Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
Wildlife Gardening and Rewilding Mini Series
Lord of the Rings | The Shire – Music & Ambience
Growing on the Wild Side!
In September of this year l made the decision that for next year’s gardening, l wanted to introduce and add more vibrancy to the garden, but equally look at bringing the garden back a few steps. Currently our garden whilst nice to look upon, is under no defined management and l think lacks a direction. It is a larger garden for our needs as a family. Initially we took the rental on board for both Scrappy and our needs, a wish to be organic growers for the table.
The previous tenants were not gardeners, they were reptile keepers and so the garden underwent and experienced a maintenance that was in the minimum ‘basic requirements met’.
The house was originally owned by a proud gardening couple, however in 2008 a couple of years after her husband had passed away – the orginal owner passed away herself and her son put the property on the market and our current landlord took it on board to act as a rental for her property business. We are the fourth tenants here and so far the longest tenancy, and for the first time since the original ownership – the only tenants that are actively interested in gardening the garden itself and awarding it some much needed TLC.
We have been here since July 2016, next year will be our fourth year and of the three and a half years or nearly so, we have worked on the garden and brought it back to life in some areas as well as worked towards reorganising the balance of the soils. I have had those same three and half years as hands on experience to watch and observe how this garden rolls, ticks, thinks and reacts to the seasons.
Sadly from April 2018 – August 2019 l was out of physical action due to my shoulder injury, and so Suze had to manage it herself – regular readers to my blog will know that in July of this year, Suze herself fell ill and so the 2019 garden whilst having plant growth and life to it, fell by the sides for a wee while and was allowed in some respects to return to the wild due to inattendance and it was during this fall from grace period that l started to seriously think on really looking at how best l/we could work the garden to a natural state that proved advantageous to ourselves and our local wildlife residencies, or as is now known start to work the magic of ‘rewilding the garden’.
The garden here is a large garden, not acre upon acre, but large for two people who have a dog that no longer enjoys the garden and prefers to stay indoors mostly.
I have exciting plans for next year for our garden and intend to in addition to our organic vegetable gardening to allow for areas of the garden to be returned to a wilder side of growth. Over the next 4 – 6 episodes l will tell you of my plans to introduce habitats, plants and flowers that l will be introducing to the garden here to encourage and motivate a wilder interaction of wildlife.
As l sit typing today, l look to my right out into the garden, the weather is currently not enthusiastic and it is a grey, grey day – overnight we had more rain, and l think back to this time last year, this close to Christmas we had very cold dry weather with very little rains, unlike now when we have had very few straight days with no wind, rain or heavy rainstorms, making gardening plans distant or obsolete or just plain awkward. But from my position l can see 90% of the back garden and l can see the wildlife enjoying my handiwork of yesterday with our bird feeders in the trees.
I had plans yesterday to work on more composting in an attempt to empty off one of the bins, however rains and winds soon paid that off and so l concentrated upon repairing and refilling the bird feeders and introduced a bird house platform, a new robin feeder and some half shell coconut fat feeders. So far l have counted a total of twenty seven birds enjoying the services we offer them for the winter. They have found enjoyment on the ground where l sprinkled seed and suets and fat balls yesterday, or they are tucking into the grain, nut feeders or the mealworms.
I started this in earnest mid Autumn and since these have been replenished, refilled and attended to weekly l have come to see three new varieties arriving for snacks in the last couple of months alone, that did not venture into the garden previously. This is afterall what it is about. There are so many different birds that visit the gardens up and down the country, many a time most see them and take them for granted and yet how many l often wonder give thought to the fact that in the last 30 years we have decimated more countryside than our ancestors destroyed in 500 years even with their farming and developments?
Every year we read of more species suddenly disappearing from the landscape, butterfly populations are fast vanishing from our gardens, natural habitat and environments also gone through progressions of our world. Bees are under threat, climates are changing, wildlife if not carefully managed will soon in the generations to come long after we have gone, will only be found in the books that are hardly read. They will be oohed and ahhed over and children, our children of tomorrow will never know the beauty of life as we have had the privilage to accept love and adore equally as much as those who ignore them and dismiss them and their plights as unimportant.
I believe, that we have a duty of care to our wildlife, to our environment and our planet and as l have always said, none of us are ever too small to make a difference. None of us, we can all do our bit to help our wildlife community to not just exist, but thrive and flourish. We can achieve much with our gardens if we take the time to think and plan and dedicate time to. Gardens do not need to be huge affairs to make a difference, they can be small, they can be wild or managed .. what matters is that we have so many opportunities to be able to ‘do something’.
The series will look at how l will plan what to grow in our ‘ornamental’ garden borders. I would love to have meadow grass length grasses, but l must be practical and as we have vegetable plots and containers l need to be able to freely move around and not destroy natural habitation by simply stepping into the garden to attend to the vegetables themselves. So l decided to restrict the wilding project to the edge of the garden where upon l have little interaction with.
If you are not yet familiar with the term ‘Rewilding’ or Natural Garden Growing or even Wildlife Gardening’, please take the time to view the links below.
Anyway l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …
Simon & Garfunkel – Leaves That Are Green
My inspirator – Chris Baines – l am currently reading his book “How To Make A Wildlife Garden.”