Join me in my almost out-of-control garden where I try to grow as much food, fruit and flowers as I can – whilst tiptoeing around wildlife. This summer we’ve had five hedgehogs born in a nest in the corner of the orchard, under an old duck hut. Our mini-wood has been home to a pair of tawny owl fledglings. No doubt they are here because of a thriving colony of short-tailed voles. We garden lightly, with many bramble-filled corners, always aware that we share this special place. Although it is my garden- it is their home too, and so this wild and somewhat weedy place, is quite rightly called ‘Bramble Garden.’
Here’s one of the fledgling tawny owls amongst our wild cherry, beech and ash trees.
We planted the trees as saplings 28 years ago when we bought an acre of land and a tumbledown house from a farmer.
Wild roses have scrambled to the top of the trees. Their bright red hips provide food for birds in the winter.
Cow parsley and wild flowers grow under the trees in spring. This is our view from the summerhouse.
Stitchwort and violets grow in abundance in the semi-shade.
Honeysuckle scents the air in the summer. Much loved by bees, butterflies and moths.
Scented climbing roses scramble along the boundary fences and mingle with froths of cow parsley. A heart-sing combination!
Seed heads are left standing. They provide a habitat for the smallest of creatures. Can you spot the tiny spider, bottom right of the photo.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my garden. If you come to visit, don’t expect perfection. There’s probably something living in that messy log pile and untidy bramble patch. And as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s welcome here!
A favourite poem by Thomas Hardy makes me think of where we live. We are a mile from the nearest village, on the top of a windswept ridge, in the middle of farming country.
It faces west, and round the back and sides
High beeches, bending, hang a veil of boughs,
And sweep against the roof. Wild honeysucks
Climb on the walls, and seem to sprout a wish
(If we may fancy wish of trees and plants)
To overtop the apple-trees hard by.
Red roses, lilacs, variegated box
Are there in plenty, and such hardy flowers
As flourish best untrained. Adjoining these
Are herbs and esculents; and farther still
A field; then cottages with trees, and last
The distant hills and sky.
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