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Kate Bradbury

Latest posts by Kate Bradbury

Non Flowering Daffodills

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 08:17

Oh well you're doing better than me! I've decided my garden is too shady for daffs


Wildlife Ponds

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 15:29

Hi MrsSpratt, an old bath makes a good wildlife pond, as long as it has plenty of shallows (tricky with such steep edges). You'll need to seal the plug hole and overflow pipe using a pond sealant (available from aquatic shops). Then I would take some large stones or slabs and use these to create shallows (5cm deep). This is where frogs will spawn in spring.

Choose a sunny site for your pond and inlcude lots of native pond plants - such as marsh marigold, frog bit, hornwort and brooklime.

If you do sink the tub - which is fairly easy to do - make sure wildlife can enter and exit the pond easily. Consider sowing grass seed around the edges and allow it to grow long, which young frogs and toads will use to shelter in. Avoid filling the bath with tap water, but let it fill up naturally instead. This will ensure a healthier pond in the long run.

Hope this helps

Gardeners' World team

Carol's beehive

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 14:55

Hi louiseww, we believe the bees are doing very well. If you would like to know more about natural beekeeping, visit

Gardeners' World team

Making Bird Nest Boxes from Recycled Materials.

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 14:40

What a great idea, Malcar. Do you have a photo you could share with us?

Gardeners' World team

Non Flowering Daffodills

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 14:36

Hello donutmrs, do they get enough sun? It's worth checking that the bulbs are planted deeply in the ground. If they're quite shallow, dig them up and plant them at three times the depth (length) of each bulb, and feel them with a high potash fertiliser such as comfrey solution. It's also a good idea to remove spent flowers, so the plants don't waste energy producing seed. Good luck for next year!


Talkback: Garden birds and garden pests

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 14:22
Hi all, thanks for your comments.

oldchippy - ingenious! Love the baked-bean-tin bird box.

alittlesliceofeden - my great tits only ever come during breeding season. I don't see them in summer and very rarely in winter. I assume there is enough food for them at other times of the year so they don't need to come in to my garden. But it's perfectly normal to have birds in your garden all year round.

primrose09 - lovely. It sounds as if you have made a brilliant habitat in your wall.


Talkback: Making nettle beer

Posted: 19/03/2012 at 11:02
I certainly do! And dead nettles are lovely. I'm hoping some self-seed into my garden!


Absence of Frogs

Posted: 14/03/2012 at 16:09

Hi JenBee, do the frogs normally spawn in your pond? If so, it could be that the one frog is just waiting for the others to arrive. Spawning occurs much later in the east of the UK than in the west, and it has been quite cold lately. We are supposed to have some rain this weekend, so it could be just what your frogs need to finally come to your pond to spawn.

As regards the slowly diminishing number, there could be a number of reasons. It could be that the frogs are choosing other ponds in preference to yours, or that it isn't as easy to accss your garden as it once was. Disease is also a possibility, or even predation by local cats. Adults normally only spend the mating season near ponds, so are often found a fair distance away from water. Also the last couple of years have been very dry in Suffolk, so that could have affected frog numbers.

Take a look at Nature's Calendar for frogspawn sightings in your area:

And do let us know if more frogs join in for spawning this year. I'm still waiting for mine to spawn!


Pot worms

Posted: 08/03/2012 at 10:16

Can you put a photo up Strewberry? Earth/compost worms in pots are normally a good thing, as they eat decaying material and leave worm casts, increasing the nutritional value of the compost.


Bees Are Already Buzzing!!

Posted: 02/03/2012 at 15:12

Oh, definitely, happymarion, rosemary is a great early source of nectar and polen for insects. I have just spent half an hour at the base of a Berberis julianae, where lots of bees were congregated. I think they hibernate beneath it over winter, so they don't have far to travel for food in spring!


Discussions started by Kate Bradbury

Talkback: Queen wasp

Lovely x x 
Replies: 6    Views: 452
Last Post: 21/04/2013 at 07:22

Talkback: Leaf-cutter bees

Saw my first leaf-cutter only a couple of weeks ago Richard. Didn't get a chance to look at its underside... Kate 
Replies: 5    Views: 498
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 21:40

Potted ponds in Thailand

Just some of the many 'potted ponds' I found in Thailand 
Replies: 13    Views: 3030
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 20:24


Replies: 5    Views: 970
Last Post: 15/02/2012 at 14:45


Replies: 1    Views: 383
Last Post: 17/12/2011 at 08:16


Replies: 4    Views: 462
Last Post: 14/12/2011 at 20:26

Favourite tools

Replies: 17    Views: 1072
Last Post: 28/04/2012 at 10:06

Redesign of garden

Replies: 35    Views: 5627
Last Post: 15/03/2012 at 19:49

Seed buying

Replies: 7    Views: 1044
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 12:16

Plants still in flower?

Replies: 64    Views: 17571
Last Post: 19/01/2012 at 21:10
10 threads returned