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Wildlife Garden Blog

Wildlife Garden Blog

The local British wildlife typical of the South of England - foxes, birds, squirrels, mice, hedgehogs and the occasional badger -  comes and goes in the garden, mostly on account of its natural state due to a lack of neat gardening activities that I long to perfect (when wearing my 'kitchen gardener' hat).

But when I'm not in pursuit of a perfectly managed small vegetable patch, I'm delighted with its natural abundance of self-seeded native plants and trees - when wearing my 'wildlife for Britain' hat. 

Somewhat challenged by this small conundrum in the distant past, I decided a few years ago to do both - on the rare occasion I tidy the garden, it doesn't really look that different in many ways, anyway: the old 'fairy-ring' log-stools still house untold bugs and beetles, the ever-growing pile of sticks and small branches from trees, covered in bramble, is certainly home to hedgehogs and mice, newts tuck themselves into the soil under broken flower pots near the stinging nettles, nests and bird boxes are occupied each year in the trees and nearby shrubbery and foxes must surely enjoy weaving in and out of the garden foliage (I know they do, I've watched them in the dense green alkanet and uncut grasses). Not forgetting the bees, in particular - my 'garden delights'; they feast on the green alkanet, catkins and sedum that all grow with vigour in the garden to provide an almost constant supply of food throughout summer.

There are several edibles naturally growing in the 'kitchen garden', from the trees mainly, along with a few wild strawberries, blackberries and my two prized giant blueberry bushes. The fruit and nuts are shared with the wildlife - the birds finish off the tree berries, rose hips and whatever I leave out for them on the bird-table and in feeders.

So what more needs to be done to develop my tiny wildlife garden? 

I am spoilt with the wildlife on the doorstep in this semi-rural/semi-urban location; with ancient woodland and fields a stone's throw away in one direction, with village and town environments equidistance the other -  I think the best thing I could do is leave it as it is!

But it would be useful to increase my knowledge about the wildlife that visits the garden. 

An understanding of the local wildlife's habits and habits would help ensure the garden environment is one in which it would like to stay a while, rather than just pass through - although I am sure it is permanent residence for quite a few of the wildlife characters that I'm already aware of, there must be one or two small ways I could enhance their nibbles or help them feel safer within the garden by offering better shelter. I would like to do this in an aesthetically pleasing way, so see a few projects coming along next year. Not least, I hope to provide a bee hive for my wild honey bees to use at their convenience - and if they or I decide it's not for them, it will still be a splendid ornament in the garden, with a clear nod of gratitude to the joy my bees bring to the garden.

Over the coming 18 months or so, I hope to post more of my observations, sketches, paintings, photographs and notes about the garden wildlife that lives in and around my garden, and further afield in local wildlife parks, reserves, woodland and countryside that I visit - the biggest challenge will be taking my camera with me!

Of course, art and literature also lend themselves wonderfully to many an eager nature enthusiast - so I will post a few updates from that department too, as I travel along my wildlife garden adventure, camera on my shoulder, notebook in my pocket.

If you would like to read more, some of my favourite wildlife garden posts from the past were from my involvements in the Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days Wild Challenge : June 2016 and June 2018. My new posts will be added to the Wildlife Garden Blog at the top of the menu bar on the right.

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