Sunday, 3 November 2013

From a Wiltshire garden

I'm sat in the kitchen looking at the rain, but the skies in the distance are brighter, so there's some hope for the afternoon.  I thought I would write a piece about my garden as lots of my wildlife and nature photos come from there and it's a pretty amazing place, but not for the reasons you might expect, perhaps.

For a start it's around 30 feet square and 95% is laid to concrete, tarmac and patio slabs.  Yep, you read that right, it's tiny and the majority of the soil in it has been brought in by me, in bags!
It's more or less surrounded by houses.  Shops and flats on one side and a terrace of residential houses, with proper gardens, stretching down the hill on the other side.
So what is there to interest the wildlife? I hear you ask.  Well the garden is pretty much left to nature (the most fantastic excuse not to do any gardening ever invented!)  There's a buddleia in one corner, that I hack at to try and stop it from taking over what little space there is, beloved by butterflies and insects.
After my Dad died and we decided to give up his allotment, I transferred a young pear tree that he'd planted.  I hooked up some patio slabs and just plonked it in and it's flourished providing interest in all seasons.
At the back of the garden there's the abandoned garden of some flats, around 20 feet square.  There's a Sycamore tree in there which refuses to die despite being cut down twice.  Also from there I have masses of brambles that have spread up over the shed roof.  I keep then contained at that point and they provide blackberries for the birds as well as me!
The flat's garden seems to be trimmed back annually, but that leaves enough time for growth to spread over the rest of the year and the blackbirds perch formed part of that hanging over the fence.
We are also a hedgehog path used to navigate around the city gardens.  This poor chap had a run in with the Hairy Horror (my Glen of Imaal terrier) but survived to scuttle away.  The dog needed spikes removing from her nose and ticks taken out of her ears.  Sadly, my lovely dog died about a year ago and since then the number of cats in the garden has risen by 2000%.  New dog needed,  I think!
The kitchen juts out into the garden giving me a dual aspect on the activities and plenty of places to set up a camera quietly out of site.  And that's about it really, join me and who knows what we will find in this amazing, compact, space.

Photo data: various all taken in a Wiltshire garden

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