The Dug Out’s Secret Garden!

Mave “Chas, be a mate and keep look out whilst l grab me some peanuts!”
Chas “Alright Mave, you tuck in me ol’ mucker, l’ve gort your back!!”

Chas and Mave

The Dug Out’s Secret Garden Directory!

Episode 14# – Garden’s now ready for spring mulching.

The ‘ornamental/shrubbery areas to the garden required the late autumn/winter mulch to be lifted and raked off and tidied up and the gravel path weeded and tidied up.

I have been quite lucky really, despite the weather and the continuous rainfall we have had this week, l have managed to secure three consecutive days to get into the garden and prep it up in readiness for next month. In the coming week, l will try and purchase 10 bags of compost and hopefully manage to get them delivered .. although, l am not sure if that is possible yet given the situation we have here, will have to see. But it would be nice to be able to get the bags in ready for ground cover in February as well as add them to the cold compost heap to add some nutrient and body to the spring mulch and its covering.

Thankfully, due to the lack of rain in the early part of the afternoon Thursday, Friday and today l have managed to clear off all of last years winter mulch and examine all the soils in the pots, beds and the actual garden beds and l am pleased at the results as they are looking much healthier even in the short period of time that mulch was layered on the ground. With the huge amount of rain we have had since October, l shouldn’t be that surprised that the mulch nutrients have leeched into the grounds beneath with great success.

I was also able to dig over all the pots and raised beds, and add some chicken manure pellets in and cover them with fresh paper/cardboard so as to allow that feed to work its wonders in readiness for the spring months of April/May and if l can get the compost in, then the soils will have a good few months to rest and recover.

So far the feeding and covering is working in an ideal arrangement with the weather – l work and turn the soils, feed and then cover and dampen down, then the rains come along and thoroughly soak my work and that works well.

I could do with less rain personally in so far as my walking, because slowly and surely the grounds l walk on are fast becoming flooded and terribly muddy and this restricts me to pathway and roadside walking only … but l have managed to improve my motivation marvelously with these walks and the afternoon gardening combined, so l am very happy with that.

With the garden now 95% prepared and everything identified, growing ‘containment wise’ l can sit down tomorrow and map out the growing schedule for this season.

One of the added bonuses of working in this garden and feeding the birds with regularity, is that they all become very used to and your presence when you are working in the courtyard. So it’s not unusual for them to either join me within a foot in the case of Robbie or some of the wrens and sparrows and occasionally collared doves too. The bigger birds, like the seagulls, starlings and young crows and woodpigeons are usually only a few feet away and if l fill the feeding tray with fresh peanuts .. then most birds lose their nervousness. Robbie the Robin is by far one of the friendliest birds l have help me with the garden, he is mostly only a maximum of 6″ away and he loves to be present when l turn the soils and is remarkably photogenic.

“Got any grubbsies for me Guv?”
Robbie the Robin

Anyway thanks for reading. Catch you next time!

13 thoughts on “The Dug Out’s Secret Garden!

  1. Chas and Mave must be Georgie and Gracie’s British cousins.
    I’ve noticed that one gull acts as lookout while the other feeds.

    Georgie and Gracie didn’t visit this morning so thank you for sharing pictures of their cousins😉

    🌊🦄💫🧸💌

  2. It’s good to hear the garden soil is getting ready for spring planting. Robbie is a delight! When you put out peanuts, do you leave them in the shell or are they out? Asking for my bird friends ☺️

    1. Hey Suzanne, l buy 50Kg of unshelled peanuts. The squirrels would love shelled varieties, but only the bigger birds l think could manage to crack the shell cases.

      I now have a combination of assorted varities of bird feeders out – 2 free for all dishes, one filled with unshelled peanuts and one filled with a much finer mix with freeze dried mealworms added.

      Then there are the 6 bird feeders with the wild bird seed and no peanuts as they can rot in the feeders during winter and spoil the entire contents of the feeder.

      I have an additional small seed mix which l then scatter on the ornamental feed beds which is a very fine seed mix for the smaller ground feeding species, but this too includes wood mice which visit, which is l have found out why at times the kestrel dive bombs the garden..

      Finally l have feeders filled with suet blocks and suet balls.

      So l cover a good selection of the feeding requirements from the bird who are established feeders and also encourage migrational visitors in and out of ther journeys.

      1. That’s marvelous! What a wonderful variety you put out for the little ones. You must have lots of visitors. I’ve never tried suet before. The mix I get has some peanuts in it but I haven’t tried a straight dish of peanuts. I’ll see if I can find some and give it a go.
        Thank you for sharing all you do in your feeders. I do love to feed the birds and squirrels. You inspire me to stretch beyond my usual and try something new for their sakes.
        Thank you! 😊🌷

  3. We have four inches of snow this morning but I got in a walk yesterday late afternoon. It was ice and mud as well, depending on which ground got the sun.

    Funny, our birds won’t touch peanuts, or fat balls much, preferring nigella seeds or just mixed seeds. Must be a regional thing.

    1. Hey Ian, where abouts are you in the country to have 4″ of snow on your doorstep?

      Birds are funny, l never used to have much luck with peanuts in Kingsdown which is less than 10 miles from here towards Dover and right on the coast and although l used to see the seagulls for instance overhead they hardly ever visited the garden. Here in Sandwich 2 miles away from the coast, l see less seagulls in the air overhead but they are in the garden.

      I get a good range of visitors here from the aforementioned gulls to woodies, collards, wrens, starling, crows, robins, chaffs, tits, jays and even an occasional duck, blackbirds, sparrows, goldfinches, maggies, goldies, dunnocks, and so on. It took me a good few years to build in a great variety back in Kingsdown, but it’s only taken one winter to enjoy this crew.

      But birds can be particular and choosy with their mixes, l guess it is regional, and what the environment offers in addition to the human seed feeders.

      1. Gloucestershire Cotswolds, and we’re quite high up and exposed. Not many gulls here unless the fields are being ploughed, then lots of them.

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