Sunday, 31 May 2015

Past Week in the Garden - 31/5/2015

 Wildlife Pond Project #1

Ant on a  flagstone

 Wildlife Pond Project #2

 Ant on a leaf

Bug Hotel and Wildlife Pond Project #1

Garden Ornaments

 Young Starlings visiting the garden ...

... and being given an helping hand feeding

 Yellow Flag Iris flowering

 Waiting for the bugs to check in

A tadpole watching me watching him

'Purple Sensation'
(Allium hollandicum)

Friday evening, ten minutes by the pond

Monday, 25 May 2015

The 30 Days Wild Challenge

30 Days Wild is a month-long nature challenge taking place this June.  The Wildlife Trusts are asking people to sign up and do something wild every day for a whole month - and make nature part of their everyday life.

You can find out more about the 
30 Days Wild Challenge 

I've signed up to take part in the challenge
and you can see how I make nature
 part of my everyday life each day during June 
by visiting my 30 Days Wild Challenge Blog at:

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Building a Bug Hotel - 24/5/2015

I'd been thinking about building a bug hotel for some time and whilst looking at ideas on the internet I came across a 'How to Build a Bug Hotel' video on YouTube by the Wildlife Gadget Man.

After watching his video I was inspired to build something very similar and over the course of a few months I gathered together all the materials I would need to make it.  

Once I had my materials I then set about building it. I've documented the building process here in this post, I hope it serves to help inspire others into building a Bug Hotel in their garden.

 Main Materials

20 x Grey Reconstituted 
Stone Concrete Common Bricks
(H)65mm x (W)103mm x (L)215mm

5 x sheets of Plyboard
(L)430mm x (W) 380mm (w) x (H)9mm

Other Materials
in no particular order

Some old Tree Roots removed from Garden

Some small rocks

Some Chinese Rainbow cobbles

Some Wooden Blocks
with varous size holes drilled into them

Bamboo Cane of various sizes 
cut and crammed 
into some old square drainpipe

Plenty of Drinking Straws 
crammed into old plastic piping

My girls agreed to trim the straws
 for me if I gave each of them a pound coin

Here is my youngest Daughter
making sure the straws are all the same length

Plenty of trimmed straws now

The last few straws and a pound well earned!

Some Wildflower Seed
for the top of the Bug Hotel

Some old Toilet Roll Tubes

Straws cut, some offcut of carpet rolled up, 
some corrogated cardboard 
rolled up into some pieces of 
old square drainpipe and a plastic bottle.

Building the Bug Hotel

Bottom Bricks layed down on flat surface

Bottom Layer consists of
Small Rocks and Pine Cones

Next Layer consists of
Old Tree Roots, grass and leaves

Here is my eldest Daughter adding
the old tree roots whilst trying
not to put her foot into Wildlife Pond Project #1

Next Layer consists of
Some Rolled up Carpet, Stacked Slate, 
Grass and an Heavy Duty Rubble Sack

Next Layer consists of
Drink Straws, Pine Cones, Sawdust, 
Grass and old Toilet Roll Tubes

Next Layer consists of
Bamboo Canes, Wood Blocks
 and Rolled up Corrogated Cardboard

Here my daughter is filling
in the gaps with leaves and grass

Leaves now added

Grass now added

Hey up we are being watched!

The top layer consisting of
a planter tray screwed to the plyboard, 
filled with compost and topped off
with a sprinkling of some wildflower seed mix.

We added the cobbles 
to help weigh the top down.

The final result

A closer view

A view of the Bug Hotel from the Garden

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Evening Pond Watch - 16/5/2015

One of the best things about having a small wildlife pond in your garden is being able to go out late in the evening with a torch. This evening me and my eldest daughter popped outside to see what we could find. 

As usual I was greated with one of the resident frogs who doesn't seem to mind the torch.  In fact I could swear that it sees the torch and comes over to say hello.  

We spotted the other resident frog in wildlife pond project #1 (the smaller pond) where it seemed quite happy amongst the mosquito larvae.

It wasn't look before we spotted one of the newts, sneaking up on the tadpoles which seem to be taking their time developing into little froglets.  However I am happy to report that there are still a good few of them in the pond. 

Saturday in the Garden - 16/5/2015

Tadpoles grazing on the algae

Pond Project #2

Wildlife Pond Project #1

Leaves on the tree at last

Mealworms for the birds

Starling discovers the mealworms

Starling taking interest in me with my camera

Sunflower hearts,
a favourite with the birds

Peanut Feeder,
finally being used by the Tits

Pigeons foraging for food

No wonder this feeder
 is going down so quickly

Pigeon checking it's all clear
before having a drink from the pond

Post drink Pigeon

Pigeon has spotted our cat

Figgy saw off the Pigeons

As you can see,
Figgy isn't camera shy!

Figgy standing guard again