Monday, 25 February 2008

Pond Ponderings

Didn't go to the allotment on Friday as I had a bout of TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint problem if you must know!), probably brought on by my over enthusiastic activities with the steam cleaner. But this gives me the chance to talk more about what this blog was supposed to be about in the first place: turning a tiny space into a wildlife garden as cheaply as possible. I'm now reaping the rewards of last Autumn's endeavours. You will recall that then I bought some scented narcissi and a big bag of crocuses. My careful purchasing techniques meant that in doing this I received 50 miniature narcissi free and also got a cute wooden wheelbarrow also stuffed full of free bulbs. Well the freebies have really taken off and I wash-up each morning facing a golden glow. The rest are not far behind, so Spring is full of promise. Those of you not familiar with my blog can see from the banner picture that it seems to consist of little else other than a pond. There were several reasons for this. If you read anything, anywhere about wildlife gardens you will learn that having a pond makes more difference to the numbers and variety of wildlife attracted than any other single feature. Also I visited my local Botanic Gardens and discovered that there is a fear that in the future this area will be subject to drought and that many of our native species will die out. Their suggestion for overcoming this (and saving water) was the planting of a 'dry' garden. Feeling that preserving our native wildlife is of paramount importance, I was horrified by this and decided to make a sustainable 'wet' garden: a large water-butt was my first purchase! Thirdly, most of the houses where I live are 'buy-to-let', the lettees being students. Most of the landlords, being horrified at the state the students leave the gardens, have either shingled or concreted over the back yards, thus making it impossible for any wildlife to thrive. I decided to to make my wet garden attractive yet sustainable and robust enough to withstand the worst attacks of possible student neglect! So anyway, I've been doing this for the last year, trouble is I started volunteering at the allotment, and that is a lot more entertaining to write about. So you'll have to forgive me if I sometimes get diverted onto other subjects.

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