Gardens

There are skunks here that mercilessly dig up the grass in search of grubs. We don't have badgers here and there's no deer in the immediate area. I'm sure if there were deer it would affect my garden. Everything in my garden is not eaten or dug up by the local varmints. Every time something got dug up, I planted something else. Most of my flowers are cultivars of native plants.
 
Surely the whole point of having and improving a garden is to encourage Wildlife? My own modest efforts attract cheeky tiny birds like Coaltits, Robins and Sparrows! I even leave a little tub of fresh water out for them.

They peck around my feet whist I read a novel in the Garden. We are terrific friends, I keep the Cats away, for one thing.

Our local Portsmouth, UK beach is considered a treasure chest of rare plants that can survive salty winds and non-existent soil:

Valerian Portsmouth Beach 2017.jpg


The local Council make great efforts to keep it alive, That one is Valerian for the interested gardener. Brought over by The Romans from the Med, to the best of my knowledge. In the background is Sea-Kale, which is edible if a bit chewy.

I was interested in the blank canvas presented by @tomchr:

tomchr garden.jpg


I am sure it can be filled with wonders. A ground plan and precise location might help, and it helps to know where South is.

Hellibores in dark spots in Bleak Winter:

Hellibores at Big Sis'.JPG


Little Daffodils in March:

Daffodils at Big Sis'.JPG


This being a Cotswold or Midland, UK Garden of some repute which my dear Sister enjoys maintaining. Close to the River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water. Thus never dry.

I have much severer conditions in Southern Sunny Portsmouth. Always watering, otherwise it reverts to heathland.
 
My garden certainly attracts wildlife. So many birds including hummingbirds, so may different bees (lots of bees) and butterflies, praying mantises (big ones) and hummingbird moths, rabbits, skunks, opossums, who knows. Many of the birds in my yard are quite tame. Several generations of robins have nested in my yard and the parents (who grew up in my yard and are used to me) teach their young to be tame to me. It all started when I was digging in the garden and they hung around for grubs and whatnot that popped up as I dug. It's pretty cool.
 
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It's a common misconception. In fact the Robin treats you the same way it treats a wild pig. It thinks you will turn over the soil and find a meal for it. Interestingly populations in countries where small birds are hunted they are less common garden visitors.

This year have Robins, bluetits, wren, house sparrow, blackbird and starling nesting around. Used to have house martins as well until the ******* landlord put some barge boards on so they can't make nests. There are woodpeckers nearby as they bring junior to feed.
 
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main problem is getting up to fit them due to the design of the house. I'm not sure where they all moved to as only see 4 or 5 in the air at the moment and we had 17 nests at one point. Was heartbreaking the first year they came back, landed on the side of the house and realised there was nowhere for them.
 
I used to live in a House where Swallows nested every year. Nests of mud.

I think the smaller birds like a bit of regular tree cover to protect them from marauding Magpies and such.

My Sister told me a story about her digging and weeding activities in her lovely Garden.

She was digging out some weeds one day, when a Blackbird (Song Thrush) popped up and presented her with a Worm!

Blackbird Male.png


It was a nice gesture. I don't suppose she ate it... bur IDK.

In my Portsmouth, UK, Street we also get an occasional Jay:

A spectacular bird, a member of the deeply intelligent Crow family:


European Jay.jpg


They can remember things. Like where they hid a bit of bread from the Seagulls. :D
 
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main problem is getting up to fit them due to the design of the house. I'm not sure where they all moved to as only see 4 or 5 in the air at the moment and we had 17 nests at one point. Was heartbreaking the first year they came back, landed on the side of the house and realised there was nowhere for them.
Don't see many here, except at the park where I walk the dog in the morning. Big open field, so lot's of space to fly down low for bugs. Lot's more out in the country where I grew up. Rural area with many farms.

jeff
 
At the farm up in NC our old house had a central chimney that had a 2’x2’ flue open at the top, we heated with wood only and every spring in early to mid April (still fairly chilly) I’d keep a eye open for the chimney swifts to show up and when they did the woodstove would shut down until they left in mid to late October (again getting chilly) we’d usually have at least 5 or 6 nesting pairs which would turn into 40-50+ by end of summer. My wife does’t really appreciate birds and definitely not when they freeze her out! She usually got over it after seeing the result, every evening at dusk they would circle above the chimney until they lined up right above the hole, flapping in place like a hummingbird and then tuck their wings in and just drop straight in the hole…..coolest thing i’d ever seen!
 
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From nearby, my garden produces a variety of interesting wildflowers but from a distance, everything looks green, except where the last mud slides happened.
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Well, if my eyes don't deceive me, those orange flowers are Montbretia:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/crocosmia

An attractive and very hardy perennial which thrives in Portsmouth, UK.

Having spent yesterday afternoon helping my good neighbour, Paul, a Chemistry graduate, get his front garden into shape and improve our property values as a sought after Portsmouth street, imagine my horror in finding some chaps in blue T-shirts digging it up again!

Yarborough Road Portsmouth UK.jpg


Apparently, the water pipe into his house is LEAD! Thus much excavation and replacement required to keep the water safe,

Don't mention this to Paul, but I had noticed he is a bit slow-witted sometimes. Perhaps the water has affected his brain already. :D
 
Around here lead pipes were common. However they usually ended up clad inside with mineral build up thus not completely horrible.

In my house there is an old no longer used lead pipe stubbed up from the cellar floor. The current pipe is 1/2” copper. I did recently flush it, but may still have to replace it.

Flushing involves removing the water meter and letting the water run freely for a few days. Done under the advisement of the local water authority!

I did add a pressure booster pump!

As to my garden, currently I am killing invasive bamboo plants! Snuck in from my neighbor’s yard when he replaced his fence.

The three new trees are hanging on in spite of a local drought. I did have to plant new grass where neighbors were using my lawn as a driveway. They stopped doing that when I put up a small fence. I made it out of 3” square structural steel tubing.

Tomorrow they start repaving the street in front of my house.

Looking for a bit of help in restoring a bit of the garden that was started around 1950 by a former owner.

As to animals, rabbits to deer. Birds range from robins to hawks! Wood pecker seems to have moved on. Just for humor, ducks next door.

Turns out ducks are better than chickens! They lay eggs without a rooster! These are a flightless variety. Big enough the hawk only watches them.
 
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Garden has finally taken off here in Norfolk. I always fall into the trap of thinking things will look good in April. Nope. May. Nope. June. Sort of. July. Now we’re talking and it stays good until October.
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