Author: Christine

Wildlife Update

There seem to be a lot of birds nesting in the garden. I’ve spotted blue and great tits, and possibly long tailed tits, goldfinches, robins, sparrows and blackbirds. Hopefully wrens and hedge sparrows too. Sadly  our mallard duck has been frightened away, and now a crow has twice raided a mistle thrush nest in our large conifer and carried off two baby chicks. Poor thrushes; all that effort to be gone in a minute. I positioned myself under the nest and had the fright of my life when a fledgeling cascaded out of the best and landed at my...

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What to do in the Herb Garden in April

We have expanded the herb garden this year so there is a lot to do! One job that we enjoy doing is propagating our own herbs, so here are some of the things we are doing at the moment. There’s still time to sow lots of seeds for the garden, either in the greenhouse or some now directly into the garden. Most can be sown directly outside next month. Herb Seeds to sow in April In the greenhouse: Parsley (actually a biennial) Basil (will need extra heat to start it off and keep indoors until last frosts) Summer Savory Coriander Sweet marjoram...

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Dotty Ducks

One plan that has been ‘put on hold’ for the moment is the new White Garden as a pair of Mallard ducks have set up home in this area and have about 8 eggs in the nest – we can’t disturb them by law, but we wouldn’t anyway as we value all of our wildlife visitors, even those holding up work in progress. This particular pair originally set up home in the herb beds. They were hidden under a Myrtle bush and I had the shock of my life when the duck flew up and off when I was weeding in the bed. They are...

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Winter Wreaths

Now is an ideal time to decorate outdoor wreaths. We have been very busy here as last week Richard, our willow grower, showed us how to weave a willow wreath. Christmas willow wreaths are lovely, but the stems of some of our garden plants can be used too. Cornus stems for example come in red, orange and yellow and can be used on their own or added to the willow. Honeysuckle and vine stems are also useful and can again be used on their own or with willow or cornus. We tend to use natural material from the garden to fill in the willow...

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Jobs in the Garden for December

If you are very hardy and want to do some gardening in December, here are some jobs to do at this time of year: Carry on / Finish tidying up the borders by removing dead foliage and leaves. Move perennials if needed. Plant tulip bulbs a.s.a.p into the garden; it may be a good idea to put some grit or sand underneath them as the soil is so wet at the moment. Alternatively you can place the bulbs into pots and then take them out and plant them in the beds when you are ready. I find a three litre pot with about 5 bulbs in is good for this. Protect your pots from mice because they do like a snack of tulip bulbs. Prune trees such as Silver Birch before new leaves form in the Spring Put your feet up and plan what you want to do next year – definitely my preferred...

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