The frogbit blog 1

Hi there, how are you? My name is Chris. After half a lifetime of living in a city, i’ve moved 10 miles out of town to a place on the edge of the countryside. Now i have a garden,allotment and miles of woods and field around me. When i lived back in the city, whichever house i lived in i always did the following things: build a hedge, put bird feeders out, build raised beds in the back yard-all done with the desire to attract wildlife.

Now i live out here, wildlife is all around but  i have the space to try out more things. I have a medium size garden and a large allotment opposite the house. In the space of 3 years i have built ; 4 ponds, 4 dry stone walls, a sunhouse and lots of other things that i will talk about-hopefully to share some ideas for simple, green living….but also to start a dialogue, so that i can also learn some new things. I hope to share  ideas on wildlife gardening, allotment gardening, creative landscaping ( hedges,walls, sunhouses), healthy living, mental wellbeing, personal politics and philosopy of living. As i type this a red kite has just flown past the large window which looks out onto the garden. In fact, one of the most beautiful sights i ever get to see, is sometimes when i’m looking into the pond on a summers day, and i  see the reflection of a kite in the water as it hovers overhead. They were reintroduced into this part of the world just over 10 years ago and they’re pretty common now. In fact there’s even a local pub named the Red Kite Inn, but i’ve yet to catch one of them in there having a swift pint. When i have found dead birds in the garden, i have put them on top of the sunhouse  and waited for the kites to come and get them. Close up they’re really big !

On the feeders we get a whole host of varieties of birds-one’s that i never got to see in the city; siskins, redpolls, linnets, woodpeckers.. as well as the more common varieties. But more of that on another day. We get frogs,newts, dragonflies and damesel flies in the ponds and a regular hedgehog visitors that eat sunflower hearts off the patio late at night.We get foxes, roe deer and badgers in the woods..and lots of grey squirrels that Jim, my mad labradoodle chases up trees ( the squirrels up the tree i mean, Jim doesnt get very far-he stands at the bottom doing this weird high pitch yelp.)

It’s funny but when i lived in the city i was always buying wildflowers to put in the raised beds. Out here lots of them grow wild. my garden is full of them! When there’s too many i take them out of the garden and plant them in nearby hedgerows or anywhere else where there is a bit of space. Even out here, wild flowers struggle for space alongside huge fields of wheat and rapeseed. i have taken to guerilla planting fox gloves and red campion along the edge of the fields- but more of that for another day.

Below is the picture of  a bank between my house and allotment. up to two years ago it was covered with long grass but bit by bit i have been pulling out the grass and planting it with spare wild flowers that have been growing in the garden. At the moment,thats the red campion that is flowering but there’s also foxgloves, perenial cornflowers, purple toadflas, yarrow, fennel, oxeye daisies, hedge woundwort,bugle,self heal forget-me nots and some that i forgot-me -dids