Friday, 17 April 2015

The story of a wildlife garden - so far.

I've been off line quite a bit as I've had labrynthitis and kept wobbling about! It's getting better so I thought I'd pop in and post a few photos of the beautiful blossom in our wildlife garden.

This garden is the fourth I've had and it's like no other before! When I moved here in 2008 I was a bit shocked to find it such a long way from our flat, with no water or power. It was originally like a small, undulating field which had been cleared of brambles, with just two old buddleia plants in it! All that visited were a couple of magpies, so I suggested to Himself that we could have a garden for wildlife. He's unable to do gardening, but loves wildlife as I do, so he thought this was a  great idea. The top border was dug out  in 2009 and shrubs to attract bees, butterflies and pollinating insects  planted. Since then we have planted five trees and a wildlife hedge of native British shrubs,  and many herbaceous plants and herbs. The garden has to be manageable for me as we still have no power outside and  all water has to be carried down from our second floor flat! (The garden in front belongs to the old gentleman who lives below us.)

This is the border a couple of years later.

And here it is today! This viburnum is filling the spring air with perfume.


The kerria attracts loads of insects and looks beautiful.

Likewise this lovely peach coloured chaenomeles.

 The bees love the ceanothus.

Our little trees are growing so well too,  the weeping crab apple is all set to take centre stage.

And the pear trees are out in full bloom.

 The forsythia was originally a tiny cutting my mother in law gave me! (The squirrels and magpies have displaced the bird feeder stand going after peanuts, and it needs sorting out!)

Even tiny gooseberry blossom is important for emerging pollinating insects.

 And of course, dandelions are very important! We have a lot of these! :)

 Our bug and bee retreats are already attracting potential nest builders and egg layers.

The hellebores are still blooming,  and have been since early January. They are probably my favourite cultivated plant. The old brick path is very weedy and broken down, but I'm loath to change it!

 Bee friendly wallflowers! The colours are just gorgeous.

This peony appears to have been planted in the original 1950's garden and  still comes up every year!

 And this is the wildlife hedge - the first spring after I planted it in December 2011.

This is what it looked like this morning! We have blossom!

I'm excited waiting for the guelder rose to bloom for the first time!

And maybe the wild roses?

 Anyway,  our garden visitors seem to like it,  this little poppet flew down to  investigate while I was taking the photos!

It's great to  look back and realise how far we've come,  now we have a variety of birds, mammals insects and amphibians visiting us regularly. I hope this year will bring even more. How's your garden?


Valerie Gardiner said...

Wow, you have certainly worked hard and with such wonderful results. I love all your flowering shrubs and trees, well done Jules.

Alex said...

What a gorgeous garden - such a delight to see all your spring flowers and blossoms. Our weeping cherry and weeping crab apple are just coming into blossom and I'm crossing my fingers we get a lovely crop of crab apples in autumn.

Tammie Lee said...

such lovely images!
wonderful to see your bee houses
i made my first one this year:
i hope they move in like your photo shows yours did, how fun!
Plus your pretty little robin, ours are twice that big, at least. Today i saw a robin bath in my creek, from a distance, made me smile. sweet spring to you!

sharonb said...

Looks lovely Jules and it looks so neat. I have something that looks very similar to your kerria in my garden. I have no idea what we call it here but it not that - no matter, I am sure you would recognise it. I love hellebores but have not got them growing here in Australia. I think we are too dry. Oh and the Dandelion I have those too!!!!

Rachel said...

It does seem that the local wildlife have much cause to be grateful to you. Isn't it satisfying to see how much it has grown!

Starr White said...

Your wildlife garden is a joy! I'm so happy you shared this with us - it's wonderful to take a peek inside your world. Weeping crabapples and gooseberries - eeeek! I want those too - but it's much too hot here in summer for gooseberries. I will just have to enjoy yours through photos:) And an idea about the water situation - have you considered getting some rain barrels? you could make your own quite inexpensively and it sure would be hauling water from a second story :))

Starr White said...

that should say 'beat' hauling water :))))

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

What a gorgeous wildlife garden Jules, how far it has come under your expert care! I admire your tenacity, hauling water two floors down and across the yard, that is real commitment. So sorry to hear you've been suffering from labrynthitis, hope you are on the road to recovery and that you won't feel wobbly too much longer! Healing energy headed your way xoxo

crazyQstitcher said...

A joy to see the beauty you've added to your garden. I recognize many of your plants , which are so healthy and lush.
You and your DH have obviously had great success with bring the wildlife to visit.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Something for everyone in your lovely garden!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Dear Jules thanks for letting us walk through your lovely garden. I am looking forward to rebuilding some of my garden as a lot got trampled over when we were renewing our footpaths and doing the pond and the driveway.