Well, I promised a while back to keep blogging about the progress of the Wildlife Garden – and have been very remiss in not doing so! For an excuse I offer up that I’ve been working all the hours the gods give on the latest novel, The Talisman – it’s nearly done now. Of course then I’ll be starting the next one *rolls eyes*.

Back to the garden. We’ve done a lot. We = me and my gardener-friend Kevin Ashby, great bloke, he also helps me with the Apprentice workshops. We had a long list when I last wrote and new things have been added since then but to begin with the Willow Space …

The hedge behind the pond has been tidied up so you can now get down that hidden path without feeling you’re being mauled by Triffids! The Barby (Berberis thunbergii) was reduced to a few inches and is already putting up new shoots so she obviously likes what we did. We both suffer from agoraphobia when we go down there now! No really, having the space back is wonderful and the remaining bushes and trees are sooooo happy to have light and air again. I’m now in process of choosing what bulbs to plant there in a month or two.

The Pond: well … weyhey! We’ve done a lot there. We have moorhens who come to nest on it every spring but this summer their island sank! Kev and I built it for them a while back and it finally got so well grown with plants it turned turtle, fortunately after the moorhen chicks were all safely out of the nest! So I got them a new island through British Flora. It looks a bit brown and dull at the mo but that will change come next spring. The moorhens seem to like nesting under the juniper which you can just about see (green patch above brown island) to we put their new island there. Fingers crossed they like it!

I’ve decided to change the plants the island came planted up with. They were all far too tall and several were invasive – can’t be having with that in our little pond. Tomorrow the following plants will arrive, and on Wednesday Kev will replant the island.

  • Carex Panicea
  • Sisyrinchium Californicum
  • Sagittaria Graminea Crushed Ice
  • Juncus Submodulosa
  • Baldelia Ranunculoides

The carex and juncus will provide good camouflage for the nest as well as being attractive, and all except the carex and sysyrinchium are nitrate reducing plants which is always handy for keeping blanket weed down. All the plants are low-growing and have flowers to attract insects, bees and butterflies. The Baldelia (aka Lesser Water Plantain) is potentially invasive so we’ll keep and eye on it. I used Lilies Water Gardens to source the plants and they seem both good and quick.

More pix after Wednesday …