir, a bird I had wanted to see since my boyhood. Next highlight was a brief one but just stunning, watching a Hobby chasing a swallow, seeing both birds twisting and turning within the evening sky, like two aircraft in a dog fight. Seeing a large group of Black Tailed Godwits, sat there within 12m of me . Memories that will last with me for years
Butterflies indeed were the only group I managed to see all I aimed to see. The only new one happened to be a 5 second view but what a view! a Purple Emperor landed within a metre from me for a few seconds before flying off again. One of our biggest butterflies and one of the most stunning. I felt so lucky just to see it
Well I am going to do the same this year and just have fun, This year I am going to try for 200 birds again, 25 buffer flies, 20 bees, 10 dragonflies and Damsels flies and 10 different uk Orchids, another childhood favourite! I hope I will get there but if I don’t, well it doesn’t matter, just as long as I enjoy it! I hope you will enjoy my journey too
Well it’s another first for me, 2 blogs in one day, one was planned and one not, but I couldn’t let National Robin Day pass without a slight mention of the gardeners best friend, that delightful little bird who follows us around the garden, uses our tools as a perch to survey its territory, bursting into song almost as a thank you as we work the soil but more as a warning to other robins that’s it’s their territory so leave the worms along! And then they leave a little ‘present’ on the handle of the spade which we always find too late. Sadly and Robin flew away.that it followed for thousands of years, picking up worms that the boar dug up while rooting around in the soil. Gladly we don’t use tusks just spades and forks.
So here’s a poem I nicked from the internet that dates back to around 1948 about Robins. It’s from the most famous of all poets Anonymous, who written some great works. Enjoy and spare a little thought for our little feathered friend.
Little Robin Redbreast
Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a tree;
Up went Pussy-cat,
Down went he.
Down came Pussy-cat,
And away Robin ran;
Says little Robin Redbreast
“Catch me if you can.”
Little Robin Redbreast
Hopped upon a wall;
Pussy-cat jumped after him,
And almost got a fall.
Little Robin chirped and sang,
And what did Pussy say?
Pussy-cat said “Mew,”
and Robin flew away.
My old Blogs
Talk on roses of Mottisfont May 29, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pmThe village hall, cookham dean
Talk on Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, alresford hort SocietyJune 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pmAlresford town hall, alresford
Gardening for wildlife workshopJune 13, 2019Sculpture by the LakesnPallington, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8QU, England
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All text and Photos are copyright @ Thomas Stone2017.