Thursday 16 June 2011

A day in the life of a wildlife gardener.

Each day the mallards come to take a bath in the pond.    They leave such a mess, plants upturned, and worse of all they disturb the sediment at the bottom of the pond, which blocks the filter.    We all prefer to wash in clean water....I suppose it is the same for ducks.
Sawfly larvae are stripping the silver birch trees.    I remember the words of Piet Oudolf (my hero) "Such instances pass, and most plants have evolved to cope with such onslaughts."
The pigeon is back, I think he is ringed.   He looks healthy.....well he would be, this restaurant caters for everyone's taste.
Butterflies are back.   Not in huge numbers, but they are here. 
So many species in decline.   When they visit the garden, for a brief moment in time, I feel everything is right with the world.
Leucanthemum 'goldrush' a new planting....temptation is a terrible thing.
Evening Primrose......a weed to some....wildflower to me.
Cerinthe planted in the border.   I have not done this before, I usually keep them in pots.   They are growing into 'mini shrubs' and look absolutely exquisite.  Note to self: do this next year!
Maltese Cross spreads like wildfire in this garden.    I like her, especially when mother nature gives a helping hand and ox-eye daisies appear beside her.
Oh dear, another new planting.    I told you temptation is a terrible thing.    Veronica grandis.....well she is lovely, isn't she?     And of course, the bees will love her more than I do....
Rambling Rector and I have had such a battle.   I gave him the best of everything but for two years he failed to bloom.    I was about to give up on the 'Rector', so pleased I didn't, for now he scrambles through elder and is such a pretty sight.  More than that, his perfume is exquisite, and delights this gardener from dawn till dusk.      As I stand taking in his beauty I hear the skylark sing.   I walk to a clearing, I cannot see him, he is too  high but I can hear him.   I think of Gramps and recall how many times we stood together looking at the sky......looking for the skylark.
I go inside to find my treasure box.    Photographs, precious images, of my time spent with Nannie and Gramps.      Sweet memories......I loved to feed the rabbits....Ha:) I am still doing that now.
Just had to show you this one.   My Nannie had found me in the goose pen, I was feeding them.   Everyone else was frightened of them and would not go in without a stick to 'shooo' them away.
They never hurt me but then I liked them.    Nannie really told me off....and Dad took the photograph.   I think my face says it all.   Mr P always says my facial expressions say more than words ever can.....I think he may be right.....Ha:)


  1. Love that pic of you! I really think that animals and of course birds accept children in a way that they never would an adult and if you liked them then they knew they had nothing to fear from you! Your garden looks lovely no wonder all the animals and birds come it is probably advertised as 5* in the wildlife gazette!

  2. The blooms are abounding in your garden beautifully. It is no wonder that butterflies and bees make themselves at home here. I just love this look back into your childhood. You were definitely not happy at being scolded for going in with the geese.

  3. Hi Jane,

    It is a fun photograph. Yes, I agree with you, animals know when someone is not frightened of them and react accordingly.

    Ha:) That is so funny.....

  4. Hi Lisa,

    I am glad you enjoyed the post. My grandmother was very strict......I cannot help buy smile everytime I look at the last image.

    The rain we have had recently has helped the garden no end. We have sunshine and showers today....a perfect combination!!

  5. A delightful post Cheryl. Lovely to see the photos of you from just a few years ago ;) Your expression in the last one really did speak volumes, so funny... I suspect you had a 'mind of your own'!

    Butterflies seem to be in worryingly short supply here. They started off well early in the Spring but now seem to be nowhere! We went where there should have been plenty a couple of days ago when it was warm, sunny and not much breeze and there was not one to be seen the entire time we were there, I am concerned...

    Lovely photos as always. The Maltese Cross with the Oxe-eyes is lovely.

    I can't keep up :( I missed commenting on your sweet fairy castles, they did look just like them but then... I am very fanciful :)

  6. Hi Jan,

    A few years ago.....Ha:)
    I never answered back, I was far too polite.....BUT my thoughts were my own:)

    I agree Jan, I am very concerned about our native butterflies. I am filling my garden with more and more butterfly blooms. Also creating habitat for them (planting more ivy etc)
    I did see several meadow brown today, also a small tortoiseshell.

  7. I loved this post Cheryl, what an expression in the last picture! I didn't plant my Maltese Cross seeds, as the garden is still full of rubble - after seeing them in your photo, I wish I'd scattered them anyway!

  8. Hi Dan,

    I love the photograph, it says so much about the child!!

    I can always send you some more Maltese Cross seeds at some point Dan, if you need them......

  9. Oh Cheryl - how well you balance the gardener with the naturalist. Such a nostalgic post too - love the little goose girl. Reminds me of my childhood hours spent looking for skylark nests and anything else that crept and flew.
    p.s. Cerinthe is so unusual and a new one on me
    p.p.s. the fact that only now has your RR rose bloomed in profusion fills me with hope for my Wedding Day rambler next yerar

  10. Such sweet photos of you, Cheryl; dare I say you look a little defiant in that last photo:) You were much braver than I, though. At one time we had a mean rooster who scared me. I was used to the chickens, but this rooster once chased me around our house until I finally was able to run in the door. I was always an animal-lover, but didn't mind at all when this rooster met his Maker soon after this:)

    One of the unexpected joys of gardening for me, too, has been the addition of more wildlife. The butterflies haven't appeared in great numbers yet, but our home seems to be a haven for all kinds of birds these days.

  11. Tku Laura,

    It is always such a pleasure to read your comments.

    Do not give up your rose....I have found ramblers very unpredictable.

    Would you like some Cerinthe seeds in the autumn??

  12. Dear Rose,

    I agree, I do look defiant. Although I never answered back, I can almost read my thoughts:)

    Ha:) Rose, just too funny re rooster. I can see the picture.....

    So pleased to hear that Birds are enjoying your company....I can understand just why they do!

  13. Very kind offer Cheryl - yes pease, Cerinthe/Honeywort seeds would be much appreciated, especially as it self-sets and is the blue-purple I love for summer. Should be able to squeeze into my small sunspot, amongst the Salvias

  14. Ok Laura

    Will add your name to the list.

    Sort address out nearer the time.

  15. Oh, yes. The little gardener/animal lover says it all with one look! But I can understand Nannie's concern. Those geese can get downright ugly.

  16. Hi ncmountainwoman,

    Yes, of course, you are absolutely right..........

  17. Hi Cheryl, such a sweet, nostalgic post. I can just see you and Gramps looking skyward for a glimpse of the skylarks, or your Nannie scolding you for getting too close to the geese. Love the old black and white photos, and your expression - not very happy, were you? LOL!

    Your garden is a delight, and I'm happy that you share all the sights with us. I'm not familiar with a lot of your flowers, so I enjoy learning about them.

    I like that quote of Piet Oudolf.

    And thank you for visiting my blog. You are the one person who will "get it" - the true meaning of my post. Thank you.
    Sorry the email is not cooperating. If you happen to have the "error code" of the undeliverable mail, you could put it in the comments on my blog. Otherwise, we'll have to figure something else out.

  18. Dear Cheryl,
    I have missed your garden and your caring ways. It is good to be home.
    I enjoyed seeing my children while traveling but missed my birds and butterflies.
    Your balancing of native and cultivated is delightful. A little something for everyone. I love the way humans and bees enjoy the same flowers.
    No doubt about it, you were respectful but true to your own spirit as a little girl. Just like today.....
    Sherry who loves fossils

  19. Dear Wendy,

    I was not happy....I was happy with the geese.
    I was a little bit of a loner as a child (still am really).....I was always comfortable with animals and nature.

    Your post was beautiful and yes, I did understand it. It touched my heart......but then your posts always do.

    Will be in touch.....

  20. Dear Sherry,

    So nice to have you visit....I have missed your comments, and your kindness.

    I have always tried to stay true to my spirit, as I know you have.

    I found several dead bees in the garden today.
    They seem to have been caught in the rain.
    Some are still alive....I have put them in the shed with some honey from our local bee keeper.
    I am sure they will be fine. Will let them out when the sun shines......