Monday, 30 June 2014

Pot Vandals

The waterfall seems to have stopped leaking now. I noticed something has been knocking over the plant pots at the top of the garden with solar lights in. Cats? Hedgehogs? Clumsy pigeons? I am tempted to invest in one of those hedgehog tunnel things that mark the footsteps of whatever runs through it at night, but frankly am a bit worried about what I might discover is lurking in my garden. Not sure how I would cope with tiny little shoe prints...

Also at the top of the garden is a blue plastic toybox that got left out and filled up with water. Fred the frog lives there all on his own. He doesn't seem to want to mix with the other frogs in the pond. 

I keep it topped up so he can hop out if he ever wants but I don't think he could hop back in and so I'm pretty sure he hasn't left it for several years now. Perhaps I should ask him if he saw who knocked over the plant pots...

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Between the showers

Lots of rain today after a few claps of thunder. Managed to get outside for half an hour, dead head some shrub blooms and tie up new delicate looking shoots of the tamarix, which I pruned last year because it had become top heavy. Not that there's anything delicate about a tamarix, even though they look it. They will survive pretty harsh treatment and conditions.

The stick I planted looks happy. Fingers crossed.

The waterfall was still leaking somewhere, despite my efforts. The outlet pipe (which is a length of watering hose) felt wet at the back when I ran my finger along it and I think perhpaps the upwards angle is causing a problem, so I've rearranged the back of the waterfall so that the pipe now comes in and points downwards. It's not so good for creating a trickling effect as the pipe is nearer the surface of the little reservoir at the top of the waterfall but without a major project that's the best I can do at the moment. If it still leaks after this, I shall have to take the waterfall apart and rebuild it, something I want to avoid doing as it's made of dry stone and it's a devil to fit them together so they look natural and still do the job properly.

It's an ugly job but somebody has to do it!

The pond is still clear. The small bale of barley straw I put in there last spring is still afloat on the surface doing its job. Apparently its the heat that makes the straw decompose so that it works properly to keep algae at bay, so I've tied it in its netting to keep it at the top of the pond and weighed it down with a gargoyle.

Friday, 27 June 2014


Yesterday a damsel fly with a bright red tail was flitting around me as I headed for the 6 foot high, 3 foot wide, 50 ft long overgrown hedge with my cordless hedgecutter. Horrid job. There's a huge bramble growing out of the middle of the hedge so I can't dig it out. Much scratching and cursing!

Last night, after tea with said inlaws, it was raining when me and Himself came home to find a stone coloured frog sitting outside the gate ready to greet us. We shushed him back in away from the road. Hope he found some nice fat slugs!

My inlaws had a jay in their garden a few days ago. I am very jealous.

Jay photos by Steve Dewey. See more of his amazing photos at flickr and keep up with his writing and wildlife photos

A reliable source tells me that jays are low feeders and will eat peanuts, suet and household scraps.

The solar lights are struggling as the foliage grows bigger. We have a very tightly packed secret garden and it's difficult to find places to put the solar lights where they get enough sunlight. The Royal Horticultural Society says that "solar-powered lights emit a very dim light that is unlikely to affect wildlife". I've yet to see a pole dancing frog strutting her stuff under the colour changing disco-style solar lights so I suspect they may be right.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Sticks, stones and no broken bones

Massive punch up at the window feeder between half a dozen starlings who have not yet evolved the idea of queues! Mealworms seem very popular. The poor sparrows are having to flit in when nobody's looking to pinch the leftovers! 

Yesterday our juvenile robin was perching within a foot of me as I was potting up a large stick, putting his head on one side and hopping about. I dont know if he understood what I was chatting to him about, but I think we were both content with the arrangement.

Potting up a stick, you ask? Are you mad? Quite possibly, but that's another story. The stick is a two inch thick piece of what I think is an Indian Bean Tree next door that fell off in the storms about a year ago. It was a nice straight branch, so we cut off the ends and put it in the shed and forgot it. Yesterday I noticed it was shooting from several nodes so I thought, what the hell, let's plant it and see what it does. 

The waterfall behind the wildlife pond

The pump that feeds the waterfall stopped working when I filled up the stand-alone reservoir. I had to take some of the waterfall apart and access the pump under the pebbles to give it a knock to start it going again. Very high tech here, we are. When I lifted up the stone covering the outlet pipe, there was a half grown frog sat there happily. He didn't want to move so before I put the stone back I had to give him a gentle push with my finger before he would hop away.