Our Gardens and our Pollinating Insects

Well hello there internet friends. I might have slightly neglected this blog..again but oh well it’ll fine. So really I’ve come to ask for some help from you guys for a project that I am undertaking at college which comes in the form of a little survey and poll. Which will be below after I give you a little overview about what it’s about.

So as the title entails my report is going to be about our gardens and our pollinators but more specifically I’m going to research about what we do as gardeners and horticulturists. For example do you provide habitats for bees by providing bumblebee houses or give a selection of what plants you grow that you think is beneficial to the pollinators. I’ll do an example just to get the ball rolling and if you have any queries or want to add anything else just comment at the bottom! I’d love for you guys to comment some of your favourite insect friendly flowers!

And please remember to like and subscribe to me and share this post with your friends so I can get a bigger response and get a varied response.

I promise to actually do something and make this blog a more regular occurrence (I know I keep saying this but it WILL happen) So come back I will try to post every Monday, so come back next week and I’ll update you all on like everything, and also I’ll have a more regular look through all your posts because you guys are awesome!

Anthony x

A Smile Can Hide a lot of Things

So erm hey, this is like really really ultra different to what I would normally put up on here and it’s just something I’m doing to get things off my chest and try to settle more than anything.
As some of you may have noticed, twitter people and real life people I’ve not really been myself lately and I think I’m just going to use this space to do some explaining and to generally say what’s happening. Mainly because I’m sick of all the you’re moody, you’re attention seeking, and it’s just a phase comments so before you read this as say any of these things you can kindly piss off because this is how I feel and you can’t exactly change these feelings…I don’t expect many people will read this so I don’t even know why I’m bothering but I think it’ll give those who do an insight to my life at the moment, so yeah, here goes.
Firstly there’s college. Oh my fucking god now that’s a place. My assumptions of the place have been more or less confirmed the last few weeks and to say the least I absolutely hate it, so much that on 5 occasions since starting I’ve started crying over it. Chaos is better organised than that place, I mean two weeks just to get a timetable!? And even after that I’m only there on Mondays for something that is actually to do with my horticulture qualification. The rest of the time is other pointless qualifications I didn’t even sign on for. I’ve always wanted to do A levels and this is something I can’t get across to my mum or my nana…it’s more or less said to me that you are incapable of making a decision and it’s out of your hands. Well I can tell you one thing now, my course tutorial is tomorrow and everything I want to be said about the matter will be said and if that means changing to do A levels then that’s what is going to happen. You are NOT in charge of my career, I am so frankly all you can have is an opinion.
This brings me onto my next topic, my family…For starters I apparently not gay, when quite clearly I am, and that’s how I’m always going to be. It is NOT a so called “phase” it’s permanent and like it or not, I will be having boyfriends. Next there’s the fact that my mum hates all of my friends except one who in all fairness isn’t really a friend as they’ve made no effort to see me, and I’ve always been second bested to, so if that’s qualities you look for in your friends then fair enough, but I know who my friends are and we love each other very much and I’m lucky to have them…what actually is it that they’ve done!? Made me have a social life!? I overhear you talking about me all the time and distinctly remember you saying I had no one round to my house or went out, yet the minute that starts happening you hate them. Oh and that’s another thing, mum and nana…I’m not exactly the most social of people in fact I’m probably socially awkward so making friends is incredibly hard for me, this is because of what has happened at high school which you didn’t really seem to care about. And the fact that you’re like once Hannah and Beth move to college I’ll never see them again and shouldn’t bother with them is wrong…times have changed and like it or not they probably will be best friends for life.
Right what’s next oh this is what really upsets me at the moment. I see all these cute couples together, the people I like, and those you just can’t have and it makes me so lonely. I feel like I’ll never have a relationship because its just that I mean I’m not exactly the most attractive of people and I’m socially awkward, not exactly the best qualities for potential boyfriends. I just wish I could find a boyfriend but I don’t think it’s going to happen…I mean there’s the people you become close to on twitter which you would probably be with in a heartbeat but there’s distance. My last relationship was with the most awesome person, cute, sexy, full of awesomeness, had beautiful eyes and would probably have worked had it not been because of distance but never mind. I just want a boyfriend where we can be best friends, cuddle in bed, kiss and do everything and anything together but the problem is Preesall. Nobody and I mean nobody is gay, literally, I try to find someone and it’s like oh you’re straight, not good, but yeah that’s that, sad lonely teenager.
What else, not sure if there is anything but I suppose I could go on and on but I’m not going to because I feel like I’ve let enough emotion out now, it just needed to be said because I’ve been so down this month and have been hiding everything behind a smile.
So I’m going to leave on a positive, my friends have been the best lately, I love them lots and lots and they are just so awesome. Also I managed to get a job at Lush in Preston which I didn’t think would happen. Surprisingly enough I’m not really socially awkward there, which I find really strange, it’s like I have a new found confidence, pity it can’t lead out from there lol. But yeah that’s my little weird thing, and I feel a bit better now after this so yeah, bye and feel free to comment if you wanna xxx

Let it grow, Let it grow…

Hello, Hello, long time no see to this blog, thought I better update it and get back into the swing of things. So what’s changed then? Um well not much, the garden still hasn’t been finished so there’s not a lot I can do in there really until it has been so there’s nothing to do really. Everything has had to be called off because the garden isn’t complete so no show this year. Well I can’t do anything until it has been so I’m like not going to do anything till it has been. Enough of that because I could easily spend a blog post moaning about the garden so I’m not going to.

So I read somewhere recently that it takes about 7 trees to offset an average uk families carbon emissions. This got me thinking about things. If people just planted one tree, they would be making a difference. Not only would they be reducing their own CO2 emissions but they would be creating a new mini biodiversity by providing the tree. You will attract the butterflies and their caterpillars which in turn would attract the hungry birds. As your tree began to grow, evolving and changing the more creatures it will be able to support in its fragile and complex eco-system. As it begins to mature you may see the squirrels clambering through and even maybe have hungry jays feasting on acorns.

I’m going to leave some simple instructions on what you need and how you do it. I’ve done it, I did it all the way back in 2004 and now my oak sapling is starting to overtake me in height. Any queries you have will hopefully be answered in the instructions to follow. If they aren’t just leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll get back to you 🙂

So What Do I Need to do???

1. Firstly you need to gather a few bits and in order to partake in this activity. It’s perfect to do with anyone so you could even get children involved and plant their own which they can grow up with. You need will need some Compost, A large pot, An English Oak Acorn or two. Below is an image of an English Oak with its leaves and acorn, it is fairly easy to identify. The acorns will soon be ready to collect, they usually start to ripen in September, but get out quickly otherwise the squirrels will get them before you do!!

You want to collect the ripe brown acorns

2. After you’ve collected your acorns and things you are ready to start. Fill your pot/s with compost and firm down. 

3. Plant ONE acorn per pot. This is to eliminate competition between saplings. Push down so the acorn is covered. 

4. Patience is now required. Now you need to place your newly planted acorns in a quiet part of the garden in order for them to overwinter. As acorns have to go through a winter before they will germinate.

5. Check on your pot the following spring and hopefully your new oak sapling will have started to grow.

6. The final step is to repot your tree when you see roots come through the bottom 0f your pot and either plant out into the garden or repot into a larger pot.

I hope that you will give this a try and if you do I will gladly help anyone with any problems and would love to see the saplings progress. I chose the English Oak because it is a native species to England and if you are reading this from another part of the globe simply replace this with a native species of your own 🙂

My Oak Tree this Spring

Anyway I hope you take up this small challenge if you don’t then please share this message. Just doing one thing can start to help the planet. I hope you liked this post and my new look blog 🙂 The fonts should look like this but I’m not paying $30 for them. You’ll just have to use your imagination 😉

It suits the theme and everything, I really want them

Say NO to Gas Storage, Say NO for the LAST time…

I have decided to write this to show my frustration and concern over Halite energy’s plans to create 19 UNLINED caverns beneath the River Wyre which would store 900,000,000 cubic metres of gas. We have an action group, Protect wyre group, http://www.pwgroup.org.uk

I have posted some information onto this blog post regarding the plans.

Halite Energy (previously called Canatxx) wants to create
19 unlined caverns in the layered salt 300m beneath the
River Wyre to store 900mcm of natural gas.

Have you any idea how much gas this really is?

900,000,000 m3
of Gas =
18,000 of these!

Placed in a line, these
would stretch from Wyre
to the Middle of France!

Have you any idea how near to your home this will be?

The proposed site will be within half a mile of Fleetwood,
Knott End and Preesall, 1 mile from Thornton, 2 miles from
Cleveleys and 3 from Poulton.

Let’s put a STOP to this scheme NOW!

There are also numerous reasons why you should object to these plans as the website shows…..

1 The Unsuitable Geology of the Preesall Salt
At about 300m, this proposed underground gas storage scheme would be the shallowest and therefore potentially the most dangerous in all Europe. The Preesall salt bed is split by numerous faults any one of which could be a route along which escaping gas might migrate.

Gas travelled 8 miles underground from similar geology in Kansas in 2001 before mixing with air, exploding and causing fatalities. Many homes, on both sides of the river, are within half a mile of the proposed site.

2 Gas Migration Risk to Fleetwood, Thornton & Cleveleys
Under the Wyre there is a massive fault which brings the salt bed next to the porous sandstone bed which underlies Fleetwood, Thornton and Cleveleys. If the stored gas were to escape into the sandstone it could build up, travelling miles and miles along faults, cracks, pipes and sewers, eventually rising up to the surface in and around properties.

3 Gas Migration Risk to Over Wyre Villages
Similar faults occur on the Over Wyre side of the estuary. Here there is added concern because the gas could escape into the network of old brine wells, abandoned pipes and the old salt mine where for 100 years ICI have put water down shafts and pumped up the dissolved salt. This area of salt is riddled with huge holes resulting in the ground collapsing over much of the area. Yet it is so close to the site of the caverns, which raises concerns about how far escaping gas could migrate eastwards towards the Over Wyre villages.

4 Potential of a Well Head Explosion
Accidents can never be ruled out. Technology is not foolproof and human error must never be discounted. If gas escaped from a cavern and rose to the surface at a well head, it could mix with air and explode. The Wyre Way, a well used public right of way, runs past the well head area. If an explosion occurred anyone close to the well heads would have little chance of survival.

5 Evacuation of Thornton – Fleetwood Peninsula – Over Wyre
An explosion may not happen straight away. Under certain conditions a cloud of gas could drift in any direction towards settlements on both sides of the Wyre. In those circumstances how could the residents of Fleetwood, Thornton and Cleveleys be protected? How would you evacuate 60,000 people from a peninsula with just one road out? Equally, evacuation of Over Wyre residents would be difficult, if indeed possible.

6 The Scheme would provide a New Terrorist Target
Unlike all other dangerous installations of this type, this site would not be ring fenced with security fencing and the open nature of the site and its proximity to residential areas could present itself as a terrorist target.

7 Ecological Damage from Discharge of the Brine at Rossall
50 million tonnes of saturated brine, the result of washing out the caverns, will be dumped into the sea off Rossall School. This will have a serious adverse effect on the sea bed life and fisheries.

8 Destruction of Countryside and Wild Life
The Wyre estuary is an important internationally recognised wild life area given special protection because of its bird life and salt marshes. The caverns would be created under these marshes. The land between Preesall and the coast is peaceful countryside which has great ecological and amenity value.
This proposal would destroy all this and create an industrial landscape.

9 Impact on Recreational Use & Landscape
People enjoy the walks and the views from the eastern side of the Estuary. The Wyre Way is part of the Lancashire Coastal Path but the industrialisation of this area and the noise would destroy the peace and enjoyment which so many people value, if indeed the Wyre Way was allowed to remain open.

10 Long Term Effect on House Prices and Insurance
What effect will gas storage have on house prices in adjacent areas? If an accident did happen then the negative effect on house prices and subsequent insurance premiums would be felt over a wide area.

Residents around the area have been sent these letters….

Dear Resident

There have been 3 previous applications to store vast quantities of gas at great pressure (about 1,000psi) in caverns which will be created by dissolving the salt bed which lies west of Preesall and extends under the Wyre Estuary.

These caverns would be enormous – up to 300 metres high and 100 metres in diameter – and they would be close to your home – within half a mile of Fleetwood, Knott End and Preesall, a mile from Thornton, 2 miles from Cleveleys and 3 from Poulton.

For each of the three previous applications you were magnificent. An average of 10,000 of you on each occasion wrote in to object. It was largely because of your letters that the schemes were turned down.

Now there is a fourth application (the Halite one) and once again we need you to play your part.

Have a read about the proposed scheme and our objections to it and then simply complete the on-line Response Form or download blank copies to fill in and then either send it to the Protect Wyre Group or deliver it to one of the drop off points.

We will present your letter to the Planning Inspectors as part of the evidence we will be giving.

We urge everyone in your house to send in an objection. It is one letter per person and not one per home. Your family and friends can also object even if they live outside the area – their concerns for your well-being carry just as much weight.

What else can you do to help? It’s easy and very effective – simply encourage everyone in your family to fill their forms in, encourage your friends and neighbours to complete theirs.

Please, Please take the time to read this information, comment, share and spread the word. I don’t think this is getting the recognition that it deserves as we don’t need it and corporate greed is influencing our areas future. So please, tweet, facebook, press this, reblog whatever, this issue needs addressing!

Finally if you are wondering what you can do to help, you can also fill out the Response Form on the Protect Wyre website, I’ve included the link. Even though you may not be a resident you can express your concern about the plans and for the saftey and well being of its residents. Please, Please do so, you have until 16th May and it won’t take more than 5 minutes!!!!

So before I go, if I haven’t convinced you, I live in Preesall, less than a mile away, imagine you are in my predicament, imagine the panic and pandamonium that would go on if something happened! And there would be over 60000 others to contend with!

Please, read, share and fill out the form. It would mean the world to me and hopefully safeguard my areas future…..

P.S For more info log onto the Protect Wyre Group Website

New Year, New Designs…

Following the start of 2012, I had to create a new design to replace last years for my allotment. To my surprise it only  took one afternoon and I am very pleased with it:

Allotment 2012

I just hope that it will work a bit better than last years. I had a few space issues, but this time I think I’ve fixed it.

Now following the complete obliteration of my garden by the weather and the chickens :S I have gotten my way in having it done up this year. So today I came up with one main design and 4 sub garden designs. We can’t agree on which sub design to go with because we like them one way and another, the other way. So I have create a poll at the bottom of this post just to get some feedback on which one others liked. So please after reading vote on which you like best. Anyway below is the main design.

Design Number One

The bit we can’t decide on is the left hand corner with the greenhouse and cat house, below are 4 other possible designs. They each have their pro’s and con’s so I will let you decide.

Design 2

Design 3

These two designs mean that I lose around a 1m of from the right of the garden when compared to the other design.

Design 4

Design 5

These two designs may mean that greenhouse doesn’t get that much light…

Anyway, the writing maybe rather breif but never mind. Now before going please vote on which you like best and also if you have anything to say just comment as normal. Thank you 😀

Kew Gardens

Yesterday I went to The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. It was a long way to go, up a 6 to be on the platform at Lancaster for 7:30. The train journey wasn’t so bad and I managed to direct us around on the underground (with the help of my iPod) The underground trains don’t hang about, whizzing round.

Anyway I had an afternoon to explore the gardens after meeting with somebody about learning at kew. Because we had limited time we only really went to the main attractions but even though they were still amazing. Here are some of the photos I took when I was there.

The Alpine House, I think...

 

Scilla Maderensis

 

A fern in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

 

An orchid of some sort also in the conservatory

 

The Princess of Wales Conservatory

 

I enjoyed the conservatory, it is very modern looking. It contains 10 different climatic zones and is full of plants including ferns, orchids and cacti.

The Palm House

 

Weeping Willow by the lake?

 

Inside the palm house

 

double coconut leaf??

 

Round weird fruit thing

 

These photos are from the palm house, it was really hot and humid and my mum nearly died from the palm house because of the humidity which I found rather funny because we had to rush out quickly.

The Japanese pointy thing (right in the distance)

 

The temperate house

 

The stairs up the tree top walk

I couldn’t leave with out going around the tree tops walk. It was really high up. If you walked on it a certain way it shook and it shook in the wind which wasn’t to my mum’s taste.

A view on the tree tops

 

Some strange tree that I can't remember the name of, it looks cool though!

Before leaving we went on this holly walk as my mum likes them, we found this yellow berried holly and this sort of weeping holly

Yellow Holly

 

Weeping holly

 

Finally  before leaving London we went to covent garden for a look round and then headed back to euston where I swear I got eye and neck strain from staring at our train on the departure board slowly edging its way across…

Before I go, I have had a dramatic development in my garden, A sparrowhawk attack at my bird feeders. It ate one of my starlings and made guard cats fluff up scared, it would probably eat them given half a chance as they are so gormless.

The sparrowhawk, you better not come back or else....

 

...I'll send my one of my guard cats out, oh and by the way the cat was watching TV while I took this

Harrogate Spring Flower Show

On Thursday I went on a trip to harrogate flower show, it was the 2nd show I’d been to, the other being gardeners world live. It was quite busy as it was opening day. I bought a few herb plants, garlic chives, kew red lavender, blackcurrant sage, swiss mint, grapefruit mint, lemon mint, wild rocket and catmint. I certainly filled up the herb patch now!!!

Anyway just a few pics of the displays and some gardens, my favourite is the one with the water wheel, however I think the garden with the decking will work best as a large garden.

Wednesday 2nd March

Well hello to everybody and welcome to my new blog, you may have to bear with me as I haven’t yet figured out what everything does, but I’ll get there.
As this is my first post I think I will tell you a bit about me and my garden. My name is Anthony, and I am a year 10 student in Lancashire. I got into nature first when I was 7 years old after I saw an article in the sky kids magazine for RSPB membership and everything stemmed from there really, who knew that watching telly could actually change your life!? I’m glad it did because it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Anyway I have an allotment, a garden and do my best to look after the environment. My post with pictures of the allotment, and my garden will be posted at the weekend (if I can figure that bit out!)

I hope you will become regular readers and hope that you will enjoy my posts!