My birthday has come and gone since my last blog. I was lucky enough to receive three new fruit bushes as gifts. This posed a bit of a challenge as I had run out of room. On spending some time in my wood store, I realised I had enough offcuts from when we fixed our existing beds to build a new planting area (hurrah). I decided to construct it as part of the make-over of our concrete area and to provide a division between our parking area and the shed/concreted area. We were so pleased with the results as it ties bits of the garden together in a more pleasing way and the berries have lots of space to grow.
Hettie spent a good bit of one of our days in the garden re-planting weeds that I had painstakingly teased out of the garden borders. The children both have their own area of the garden and hers is now full of things rescued from a variety of places. As she re-plants them, she gives them a kiss… very sweet and luckily for her, she knows what a stinging nettle looks like!
The children and I spent some time organising our shed and found we have lots of extra seeds. The nursery they go to are extending their planted areas and we had a nice time deciding which seeds to gift to them from our seed tin. We chose things to attract pollinators and some vegetables. They are using pre-loved items as planters which is great and shows the children about upcycling and how to reduce waste.
We pruned our buddleia a couple of weeks ago and the children decided to make a house out of the branches and twigs. They needed a bit of help from us but, once constructed, settled in on a blanket and had a feast of cereal. The wind has blown their house down now, so I think it needs moving onto our twig pile in our woodland patch. We try to keep some areas of our garden untouched, and this is one of them, we disturb it very rarely. This week we needed to move a plant that wasn’t doing well elsewhere into it. On digging a hole, we discovered a creature I have never seen before. It was dubbed the strawberry bug until we looked it up and found out it was called a red velvet mite, a small arachnid that likes to live in leaf litter.
The children have got really interested in animal and specifically bird identification after our big bird watch breakfast I mentioned in my last post. With Hettie`s birthday approaching we have put animal identification books onto her birthday list. I spotted a dunnock the other day which although are not rare, I had never heard of before. It’s good to learn new things with the children and through them I am noticing more details in the nature around us. Eddie is really interested in worms, insects and butterflies. He had a wonderful experience the other day when a butterfly landed on his hand during a walk up our local hill. You can see the joy on his face in the photo above. We found some great resources online such as Buglife website where you can find out how to make your garden more bug friendly, have fun making insect related artwork and they have a range of information for all ages linking in with other environmental topics.
Hettie is also getting really interested in photography and has been using an old camera of ours to capture the blossom on the trees, flowers and lambs. She isn`t interested in taking photos of people according to her and the photos of gorse and the dandelion below were taken by her on one of our walks.
Last but not least, we had a great show with a beautiful double rainbow yesterday, it was amazing getting some rain for our poor dry plants.