Gardening - what's going on in your garden

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  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740
    edited 21. May 2021, 12:46

    We have flocks of jackdaws here @stellabean , I didn’t know they did that 😢. I guess this is why songbirds have large and multiple broods - they’re just part of the food chain. Nature can be really horrible, but as Mr LM is fond of saying, if this didn’t happen “we’d be knee deep in blue tits”. (To which my response is that being knee deep in blue tits would be lovely). I’ve had a personal vendetta against magpies after I saw a pair peck a starling fledgling to death, while it’s frantic parents tried to fight them off, but eventually gave up. I did my best to intervene, but realised, like it’s parents, there was nothing I could do. (I was at work at the time). I have managed to rescue other fledglings over the years, including a young blackbird who lived in my kitchen for a while until she could fend for herself, and an entire brood of 4 spotted fly catchers that had been abandoned by their parents, and who were nesting below my bedroom window. We scooped them up after the parents had been gone for 24 hours, and took them to our local college who run a wildlife rescue centre, who continued raising them and teaching them to catch flies for themselves, and were successfully released to join a flock of flycatchers in time for their migration back to Africa.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    I was in my garden yesterday and I have 2 doves always come to say hello I really think they were laughing at me battling with the weeds I also have seagulls nesting on my roof every year usually find the discarded eggs so I know when they’ve had their chicks, I also have baby hedgehogs every year they have their own maternity unit in my shed so pretty cute really

    I’m thinking of re-locating my large conifer any tips on when or how I should do it greatly appreciated

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    @Jona , leave as big a root ball as you can, plant with compost to give it a head start, and keep it really well watered for the rest of the year. But tbh larger conifers don’t relocate well, so be prepared for it not to survive if you try.

    lovely to hear about all the wildlife sharing your home, very envious of your hedgehogs. Do make sure there’s a shallow bowl of water out for them all the time, and you can feed them dried cat food (not fish flavour), no milk!! And only a few mealworms, they’re bad for them in large amounts.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi Lilymary,

    Thanks for the advice re the conifer it’s very hardy so fingers crossed it will take, as for Harriett the hedgehog she has plenty of water one year she left one behind I took it in put it in a box with a hot water bottle and it seemed to settle but my little westie was going mad to get it so the rspca took it to a man that looks after abandoned hedgehogs 🦔 I didn’t have any experience of them then I have now so if it happens again it won’t though as I leave her to get on with things but I’ll adopt it

    nature is amazing but not when they just leave them, the babies are pretty cute though even if it did stress me out

    love Jona 😊

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 146

    We are eagerly awaiting delivery of a quantity of lost-label flowering plants from a well-known gardening firm.

    They'll be grown on in containers so we have something colourful to put in the bare garden when we move into our new house next month. It will be intriguing to discover what we have bought! A gardener's lucky dip? 🌻

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Hi @Jona , young hogs are hard to care for. When I’ve found any in need I’ve taken them to our local wildlife rescue, who will feed them up, and if necessary keep them over winter, and release them to good sites the next spring. If they’re underweight at the beginning of winter they won’t survive.

    @crinkly , that sounds fun! Do let us know what you end up with!

  • stellabean
    stellabean Member Posts: 307

    The blackbirds despite the best efforts of the jackdaws have raised 2 fledglings who are now learning to fly from tree to tree I am so proud. In the last month they have managed to munch their way through 3 kilos of mealworms ( well them and the other birds we feed)

    Crinkly hope you get some gems it is going to be like a treasure hunt.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I have a couple of bird feeders, one outside my lounge window to give me something other than the TV to look at all day, and one in my back garden. 3 weeks ago I ordered 60 fat balls and 10 litres of meal worms, I have a re-order being delivered today! Starlings are the main culprits of the meal worm feast but I am also getting robins, blue tits, sparrows, magpies, collar doves, wood pigeons, even a woodpecker and loads of others including pesky rooks. The rooks frighten all the others off when they arrive with the surprising exception of the wood pigeon; the fattest wood pigeon I have ever seen arrives between 2 and 4pm daily and sits on the seed tray for at least an hour, helping itself to food along the way, it is not phased when a rook arrives and I even saw it attacking the rook the other day which I was surprised about but it repeated it yesterday. I normally keep my front door open during the day for fresh air and also so I can see people passing, my cat loves to sit on the doormat looking at the birds, occasionally she will run after a bird who is feeding off the ground (rooks are messy eaters and drop a lot) but thus far she has not managed to catch one. A neighbour saw her chasing a magpie the other day which caused him to laugh.


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Our hedgehogs are back at the Hog Cafe. Along with some very hungry and thirsty little woodmice. The mice often end up in the house, thanks to Tobycat bringing them home to meet the family, but mostly we manage to rescue and release them, which he doesn’t seem to mind

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I had 14 baby Starlings on my bird feeder yesterday, can anyone beat that number?


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Wow, that’s amazing Mike. They’re such funny and intelligent birds, and their iridescent plumage is gorgeous.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Aw they are so gorgeous bless them so cute thank you for sharing that made my day xx

    love Jona 😊

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740
    edited 18. Jun 2021, 15:39

    A little too much has been going on in my garden lately (viz planting out an entire boot-full of plants after a shopping binge at the garden centre) and I'm paying for it now, with two very grumpy hips, including my new one. So i'm having a gentle day today, attempting to do some work, while listening to bird song from my window.

    At this moment I can hear jackdaws, wood pigeons, sparrows, blue tits, chaffinches, goldcrests, wrens, robins, goldfinches, willow warblers, and black caps. The last two sound almost tropical, they have such a beautiful song, particularly for such plain looking birds, all I need is a few of those ring neck parakeets to add to the foreign feel. We also have dunnocks (who also have a beautiful song and dull appearance) greenfinches, siskins, great tits, long tailed tits, blackbirds, song thrushes and our favourite visitors, spotted flycatchers (we could do with a few more of those right now!), along with swallows, house martins and swifts, but most of those will join in later this evening, just before the bats and hedgehogs come out.

    We have the odd visit from a sparrow hawk and spotted woodpecker, and have tawny owls and buzzards nearby that we can hear from the house, along with heron, dippers and grey wagtails flying along the river, and the odd mallard. (Strangely the two conjoining rivers through the village used to have loads of ducks, even a pintail once, but they all disappeared after Storm Desmond in 2015 and have never really returned.) But how much nicer this would all sound if we had no traffic... it was lovely during the first lockdown, but that's a high price to pay for peace and quiet.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Had a Woodpecker on my feeder yesterday.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Lovely @Mike1 ! They’re fabulous birds. Green or spotted?

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Spotted!


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    @Mike1 Gorgeous! People tend to think of British birds as unremarkable and only get excited over foreign birds, but sometimes we need to stop and really look at our home grown ones, they’re amazing! Even common or garden Blue tits and chaffinches in full breeding plumage are really stunning.

  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233

    I'm so excited!

    We recently had a deck built at the far end of our garden and had them build a raised pond for us. It's made of sleepers and is one sleeper long, 1/2 sleeper wide and about 3'6" deep. OH has been really inspired so it has been protected with the fleece like stuff; pond liner is done and water is in already. The pump went in over the weekend so now I have a fountain too - and I can see it from the back door which is a bonus. Now he is taking his time in the heat while he puts wook cladding to match our other raised planters.

    Mum gave me some plants about 4 years ago and they have been in buckets ever since, my next job is to get the plant baskets and proper stuff for the roots and get the plants in. Got to make a ramp for animal escape routes, although it's raised the end of the garden is much higher than the front and hedgehogs and others could conceivably get stuck.

    I've never had a pond

    xxx

  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233

    Hi, Well I have liberated some plant pots for pond plants and some soil too from my wonderful Mum, and I am ready to go. Sadly my g'dau has stopped loving following me round the garden, learning the names of plants and getting stuck in, she is 10 now so I've hopes it will come back in time.

    I had to get a hosepipe to get rid of the duck weed which was brought into mums pond by ... ducks who came to see if her pond would make a good nesting site. Sadly not much shade or something else put them off. I have emptied 2 buckets of irises and kept enough to suit my pond. These are yellow and a blue with a variegated leaf which should look lovely. I've put them back in a bucket with clean water for now to be sure the pond week has gone.

    Hoping to get plants in by the weekend

    x

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Thought I’d stick my head above the parapet for a few seconds! The garden is growing faster than I can cut it down, even had to get some electrical assistance out in the form of the hedge trimmer a few days ago. A good excuse for a feet up existence for a few days after😂. Longer term it’s a chain saw job that will take up many parts of the winter doing a bit at a time. A new neighbour that doesn’t do much is affecting our garden, bind weed everywhere and where there isn’t much there’s ivy.

    I’ve thought about some fast growing bamboo to push all the weeds away then we can make up some bows and arrows to keep the Indians out! Or at least hide in the bushes. Enough of our fun and games, I can feel the lash of the whip to make me get on with some work……

    its a grin, honest!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,387

    Well done Airwave. Ours has been being landscaped all summer and is finally (as of yesterday) looking like it might be a garden in the end!

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    My back garden is FULL of weeds, even coming up through my plastic grass. I have pulled up a few but only being able to manage 10 minutes or so at a time, and unable to bend over, they seem to be coming up quicker than I can get rid of them. Looking on the bright side at least they are green and, after all, weeds are only plants in the wrong place!!

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Mike, Weedkiller has been invented for the likes of us, I went to the local garden centre to get some refill and looked at the prices, it was cheaper to buy a gallon with a pump top that buy a refill? I kept the old bottles, took the top off and filled them up. Two lighter weight squirt bottles with enough left over for another fill or two😛.

    I have a fire stick for use on the paths as long as you get the weeds whilst they’re small. It’s nice having a big garden and sometimes I feel it’s worth it when the GC run mad in it. Mind you peace and quiet are nice too…….

    Onwards weed destroyers !!!

    its a grin, honest!

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 146

    Having finally moved into our new house six weeks ago we have inherited a tiny front area of baked, cracking earth and a rear clover patch surrounded by straggly pruned roses and poor 'building site' soil. On the positive side bees love the clover lawn and, although further North (near Durham), we are nearly 1,000 feet lower than in Buxton so will have a longer growing season to enjoy.

    For this year the house takes priority but we brought with us a number of container-grown plants which are providing some added colour and interest. Star this week is a 30 year old cactus that appreciates being outdoors on the south facing site and has produced three spectacular pale pink flowers.

    This is our first time, in 53 years, of tackling a previously untended building plot so plans are afoot for raised beds and new ways of gardening on a smaller scale than previously. Hopefully next Summer will see enough progress for me to post before and after shots! An interesting challenge for two creaking wrinklies - with some help from a grandson. Roll on 2022! 🌸

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    I’ll look forward to your before and after pics @crinkly !