Some lovely sights outside today, a Bullfinch and then a Great Spotted Woodpecker. I heard a loud tapping on the trunk of the Crab Apple in the middle of the lawn then saw it briefly eating out of our Winterbourne Housebird feeder. We are very lucky to have caught it on film because it flew off quickly and was only there for a brief moment.
Having had a break from writing on these pages, I felt it was as good a time as any to return with transformative news, both in reinstating the original name of this blog 'SuburbanGaze' but also of the outside space. Over the summer months of lockdown I began researched ideas around renewing the patio. We had spent so much time concentrating on plants and nature that we had forgotten our own basic needs. So many options to choose from, so many trawls through Google images to find inspiration. I knew we needed a large flat area with a built in pergola for shade but all off-the-shelf models lacked the bold clean and dark masculine straight lines that I was looking for. I realised quickly that our needs were not catered for and I would need to design something from scratch. So the process began, like so much in the outside space a lot of thought and planning has gone into it. The problem: A hideous eighties patio, hiding a revolting fifties concrete patio beneath with an en
Last year I promised the garden that I would bring new gardening practises and refinement, new plants and cohesion. I'm not sure if I managed the refinement and cohesion but I definitely kept my other promises. I didn't use any chemical pesticides in the garden at all. I had thought that this would be really challenging. There are aisles full of various killing products in the garden centres, they've even made their way into the supermarket. They are so easy to just pop in your basket. Well it's been a simple adjustment. It has meant thinking differently about the garden and its place in the wider ecosystem where one creepy-crawly eating a leaf is feeding a frog, that is feeding a bird and so on. During 2019 I opting for two types of nematodes to combat my biggest issues in the garden, namely slugs/snails and vine weevils. I also brewed some nettles and made a concentrated spray that helps with aphids. I've noticed a big difference, mainly more birds
With our initial motivation to transform the garden, an area remained challenging to plant. At the time, we couldn't access it. We had been using the space to store tree litter (trunks and huge conifer roots dug out of the ground, branches, pruning's, leaf-litter). For several years we did nothing but watch the waste break-down and partly rot into the soil whilst nettles and other weeds began to rise up and take over. Then we tried a wild flower area. Another option we attempted was the purchase of a ready-made 8x2m border pack. A couple of weeks starting them off in the potting shed and we were ready to go. This was planted out and fingers were crossed with our limited horticultural knowledge. We had mixed results. But the winners were mainly perennial weeds. The time has come to focus on this border. It is an area opposite the wildlife pond right at the back of the garden hidden from view by the potting shed. It holds much potential,