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The secret to helping wildlife is to have a garden large enough to accommodate all the things you mention, Richard. I am very privileged to have such but it is anything but the norm in a big city. I do get great joy when I see a whole street of small front gardens all different however, as they are providing a range of habitats for the bees and butterflies. Some of them prefer the spring show, some summer and some look great in autumn with lots of berries and Michaelmas daisies. Here lies the solution - be an individual, tidy or untidy, in your garden and together the needs of the wildlife will be served.
How about a compromise, guys? Everyone has a area that is sort of ignored. Cut and trim all you want, but move the trimmings to that unused area for the winter. Works for us - and our neighbors aren't appalled with the "I don't care about my yard" look...
I agree whole-heartly with your blog. A clipped and trained garden says to me that the gardener is a control freak and is probably never happy with the way it looks ( I knew a gardener who clipped his lawn with scissors after he'd mown it, I'm not joking). This I find sad, as a garden is ultimately made to be enjoyed. The fact that a relatively 'wild' garden attracts wildlife enhances the pleasure no end.
My garden is a bit too wild at present, but the wildlife is amazing, particularly the birds. I am fortunate to live in Berks,but it isn't too far to where the Red Kite release programme took place in the 90's, so we get to see 1 RK every day. If only people would look up they would see this magnificent bird flying over their local Waitrose, sorry it doesn't seem to like Tesco on the other side of town. yesterday we had Coal Tits and Nuthatches on our seed feeder but what regularly entertains us most is our flock of House sparrows. There may be a shortage in London, good news, we have at least 50 living in and around our hedges. Bad news is we also have a resident Sparrowhawk and having seen that from about 4ft away I am very glad I am not a sparrow.
I agree. My garden is an organic "forest"--fruit trees,bushes & plantsbut everything tastes great!


The whole "gardening experience" involves more than just (growing) things. It is the "relaxed, this is my time" feeling of acomplishment and just being in the garden. Along with that comes the serenity of the birds, butterflies, and wild creatures who inhabit your garden. Although it is tempting to make it all picture perfect by cutting everything back,at seasons end, I agree that you have a "duty" if you will to the wee creatures who live there to give them a bit of help finding food and shelter through the winter. Visit for some interesting facts about creating a natural home for them, to keep them in your garden.
I cleaned out the nest boxes recently to get rid of fleas and other unwelcome visitors for our birds. I felt very tempted to line the bottom of the box with something warm - like fleece (synthetic). However, I didn't as I'm unsure what is helpful for birds and the bats, squirrels, etc to line their roosts with. Any clues please?
The wildlife in my garden are aged 5, 7, and 11. I find that they are of great help in untidying.
Reply to Hampshire Wildlife I think birds, bats and squirrels are more than capable of lining their own nests. At the most, I'd suggest a handful of dry leaves. Anything more, and you do not know whether you are also introducing moulds, diseases or parasites.
I recently purchased a large pumpkin from a supermarket I use regulary and the Grocery colleage told me that my pumpkin I purchased was not edible as it was a carving pumpkin! Yet on the sticker on the back it said try if not satisfied a full refund would be given! I have never heard of this before and have eaten the pumpkin flesh in homemade soup and I am still here! Can anyone tell me if this is right that carving pumpkins are not edible?
Reply to Boggle Thank you for your comment. The most profound to date. I will take great pleasure in plagiarizing it horribly over the next few years.

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