Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Build It... And They Will Come

I posted last summer about how I loved the RSPB's Homes for Nature initiative... I think this is such a good idea. All of us have the ability to create a little room for nature in our lives. I have literally been obsessed with nature and wildlife and animals my whole life, and I knew I desperately wanted that in my own garden.

When I first bought this house there was just lawn and a couple of small trees. Since then I have created a flower bed against the back fence, planted a range of flowers, added pots to the patio, and installed a bird feeder and bird table. I have a bird box and bug box but sadly these have been living inside whilst I wait for the energy and ability to put them outside (as in, until Vati comes round and attaches them to the brick of my garage - no way I am doing that). But still, the quantity of wildlife that visits me is very, very small. It's not helped by the fact that my neighbours do nothing to encourage wildlife, and they either have decking or plain lawn.

I seem to be the sort of crazy lady that spends her evenings wandering around, looking for bugs. I have found at least three species of caterpillar, and recently I have seen an increase in ladybirds! FYI, these are known elsewhere in the world as ladybugs. I have no idea why we Brits call them ladybirds, but we do. I also found a crazily beautiful beetle on my (slightly dead) French lavender plant. It was an iridescent pale green and silver striped little thing. I have been unable to identify it online or in my books, and by the time I had my camera charged it had gone. Boo.

(spot the cat)

I never actually mentioned that last year I completed a little project... building a 'pond'. I said I'd bought a plastic storage box, but never mentioned it again! I chose a nice little spot at the back of the garden and dug a hole for it to go in. This actually took a long time because of the sheer amount of stones and bricks that are in the soil. I had to shift the hole a few inches because I just could not remove one such brick and could not sink the 'pond' deep enough to be floor-level. Once done, I tried to fill it with rainwater but did have to add some tap water too. I bought two small pond plants from a local discount garden centre, and added in some bricks to act as steps (to prevent drowning). Within a few days I had insect larvae in it!

I know, I know. It's a work in progress round there. And it needs topping up.

I had to wait a while, but Lo! I finally have evidence of nature making its home in my garden.

And it makes me so happy!!! Hopefully it's the start of many more visits! The past few days I haven't seen anything exotic, but Mr Blackbird is a frequent guest, and I have seen two sparrows, about five starlings and a couple of wood pigeons.

What has been making you happy recently?


  1. Be careful that isnt mosquito larvae! I dont know if mosquitoes are a problem in the UK, but here we try not to have standing water because they breed in it

    1. Luckily we don't really have that issue here!!! Interesting to know though... It's actually quite common to have a pond!