Monday, July 18, 2011

Wild Gardening

The Lilys in the pot on the decking have started to bloom beautifully.The colours are bright,bold, and vibrant.The hanging baskets have started to bloom as well en masse.There is colour all around the garden.These flowers are all full of nectar for the Bee's,insects,and Butterflys to drink.It is like an flying insect buffet for topping up their energy levels.

The pond has drawn Frogs into it, and some common Newts.The mosquitos larvae have joined the water fleas, and smaller beasties in the clear water.The birds love to hop next to the surface to drink, or to bath on the rocks surrounding the pond.The surrounding wildflowers shade the ponds water, and provide neat hiding places away from hungry predators.Near to the pond there is a rotting wood pile, and a small rockery.Both are providing habitats away from the pond.

This Butterfly was resting on the Cucumber plant in the greenhouse.He is protected from the wind,rain, and predators.He was accomodating in letting me photograph him.I provide food and water for the birds and they visit every day.They give me immense pleasure watching their daily lives outside through the patio doors.Not all visitors to gardens are as welcome.

Over the past few days we have had an unexpected visitor.I found a big hole a few weeks ago under the giant Teasels.I thought a mouse had been digging and that the soil had collapsed.Then the corner of the sunken border wwas disturbed and soil heaped up.I did not know what had dug it up.I thought maybe a Fox or Badger had been digging?

The next few days revealed two heaps of freshly dug earth.It had no insects in it,just stones and unfertile soil.I realised we had our first ecounter with a Mole.The European Mole,Talpa Europoea.This little Six inch Mammal is like a mini-me digger, excavating huge tunnels beneath the ground.This fellow is coming to the surface to deposit his earth heaps.They are small, virtually blind, and have hands like shovels.They are secretive and seldom seen above the ground.Their long tunnels form worm traps for worms to fall into.These provide our secretive visitor with his meals.

I just went outside with Cat to show her the third molehill photographed above.I had raked it off the grass.I looked outside an hour later and there was more soil heaped up.I watched and saw the soil mound growing as the Mole pushed it up.I cleared it from the soil and felt the ground.I found the soil collapsed to reveal a neat little tunnel running to the left.

I love Wildlife in the garden.Some are welcomed such as the small garden birds.Some are not as welcome but they still make themselves at home.

Magpies.Starlings,and Squirrels are not as beloved as some of the other garden visitors.You need to try to live all the creatures that share the earth with you.

Our garden is designed to be aesthetically pleasing,but also wildlife friendly.I love the diversity of creatures that a small semi detached garden can attract.It makes going outside educational, as well as to enjoy the flowers and plants.

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