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I've been building, not so much a garden pond, as a playground pond. And the first problem with playgrounds is that they are all-over tarmac. The obvious site for Ivydale Primary School's new pond was a sunny, but extremely bleak corner next
Just back from a long weekend in the village of Croscombe, in Somerset between Wells and Shepton Mallet, where The Landmark Trust has a fabulous 15th century building (Old Hall) to rent. Like so many holiday lets, the small garden could not really
the situation every 10-20 years, inject with pesticide where necessary and replace timber when appropriate. There should be a fair few centuries of life and deathwatch yet in the place.
to chalk up 15 of my 124 target actions. These are mostly by the simple expedient of not cutting the grass, not winter deadheading, clearing out the pond when I repaired it and by having more than my fair share of thickets.The thickets are obviously paying
pleasing than a plank of wood). The holes need to be at least 10 and preferably 20cm deep, with a diameter of 4-8mm. Mind you, if you live in Leicestershire, drill holes 15mm across and you might get the massive carpenter bee, Xylocopa violacea.
and they then point it out to some of their friends. They gain a modicum of kudos from knowing a 'hawk' when they see one.Then it drifts away over the buildings and is gone. Well I never. I know it's a common bird, but I usually associate it with roadsides rather than
some previous owner has thoughtfully laid a path or hidden some building debris. If I get through the crushed brick, a further 10 cm down I meet solid London clay. With a frozen crust, I thought I'd have a task before me.The ground was not as hard as I
), aided by 13-year-old. The 11-year-old swept up and the 3-year-old ate biscuits.And you'll be pleased to know that no wildlife was inconvenienced by the tree's removal. I knocked a Jersey tiger moth from the small cherry tree as I entered the garden area
spiders of hollow tree trunks, logs, root cavities, rock piles, caves and other small sheltered voids. Here they build a silken funnel that expands out into a tatty hammock, a bit like a threadbare handkerchief. The spider sits patiently in the funnel
a tight-pruned lime and a small cypress. Nevertheless, the city is splashed all over with natural colour as sills, walls, yards and railings are covered with pots and window boxes.Some buildings in the rickety 'old quarter' are so bedecked they look