Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Stage One Complete - A bit of background

My name is ffroglet and I like to make my garden as wildlife friendly as possible; it is the reason for my garden. I don't do regimented borders and acres of bedding annuals although I know they can be as beneficial to wildlife as a less formal garden. I like wild, I like natural, I like native - with a few exceptions and I like that my lawn has many species of flowers in it. Of course the bonus is that if it is supposed to look unkempt it becomes much more of a low-maintenance garden :o)
I get very excited when I find things like this Bombylius major (beefly)  in my garden 

I  moved into  my new house about 18 months ago and had to rip out most of the uncared for gardens (front and back), the dead 6ft Leylandii hedge and more ivy than I've ever seen in my life.
Yes I know - ivy is good, but it needs to be in the right place and all the way across the borders and into the lawn wasn't it! So last year I worked very hard all summer ripping out and replanting with native and/or wildlife beneficial shrubs and perennials. Most of the wood from the removed shrubs was cut up and stashed out of the way in log/twig piles but annuals that sprout from seeds can look out for themselves and come and go as they please

 My New Hedge, November. If you look really closely you can see little twigs in front of the green fencing

By the end of last year I was able to get on with my New Hedge. Hawthorn had been planted all the way across the bottom of my garden as soon as I moved in but this was going to be a mixed hedge. I sat and carefully chose the prickly or evergreen or fruit or nut-bearing species that were going into it. I shan't be so boring as to list all the species here* but I did include a couple of Callicarpa just for me.

Now you remember last November? It rained a lot, as it had done for most of last year. But I had broken my toe so I had to carry our all the pre-planting prep work sitting down, in the rain and in lots of clayey mud. The dead Leylandii had had mature ivy trunks growing round them so I had an awful lot of ivy roots to dig out as well as the dead tree roots. I had to go down a good foot to get them all.

Stage One was completed just in time for winter. I don't like winter much so I sat back and waited for the opportunity to begin Stage Two. Turned out to be quite late spring.

* Actually I changed my mind - it's here