Saturday, September 24, 2011

This is a piece of Leylandii deadwood I have left standing in the garden for the Honeysuckle to clamber over. It used to have a bird table on top of it but Tara cat kept jumping on it and broke it so now I just hang the bird feeders from it. The Blue tits love the suet treat I put in the green holder, but they have finished  it up and I haven't got another one yet, so they were actually eating the Nijer seed , which no-one seems to want, yesterday.

They have peeled the bark off to get to the bugs underneath, revealing a myriad of holes and tunnel ways.

The bugs themselves are about the size of a fruit fly and are mite-like in appearance. There are clusters of eggs revealed as well. 

 I spent ages this afternoon sawing a coconut in half for the Blue tits, only to discover it was old and mouldy inside, so I scraped it out, cleaned it up and filled it with suety treats. Here are the two halves hanging up.

 One had a mixture of bird seed in  and this one has some fruit in as well. I hope they enjoy it until I can get another treat for the holder.

 Smudge had to come and supervise proceedings. I was wondering why my poor Fuchsia's roots were all exposed until I caught him rubbing himself against it. Naughty cat.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Garden Visitors

The nearest I've got to gardening this week is feeding the birds and painting my hall in Fuschia and Poinsetta red. The bluetits love this suet feeder, no-one seems to like the nijer seed in the feeder below, I bought it to attract Goldfinches but they prefered the Golden chorus I scatter on the ground. The Sparrows like the cheap wild bird seed I buy in 20 kilo sacks and they get through a large feeder a day, although they are wasteful little things and drop quite a lot on the ground. (Why is it almost every wasted seed they drop germinates in my flowerbed, while hardly any of the seeds I plant come to anything?) If I don't fill it up quick enough they will eat the songster mix in the smaller feeder, but this is not really a favourite.

Sorry about the quality of this video, the birds wouldn't wait for me to clean the window!

Every night last week the honeysuckle by my living room window was visited by a moth at around 8o'clock, I haven't seen it since Saturday though.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Brick paths and rosehip wine.

Here are some photos I took in the garden today.

 The caption on the sign just about sums up my philosophy on life.
I salvaged some bricks from a neighbours skip and am making a path around the edge of the grass to stop me walking across it and turning it into a muddy mess again this winter. After I had laid them out I had to cut back my Rosa Rugosa so that I could actually walk on it! There were lots of big, red hips on the bits I cut off which I usually leave for the birds, but this year I'm trying making wine with them as well as the wild Dog rose ones I usually use. Here's the recipe I used:
2lb rose hips
1tsp citric acid (I didn't have any so I used the juice of an orange- no lemons either!)
3lb sugar
1 gallon boiling water
1tsp yeast, nutrient &pectic enzyme
Wash the rosehips and then either crush them or cut them in half. Put the sugar in a polythene bucket with them and cover with the water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. When cool enough to be able to put your finger in comfortably add yeast, acid,enzyme and nutrient. Cover closely and leave in a warm place for a fortnight, stirring daily. Strain through a sieve into a fermentation jar and fit airlock. When wine clears siphon into a fresh jar and leave for a further 3 months before racking again and bottling.
Rose hip wine made with wild rosehips was the first wine I ever made. I hope this version will taste as good!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not so lazy day in the garden

Well Autumn is with us now , so the lazy days in the garden are replaced with busy days in the garden! Yesterday my friend Jane took me to my favorite garden centre, this was quite a treat as I haven't been able to get there since I stopped driving. We spent a pleasurable hour or so wandering round and I bought some Winter flowering Pansies, some double daisies and some Hyacinth bulbs plus a suet treat for the birds.
Today I spent the morning clearing the patch of dead nettle under the front hedge ready to plant and adding compost to the ground.

I found this little fellow under the elephants ears, I hope he keeps the slugs away from the pansies.

All planted out.

And my pots replanted as well.

I'm not going to be able to move tomorrow!