Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer – Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
Generally regarded as encompassing the three months from 1st March until 31st May, spring can be a funny season, can’t it? This year, the first day of spring arrived in the form of ‘The Beast from the East’, followed by ‘Storm Emma’, covering most of the country in snow and battering us with high winds. Yet, within a matter of days, this winter-like weather had been replaced by beautiful sunshine and rising temperatures.
In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours – Mark Twain
Should there indeed be further inclement weather to come,
Featured Image: Flagship Pond site Strensall Common is home to Pillwort and many other special pond plants and animals
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to catch up with Becca Williamson, Communications Officer at Freshwater Habitats Trust, to find out more about their Flagship Ponds Project. Check out our interview below:
Our interview with Freshwater Habitats Trust
1. The Flagship Ponds project works with local communities and organisations to protect important freshwater pond sites across England and Wales. How many pond sites are you currently working on?
Freshwater Habitats Trust is working on 70 of the hundred or so Flagship Pond sites we have identified in the UK. These are the most important pond sites, the top 0.2% of ponds. They support some of our rarest freshwater plants and a
Featured image credit: David Marsden
Earlier this month, we spoke to David from The Anxious Gardener about how he became a self-employed gardener, how other people can do the same, and some great tips for attracting wildlife to your garden. Check out our interview below.
Our interview with The Anxious Gardener
1. You started gardening 10 years ago, has much changed between then and now?
For me, the major change in the last ten years has been the smartphone. Not only does it allow me to interact easily with people on social media (in what can otherwise be a lonely profession), but more importantly it gives me immediate access to a whole world of gardening know-how. If I'm unsure or I've forgotten when to prune a particular shrub or the conditions a certain plant prefers, I can find out the answer instantly. I still keep a hefty RHS encyclopaedia at work
Need to know what to do in your garden but don't know where to start? We've looked at 4 key areas for gardening and provided 5 top tips for each to help you make a start on your garden. Our 4 key areas of focus are:
- Seasonal Gardening - we've covered tips for the whole year, not just the current season, so if you want to know more check out our gardening advice section
- Eco-Friendly Gardening - eco-friendly gardening is a huge part of making sure that you are doing your bit to help the environment while you enjoy your garden! Find out more about eco-friendly gardening here
- Growing Your Own - growing your own food is becoming more and more important, and popular! We look at some great ways to get started here but for
Featured Image Credit: British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Earlier this month, we caught up with British Hedgehog Preservation Society to talk about why hedgehogs are a gardener's best friend, how we can help cater for them in our gardens, and what they should be eating if you do find one in your garden. Check out our interview below!
Our interview with British Hedgehogs
1. Why are hedgehogs known as ‘A gardener’s best friend’?
Hedgehogs are famous for eating bugs, slugs and snails, although they do eat a huge range of other garden invertebrates as well – beetles, earthworms and caterpillars make up most of their diet. Creepy crawlies in abundance will attract hedgehogs to your garden, and, in turn, will help them to survive.
2. What good would it do, if I were to cut a small hole into m
The humble bumblebee is more important than many may think! We spoke to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust about the importance of these little invertebrates and how to help save them from further depletion. Take a read of our interview below.
Our interview with Bumblebee Conservation Trust
1. A lot of people probably don’t know how important bumblebees are in terms of wildlife. Why should people be concerned about their declining numbers?
Our charismatic bumblebees are keystone species, holding a unique and vital role in the way the ecosystem functions. These wonderful little invertebrates play a huge part in the pollination of a number of the commercial crops that we rely on, such as tomatoes, peas, apples and strawberries (all that good stuff that we love). In fact, according to a study by Potts et al in 2014, bees contribute over £651 million per annum t
Wildlife gardening is a way for gardeners to put out a welcome sign for all the birds and animals who rely on our green spaces to survive. With dozens of species coming under pressure through losing their natural habitats, it has become ever more important for Britain’s gardeners to offer some sort of safe haven for our native wildlife. The RSPB discovered recently that 60 percent of animal and plant species have declined over the past 50 years.
Wildlife like wildness, so the trimmed and manicured gardens with decking and paving have pushed them out. But this doesn’t mean turning your own garden into a scraggy patch of chaos – you don’t need to do a major overhaul of your garden to make it more appealing for wildlife. Many of the traditional features of gardens offer something for wildlife – think of sparrows drinking
Recently we were fortunate enough to interview Jenny Steel from Wildlife Gardening about all things to do with having a wildlife garden, helping wildlife, and not using chemicals in your garden! Check out the interview below.
Our Wildlife Gardening Interview
1. As someone with a keen interest in wildlife gardening, what are your top tips for encouraging wildlife to come to your garden?
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about butterflies, birds, mammals or the smallest invertebrates – all wildlife visitors need food and shelter and some need water, so thinking about these basic necessities is a good way to start. Once you have a better feel for the wildlife that is using your garden, you can be more specific about providing what those local creatures need.
2. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are all under pressure at the moment. How can gardeners
Robin Redbreast may be the best-known creature to live in our gardens during the winter months, but he’s not the only one.
Winter wildlife includes a host of birds, animals and insects who all rely on our finely manicured gardens to survive the colder months.
You can make the most of your garden so that you can see some wonderful winter wildlife and also do your bit to help keep them safe and well until the spring thaw comes.
Whether it’s providing food or ensuring that they have somewhere to hibernate or shelter from the cold, you can do something to help the animals that give you so much pleasure during the rest of the year.
What sorts of wildlife can be seen during a British winter?
Your garden definitely seems quieter when the nights start to draw in, but not all the birds have flown south for winter. Many birds who spend their summers further north come to Britain during the winter, and it’s a great opportunity to see