Wednesday 30 March 2011

The joy a garden holds....

I sat in wonder as I watched the seagull, chase the heron, in the skies above the garden.
It is good to be still, to be at one with mother earth, and to feel the heartbeat of this garden.
I sigh when I discover the abandoned duck eggs in the bog garden. To be truthful, it is not a good place to nest....the ducklings would be vulnerable. I shall think about fencing this area next year. It will give the mallards a chance to breed here. I feel so honoured that they stayed for a while....they left a message.....the garden is a haven for wildlife.
I have located six bumblebee nests, I have marked each one.......they need to be protected. I am thrilled numbers grow here.
I am in my tenth year with the garden. I knew there would be a turning point for me and today it came. Silently, it crept up on me, as I walked through this magical place.
I have read numerous books on wildlife gardening. My collection is vast and fills an oak bookcase, BUT experience is the greatest teacher of all.
I have watched small creatures pass away and seen new life begin.
I have had successes and failures. I have laughed and cried.
This gardens runs through my veins and touches my very soul.
I love every part of it....including the stinging nettles that support the local butterflies, giving them a chance to breed.......

Here they will not be destroyed by the councils tractor that cuts the verges within an inch of their life. Mowing down the wildflowers that the wildlife depends on.
I sold ten plants yesterday......a chalk board at the gate called to a lady as she passed by. She bought nearly all of my 'king size' navy blue sweet peas. They have an amazing scent....I am sure she will be pleased.......


  1. What a beautiful post Cheryl! The delight and sense of peace you get from your garden is so apparent in your writing. Good news on the plant sales too.
    I've never seen a seagull worry a heron before, I wonder if it had something the seagull wanted?

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  3. As often as I see mallards in my garden, I've not seen mallard eggs; but I live next to a nature area and there are more protected places to hide them. AN injured squirrel came to my garden to (presumably) die. I couldn't catch it to help it and the local rehabilitators were "full on squirrels"--but it did make me feel good tat my garden is a safe haven (of sorts) for wildlife.

  4. Hi Dan......thank you.

    I believe the heron may have been after eggs or fledglings. This is the third time in the last two weeks they have chased the heron away......

  5. Hi Monica....I personally believe that creatures know where they are safe, they are driven purely by instinct. Poor squirrel, at least it died peacefully in your garden......

  6. Such a lovely, serene post Cheryl. What a peaceful haven you have created there for you and your family and of course the wildlife. I am so glad the Bumblebees are doing well.

    I remember how, in our ignorance many years ago when we first moved in to our home, we removed a patch of Stinging Nettles from the bottom of the garden, I regret that very much now...

    All of your photos are as delightful as always and as I have said many times really sum up the tranquil nature of your beautiful sanctuary.

    I am so glad you have sold some of your plants and feel sure that lady will be pleased with her purchase.

    We have rain today and suspect you may have too and that you will be pleased.

  7. Sorry Cheryl, I forgot to say, it was a shame about the Mallard's eggs but such a privilege that they attempted to raise a family in your garden. I am sure they will feel that conditions are perfect for them one day and be successful :)

    Thank you too for the sweet reply to my comment yesterday.

  8. Whoooo Hoooooo your business is off and running. Word of mouth will bring others. When they see your garden and how wonderful your plants are they will be encouraged to garden for the wildlife too. The earth and I thank you.

  9. Hi Jan, thank you.

    I do hope the mallards will raise their young here one day. I shall do my best to make it perfect for them....I believe a fence may be the answer. I shall give it some thought.

    I do understand nettles being removed from a garden....they are not the most attractive of plants and they do have a powerful sting. I am allergic to them.
    I have to say though butterfly numbers have risen dramatically over the last few years, and I have every hope they will continue to increase......

  10. Lisa, thank you for your encouraging words....just what I need. I can hear you saying them to, and that is such a bonus......

  11. A joyful, musing post Cheryl. What would a garden be without wildlife other than a museum of flowers? I wish I was the lady that passed your gate - well done on your sales.

  12. Hi Laura, tku.
    Absolutely, for me, wildlife is the very soul of this garden and that is what makes it magical.

  13. Oh Cheryl, congratulations on your first sale. May this be the start of a special venture for you.

    Congrats also on the bumblebee nest, can you share more detailed pictures so I know what to look for? We have lots of bumbles in the garden at present feasting on the heather and they must be nesting somewhere near. I'd hate to accidentally destroy one.

  14. Dear Cheryl,
    Congratulations! This is a very exciting adventure you have begun. I am looking forward to hearing all about your native plants and the gardens they will soon be in. Encouraging people to plant native is the best for the bees and butterflies....they depend on us.
    Each of your photographs spoke to me. I feel as if I was walking in your gardens. Thank you.
    The abandoned duck's eggs did give me pause but much joy for the bumble's nests....yes!!
    I too find a balance between wild and cultivated. In my small urban backyard I find ways of gardening for the birds, bees, butterflies, dragonflies and humans. Each year I add a little bit more wild. Each year I try to add a few more edibles for my table.
    As I change so does my garden. Sometimes I am changed by the garden. We depend on each other.....

  15. HI Cheryl...OH MY...King size navy blue SWEET PEA'S~~~~~~~~ I can smell them from here...they sound heavenly!! "Wish I was the purchaser"
    Congratulation "you go Girl" lol
    Your post in word and photos is wonderful. How sad it would be to not see some creature about or the evidence off!! I think I have mentioned before bee's and I don't mix well, but I value there presence in the garden....I just don't mess around when they are present!! : }}
    Enjoyed the visit very much!!

  16. Hi Cheryl,
    Congratulations on your first sale! Your dream coming true. I feel there will be many good changes this year for us all. Too bad about those mallard eggs, but I like the message they sent you. If you're tuned in, you will receive many messages....

    I don't think I've ever seen a bumblebee nest. I'll have to look extra hard this summer to see if there are any on our property.
    Almost ready to put the house up. Just a few more details.I have mixed feelings about moving.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the tour of your garden today.
    Sorry I didn't receive your mother's poem. I sent you an email just now. I hope you get it.
    Love and Light

  17. Ah, Cheryl, this is why I am so glad you haven't given up blogging. Such an inspirational post; I feel as though I am walking through the garden with you, enjoying each small discovery. I would love to be able to have you show me a bumblebee nest--I have no idea what one even looks like.

    Congratulations on your first sale! I am planting sweet peas myself tomorrow.

  18. Hi Bilbo, I will at some point do a post on bumblebee nests.

    Tku for your good wishes.....X

  19. Tku Sherry, for your words of wisdom.

    Your gardens are a treasure and will always stay with me. They hold beauty, balance and wildlife in their arms.
    I will plant a teeny veggie garden this year. Don't tell the rabbits though, will you??

    Some creature had supper last night and took all of the duck eggs. It could be weasel, stoat or hedgehog.

    Love and light

  20. Hi Grace,

    I had remembered you love sweet peas. The navy blooms are a bit special. The seeds came from 'the KEW collection' I am hoping mine will not be eaten by the slugs but this is the chance you take when you chosse to garden as I do.

    I think my heart would be very sad if my garden was devoid of wildlife......

  21. Hi Wendy, my dear friend,

    How are you??

    Tku for your kind message.

    Follow a bumble, it will take you to the entrance of it's nest. Give up after a mile or so though....HA! Teasing. If it is in your garden just watch the bees working, and you will see them enter their home. They normally hover over the area trying to locate the entrance.

    You will make the right decision about moving Wendy. It will come to you when the time is right....I feel you will know, for sure.

    Love and light

  22. Rose, tku for the kind words and encouragement.
    I feel sometimes the simplicity of my posts do not meet the standard that so many blogs offer.
    I am but a simple soul and feel more than I can actually express. It warms my heart to read your words.....

    I shall do a post on bumblebees nests at some point.

  23. Lovely springy post.

    I've gone inside a Bleeding Heart today at


  24. It's always a delightful meditative experience to visit your garden. Really, I've been away too long from my own garden and the refuge it offers. The weather has been foul and I've had family issues on my mind. It's time to get back to the garden and to spend time with good folk. gail

  25. Gail, I hope that family issues are nothing too serious. When dark clouds loom, I find the garden gives me the peace and solace I so desparately need. I know that you do to.

    Remember your gardens will always be waiting for you.....

  26. Cheryl ... you are definitely at one with nature and your wildlife habitats.
    I feel the hint of pain re the Mallards but they will find somewhere else, hopefully more secure to continue what they do best.
    Well done on the initial sale .. the first of many I'm sure. Cheers FAB.

  27. Hi Cheryl,
    As I read through my small collection of other garden blogs, I always land on yours and think...this is not gardening, it is poetry!
    Pure poetry and I feel exactly the same about my garden as you do yours. I search for words strong enough and they still I cannot convey to this world what a joy they miss when they stay inside their homes. Some folks never even look out the window. My neighbors never realize they are surrounded by hundreds of God's fabulous creatures; ants under rocks, earthworms in the ground, and birds flying above.
    I'm so happy you have started a garden shop. We need more like you. Happy Gardening.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston :-)

  28. That was so lovely to read Cheryl. I like that you mark the bumble nests. I have loads of bumbles, but I've never thought to make the nests for protection. Thank you for caring for your part of the Earth.~~Dee