Our summer, as intended, was long and slow with very few trips away. It was the summer of the beach and garden. The summer gently held my first trimester; my tired, nauseous body, and a fragile little girl trying to establish what a new baby would mean for her. It held many days at the beach, but many more spent outside our back door, sat on our trusty blanket in the garden. Colouring, picnicing, flower picking, butterfly feeding, wildlife spotting, book reading and trampoline bouncing.
How we encouraged wildlife in our summer garden.
We hugely downsized when we moved into our current house (you can read more about why here) The garden we have now is long, thin, overlooked by lots of houses, with it's dominant feature being a black and lurid green trampoline (absolute parenting saviour for our energetic girl but ugly as sin.) But it's ours, and it isn't paved like the last one, and theres a lawn and places to plant flowers, and a decent amount of sun, and we have positively relished trying to make it grow and flourish. When we planted seeds and bulbs over the last year and a half, it has always been quite haphazard; impulse buys at the market in town, quite often driven by Frankie-Rose's love of pink and purple, but we always opted for anything that would encourage bees and butterflies in the garden. The garden is blessed with an enormous mature honeysuckle bush which is a local mecca for the bees and butterflies, and we also planted Cosmos, Nigella, lots of Lavender, Sun flowers, wild flower seeds, and other flowering plants whose names now escape me. We have talked a lot about why it's important to encourage bees and butterflies in the garden, and although Frankie-Rose began the summer being petrified of bees she has ended it being excited to see them.
Helping Garden wildlife in Autumn and Winter
This week, Autumn arrived in a day. We took the below photo's on Thursday, and on Friday we were in our duffle coats getting (happily) soaked in a beautiful Autumn rain shower. We want to continue our wildlife encouraging over the Autumn and winter, so heres what we're doing, and what you can do too.
- Set up a Bee House. Taylors Tea sent us a Bee Hotel, colouring book and a selection of wonderful tea's to promote their ace Bee saving campaign. You can easily make your own too (give it a google.) It was the most perfect package for us to open together. Frankie has loved decorating the bee hotel, and we have done lots of colouring in together in the garden and table. Bee hotels help the bees to overwinter, providing a place for the bee grubs, and sometimes bees, to hibernate. Ours is in the sunniest position we can find, off the ground, away from vegetation. Well clean it out next summer.
- Don't clear the garden. Other than trimming the lavender, we are going to leave the garden as untouched as possible. Not only is this beautifully lazy, its the most beneficial thing you can do to help wildlife in the garden over winter. Piles of leaves, dead flower stalks and rotting vegetation really encourage wildlife. Try not to disturb the soil too much too.
- Feed the bees and butterflies. The recent warm weather means they're both still very much active and we have encouraged them in the garden by putting out plates of overripe fruit on our garden wall.
- Feed the birds. At the moment the local birds are feasting on the berries, but soon we'll start making our bird feeders and putting out some water for them too.
If this Autumn and winter are anything like last years, we'll continue to spend lots of time out in the garden, albeit with brollies and waterproofs, so we'll continue to monitor what we see there.
We are so ready to get into some Autumn goodness over here! Will be sharing more of our Autumn preparation and celebrations on the blog in the following weeks, so keep an eye out.
This post was in collaboration with Taylors Tea but all words and thoughts are my own, and we have loved getting the Bee Hotel set up in the garden!
P.S The RSS feed issue is still not resolved. Blog Lovin is now fixed- but all the others are still pointing to an old feed. I'm working with Squarespace to get this fixed ASAP