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

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The Amazon. It’s more than just a rainforest.

The amazon, it’s more than just a rainforest.
It’s on your sole,
It’s on your skin,
It’s on your tongue,
Sometimes you eat it,
Perhaps one day, it might even save your life,
It already kind of is,
It regulates our climate,
And the very air we breathe.
It’s amazing,
Inspiring,
It’s essential
AND WE CAN HELP PROTECT IT.

I’m sharing this with you all because the Amazon Rainforest is in trouble and needs our help in our to safeguard its and our future, as without it our planet simply couldn’t support us. Sky and WWF have teamed up together and have pledged to save 1 billion trees.

I dare the world to save the planet,
So why not join the Sky Rainforest Rescue Campaign, once you’ve signed up and supported them,
Share this post,
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Lets show the Amazon the love that it deserves.

I’m baaaacckkkkk, and for real this time

Hello everyone, after a rather odd time I’ve decided to resurrect the old blog however this time I think I’m going to start taking it a little bit more seriously. So my new take on my blog as it would be is going to start putting how to’s on, future ideas, reviews amongst other things. So this is a rather short post just informing you all at the moment so before I end it and begin working in new things I’ll just get you all up to speed. So I’m still at college and dislike it intensely, I’ve taken my garden back and the turf goes down tomorrow symbolising its new beginning.
Think that will do so one final note, I would love to get more people reading my blog and so it would mean a lot if you could share posts to Twitter, Facebook and onto your WordPress or other blogs. You guys can follow me on those platforms too if you so wished, I love talking to you guys. Also if you have any questions you would like to ask or any ideas you think would be of an awesome inspiration be sure to comment below.
Thanks for reading this and look forward to connecting with you all in the future….
Anthonyy

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

Leighton Moss – Friday 28th October

Firstly I think a change of theme is in order, so don’t worry you’re still in the right place!! I have changed from greenery to itheme2.

Anyway, onto the post. Last Friday I went to Leighton Moss, an RSPB nature reserve in Silverdale, Lancashire. I went mainly to get the last of my christmas presents but because I hadn’t gone round it for a while I thought we might as well, we being my nana and grandad.

I set of with a plan. I wanted to try to spot:

  • Marsh Harriers
  • Bearded Tits
  • Bitterns
  • Otters
I’ll put all the photos in a gallery at the bottom for you to look through (as well as the occasional one in the writing) don’t worry I’ll put labels on if you don’t know what they are 😉
Firstly I saw a Robin, stood literally a metre or two away from me.

Robin

We went to Lillian’s hide first, the biggest hide at Leighton Moss. There was where I saw the first thing on my list, the marsh harriers, quite a rarity but they are breeding at the reserve. You may or may not be able to see them on the photos as I have an awful camera, but if you want to have a look at them they will be just above the reedbeds. There was mainly teals, mallards, wigeon and pochard at the hide oh and absolutly loads of coots!!!
Next we went right to the other end of the reserve to the public and lower hides. On the way you go down the causeway path in which the staff have put up grit trays for the bearded tits. I learned that they change their diets so that they don’t have to migrate in the winter. In summer they eat the bugs on the reeds and then they eat the seeds off the reeds in winter. The reason they need grit is too digest the seeds. There was nothing on the grit trays however just before them there was a flock of around 15 bearded tits feeding on the seeds. Number two on the list gone 🙂
Bearded tit (in the middle)
Bearded tit (on tree)
The next hide was the Public Hide. There we saw a few comerants, great created grebe, a few black headed gulls and the odd mallard duck, not very exciting I know but its all part of the experience.
After a very long walk to the Lower hide and a walk through a wood (seeing some goldcrests) , I was beginning to get a bit excited as this hide was where you had the biggest chance of seeing the otters. Well unfortunalty we didn’t see one but you haven’t herd the best of it yet. Just after leaving the hide I asked what time was it and it was 12:25. What’s that got to do with it your all thinking, well I went onto the recent sightings page on their website and guess what. At 12:30 the otters made a brief appearance. I was like nooooooo. Anyway at the lower hide I did see some more coots and mallards oh and a swan. There was more great crested grebes about 5. I love seeing them dive in the water and bob back up again.
So then after are ‘near’ encounter we went to the tim jackson and griesdale hides. I’ve gotten mixed up to which ones were which but never mind. At one of them I saw nothing but teals, hundreds of them. I also saw a great white egret flying over head. Then at the other hide I saw 6 red deers. However because of the sun, you had to be very careful that you didn’t blind yourself 😉 Someone very kindly let me look through their telescope at them as they had it set up on them. Last year I think it was, was when I saw a baby deer.
Unfortunately no bittern, however I think it says that one did fly over, that must have been later, never mind better luck next time. I will see one 🙂
Finally on the way back to the visitor centre we stopped off at the bird feeding station. I saw blue,coal and great tit. Greenfinches, chaffinches and some more ducks.
Overall I had a really good day and can’t wait for my next visit, and who knows, maybe I’ll get my bittern and otter 🙂
Before I forget below is the gallery of photos…

An exciting new project…

Right, I’ve just had an absolute brainwave, well my friend suggested the idea. I’m sure you’ve seen the roundabout at my allotment, if not here it is just as a reminder:

This is the area for my new idea

 The roundabout is currently going through a redesign process, it is being converted into a wildlife pond. I mean it’s going to sound a bit geeky but I love to keep tadpoles, I found them so fascinating, I mean I even mangaged to get my friends to keep them last year  with mixed outcomes (i.e. some died well most died) Mine didn’t follow the same fate, I ended with 3 from around 20, most of them ate each other. I called them flip, jip and skip.

I am hoping that my design should go well, it should. It will hopefully attract all sorts of wildlife, for example dragon and damselflies, and I am wondering what else. This is a bit naughty but I will add frogspawn myself next spring. I know your supposed to wait but. I am just going to have to reasearch the flowers and stuff to put in my pond. I may get one of those solar powered water features. I will keep you updated throughtout its construction, and can’t wait to see what it looks like.

The Allotment tidy up is finally at an end!!

Thank God!! You may remember some time ago the pics of the allotment from march, well what a difference  a month can make. All the beds are now finished and its just the general weeding, watering and planting out.  I may go tomorrow and get some more things planted out however I’m not sure…

I have some good news too, there is some ducklings 12 to be precise at the bottom of my allotment, it brought such a smile to my face, its alright getting iPods, phones and games concoles and being happy then however this sort of happy was different, it was a  happy in which I was pleased for the ducks and its amazing just how nature can make you happy.

I was going to try and put before and after photos on this slideshow but couldn’t do it, but I managed to put some captions on them so you should have an idea of what is going on.

Tommorrow I’m going to a garden centre to get some more mints and a lemon verbena seen as I killed the last one over the winter. Anyways I’ll see you all later when I will let you know about some of my projects for this year.

Have a happy easter and make the most of the bank holidays!!

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Thursday 3rd March

Hi to all, tomorrow I am going to start the task of tidying my garden up, I don’t think that it will be too hard though as nothing much has really happened over the winter. Has anybody began their sowings yet for this year, I just planted up my propagator with all of my tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. They’ve all rocketed up and are nearly ready to be potted into their single pots.

And I really just want to do one of these just to see if I can, so here goes

Now that that’s out of the way I would like to share with you my major project in the garden for this year. Back in january I bought a new set or organic open pollinated seeds (which by the way were rather expensive!) so I could save all my own seeds and reduce the food miles and carbon footprint that our family put out. I also have another one which is to create a bee and butterfly border which is hopefully going to benefit the garden and the local bee and butterfly population as last year I made it my mission to attract a red admiral butterfly which I thought I failed in but I attracted loads of small tortoiseshell butterflies but not a red admiral but then right at the end of the season the plant pulled it off and attracted the butterfly, it was one of the most beautiful butterflies I have ever seen, also I saw a frog.

See you all later……