With a little help from my brother Pete, who climbed up a wobbly 15ft ladder, I now have a range of bird and bat boxes up in my garden. I was inspired to make a bird box from an old wooden pallet following the PLANT gardening workshop on giving nature a home. It looked easy enough and it was. The finished article looks fine but just in case I also got a couple of bird boxes from the RSPB website.
These all went up at the end of February but I think the best time to put up bird boxes is late autumn/early winter so that the birds have a chance to check out the space, investigate how safe it could be and be brave enough to give it a go.
Over the last few months house sparrows, blue tit, coal tits and the occasional tree sparrow have been checking the boxes out so I am hopeful that one or two of them might move in next year. In the meantime I have been watching a very busy blackbird building a nest in the hedge and it seems that West Highland Terrier fur is the secret of a cosy nest.
The garden is becoming more bird and bee friendly with wood piles, a bug and bee hotel and a range of flowers including new lavenders, holly, sunflowers and foxglove. I think most plants must have some beneficial uses for wildlife but I also want to include honeysuckle, ivy, thyme and jasmine to make sure that the garden supplies food, gives shelter and provides good nesting cover. I also want to make sure that the garden helps bees. The drastic situation that bumblebees are in means they really need all of us to try and help. Already two species are extinct in the UK and another two, the Great Yellow Bee and the Shrill Carder bee are only present in small numbers. Bees are amazing pollinators and we need them more than they need us, so if you have a wee space throw in wildflowers and make sure you have bee friendly plants in your garden. It’s easy to do and it could make a massive difference. You can check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website for more information.
Meanwhile back at the garden the tatties and onions are in the ground and I am just about to knock down the old out houses, my brother will be roped into that too, so I can get more growing space. It’s still a work in progress but it’s definitely getting there.