Archive for Around the Garden

More Finches and friends.

Had the camera nearby this time around.

That’s how we get into those tiny holes!

Who said that

Yay, the Greenfinches are back.

I did see the less colourful female around the ferns at the very bottom of the garden but struggled to get a blur free shot at that distance. Maybe next time?

Someone is quite happy to pose though.

The sparrow chick, following it’s cue from it’s older companion nearly fell into the pond whilst trying to get a drink. Sadly blurred as i prepared to race outside should it fall in 🙂

Thankfully he gave up and after he’d hopped off I topped up the water dishes nearby.

I still not sure about this one. I thought it was just a House Sparrow but I’m think it might be a juvenile Robin. Any ideas?


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Goldfinch returns with a friend.

Woohoo, our visiting Goldfinch has brought a friend along too.






The very young Blue Tit enjoying the sunflower seed hearts at the top right of the picture. It won’t be long before his crown turns Blue.













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Goldfinch in my garden.

Woohoo, after many months of waiting & waiting, and baiting with my new feeder filled with nigra seeds we’ve finally had a visit by a Goldfinch. I do hope this  colourful fella returns again and maybe will have better luck with my camera next time.

Gold Finch

Coal Tit visit from a few days ago

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Desperately seeking…sun

May = rain

June = lots of rain

July = lots of rain, a hint of sunshine and a downpour to catch you out.

Pretty much sums up summer here and sadly has effected the veggie plot somewhat.

My French beans are a no show after a brief cold spell followed by all this damp.

My peas are looking a little mournful and only a few flowers dotted here and there so I’m not expecting much there.

Although runner beans are in flower, each plant is only 2/3rds the size that they normally are.

Carrots, beetroot crop are minimal.

So what’s good?

Potatoes. All growing very well and looking healthy in the potato sacks and beds. Even the one taking refuge in the flower beds looks pretty good. Will be digging up for a looksee soon.

Salad leaves aplenty in the greenhouse and am on my third consecutive batch of chard, lettuce, pakchoi, rocket, lambs lettuce, cress, oriental and spicy cut and come mixes. Basil, red Basil and oregano seem to like it in there too.




We were away for a few days the other week and fearing lack of water in the greenhouse I installed a 4ft child’s paddling pool in there and filled it with a few inches of water for my tubs. I wasn’t too sure what to expect and hoped that the excess water sitting at the bottom for so long wouldn’t rot the roots. When we arrived home and went to check, we were greeted by a wonderful display of tubs chock full of health salad leaves.

Cucumbers are coming along nicely and the first to crop are the mini’s.


The apple cucumbers are still very small and a couple have aborted, but the overall plant looks healthy and reaching the greenhouse roof.

White cucumbers are aplenty but still got a long way to go.

Tomato plants have flowered but no fruit yet. Unlike previous years, I’m quite proud that they’re coming along quite nicely thanks to mums tips for pot based plants – cut the bottom of a 10″ pot and sit into a grow bag (three pots per grow bag). Water the grow bag rather than from the top of the tub.


The mini greenhouse is also producing plenty of salad crop two and its been great off setting planting with those in the main greenhouse so as not to cause a glut.

So basically, anything under cover = thumbs up. Maybe I should do away with the veggie beds altogether and site a giant greenhouse instead?

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LED Snails.

It’s tempting but even though the blighters might take to my lettuces, I don’t think I could bring myself to do this. Fun to watch though!

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Tempting Sonic.

Great tips here from the Guardian website with regards to encouraging Hedgehogs into our garden – I could do with a little help with slug clearance so a visit would be most welcome.


Maybe I should add a few golden rings and the odd loop the loop platform?…wrong hedgehog I guess!

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Bird table makeover.

Our  bird table has been blown over by the wind more times than I can care to remember and each time it gets picked up and dusted down, it’s a little bit more wobblier than before. I usually hammer in a few extra nails for good measure (and to teach it a lesson)   and these days it seems to have more metal in it than wood. One windy day, I was surprised to see it floating on the pond when the top half decided to go for a swim. All those nails can’t be good for the birds either and i’m guessing the RSPB wouldn’t take to kindly to skewered house sparrows.

It’s not a good table anyway, just a cheap DIY kit I picked up fro the supermarket and have always wanted something bigger and taller. A few weeks ago, i spotted a rather handsome table in our local B&Q store. It was painted cream and had a slate roof. Perfect i thought, old english colors and a roof to match our own. It was in kit form so I brought it, got home and started the build. It became quite clear early on that this wasn’t going to go well and at one point it started to resemble a deck chair.

Rechecking the instructions….actually, that’s a lie, what i mean is – reading the instructions for the first time instead of chucking them in the box with a manly scoff, shows that indeed part A should definably be attached to part D, even though this would defy gravity.

I gave up, Curstie came out to see what the fuss was about…by this time i was using a hammer as a screwdriver.

In the end, we decided there’s something not quite right here and returned it back to the store for a replacement and hoping they wouldn’t notice the extra holes.. Sadly there wasn’t anymore in stock and i enquiried if i could buy the shop display model…nope she said 😦

A few weeks later, I spotted another table and one that was on sale with  50% off the price. Hard to resist at that price and with a affirmative ‘yes it will fit in the car’ I brought it and leisurely drove home. Leisurely, because I couldn’t quite reach the gear stick.

Here it is.

Although i like the bare wood (treated) color, I really wanted something to like the ‘Deck chair model’ and to stand out against our green hedge.  Cuprinols ‘Shade’ series offer a range of pastel classic and modern colours for outdoor wood.

I have some spare slate tiles in the garage from our house’s roof and though it would be nice to fit them to the table roof. Until I can borrow my friends cutter , I simply went for a paint colour that closely matches.

Silver Birch for the roof and Muted Clay for the table/legs.

Quite happy with the results.

With ground spikes fitted to the bottom of the legs, will it stand the wind test? Let’s hope so, nobody likes skewered house sparrows 🙂

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