How Your Garden Transforms Through The Seasons 

The garden is meant to be enjoyed. With only a little attention here and there, your garden can flourish. Understanding the seasons, the challenges and the opportunities it brings to your garden is key to success throughout the gardening calendar.

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Darkness and Cold of Winter

Protect your garden and wildlife from the worse of the winter by ensuring vulnerable plants are protected and give wildlife ample opportunity to make their homes.

The Green of Spring

As the days begin to warm, plants and wildlife awaken from their winter slumber. Night time can still be cold, but with mulch and fertilisers, your garden has everything that it needs. 

The Golden Glow of Summer

Long days with soaring temperatures bring colour back to the garden. But take care of the soil and maintain its moisture levels for your plants to bloom, and your vegetable plot to produce an abundant harvest.

The Red Autumn

Just before trees shed their leaves, the golden yellow colours and deep, dark reds are a joy to behold – enjoy every minute of the autumn garden, helping it to remain strong and lush for as long as possible.

Do you know how to work with the seasons in your garden?

*Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.

Star in the Night Sky #30DaysWild

In the early hours of yesterday morning, around 3am, I stood in the garden and looked up at the night sky. There was a bright light flashing, at first I thought it was a plane. After watching for several minutes though, it was definitely not moving and I realised it must be a star. But it was genuinely – by a million fold – the brightest, twinkliest, most magical looking star that I have ever seen. It made every other star in the sky look practically invisible because it shone so bright and twinkled so much. I know that this probably sounds silly, but honestly I cannot emphasise enough how mesmerising it was. 

I tried to get a decent shot of it but it just doesn’t even in the slightest tiniest way begin to do it even a miniscule amount of justice. You can only just see it as a small white dot in between the trees (to the left in the photo above, in the very middle of the photo below).

I started thinking; I wonder how many other people have ever looked up at the night sky and spotted that same star? I wonder if they had the same thoughts as me? I wonder if anyone else is out there looking up at it right now, this same moment? Truly amazing when you think about it. The universe is so huge, and we are all just a small dot in comparison. Yet everything is connected. And each one of us has an impact and can make a difference. Incredible.

The Secret is in the Soil: The Importance Of Healthy Soil

We don’t give much thought to the soil under our feet but without it, we wouldn’t have food on our plates. It takes a lifetime to create the ideal soil conditions for plants and crops to grow, but no time at all to destroy it. For every plant to thrive, it needs nutrients. And these are found in the soil. With the right nutrients in perfect balance, a plant or tree thrives.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Planet

So how is Soil Made? And why do we need to keep adding organic matter and other nutrients to get the best from it? Does it mystify you as to why soil in one part of the garden is fine and dust-like but in another part, heavy and dense?

The soil is made from the earth’s crusts and its deposits being ground to a finer powder over thousands of years. The type of soil created, depends on the deposits that created it. The quality of soil also depends on how much life is in the soil. Worms, for example, are essential to mixing the soil as well as aerating it. Other soil-borne life forms are important too. Soil needs plenty of nutrients and water to offer the best growing medium, an increasing problem in a world with an increasing number of mouths to feed.

Do you know how to look after soil?

From adding organic matter to understanding the type of soil and what will grow best, this infographic has it all. Find out more and truly understand the ground beneath your feet. 

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*Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with Rattan Direct. 

Where’s Wildlife – The Close Ups! (With #30DaysWild Linky)

Last week, I posted some photos of the wild area in our garden to play spot the nature/ wildlife. I promised I would share the ‘answers’ i.e. close up pictures in a future post. Well, here they are!

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How many did you spot? Did you find any others that I didn’t see? I would love to know how you got on! 


 

Where’s Wildlife: Nature’s Version of Where’s Wally! (Post includes Linky) 

We have a wild patch in our garden. I love it because from a distance it doesn’t look like there is much there but the closer you get, the more you spot that there is actually an abundance of wildlife. So I decided to turn it into a 30 Days Wild activity; nature’s version of Where’s Wally? 

How many minibeasts can you spot in each of these photos? 

What about this one?

I was going to share some closer up pictures as part of this post, but I have just decided that on second thoughts, rather than give away the answers too quickly, I will post my close up photography in a separate post later! So look out for that coming soon!!! In the meantime, how many things have you spotted? Tell me in comments! 

Here is week three 30 Days Wild/ #LivingLifeWild linky,remember you can link up as many posts as you want! I will read and comment on them all 💚


Wildlife in Our Garden: Hedgehog Sighting

Early this morning, just after dawn, this little fella made his way across our garden and into our bushes. We have never seen a hedgehog in our garden before – infact I don’t think any of us have seen one in the wild ever full stop! SO excited!!!!

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This is Squiggle’s photo, she was thrilled to see him, she was the one who spotted him first!

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It would seem to be the day for spotting these adorable little creatures for the first time! Over on instagram, The World Is Their Classroom posted this…

It is so wonderful to see British wildlife making an appearance up and down the country! The Wildlife Trusts website has some useful information and fun activities about hedgehogs, including a handy PDF download too. Squiggle made a hedgehog hideaway today to encourage and protect our new friend!

Exploring Nature Through All Of Our Senses #30DaysWild

Yesterday for 30 Days Wild, I used all of my senses to explore the natural environment around me. Even in a small urban garden, this is a very simple activity that really connects us to the world around us, and helps us to feel balanced and calm at the same time.

Sight

Looking around for natural items, I could see an array of colours. All around there are a variety of flowers, different types of grasses, a few weeks, a tree in our garden with many more in the distance, our growing area, a mass of tiny wildlife hiding in every corner. Such a wealth of things to see.

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Smell

Not just the flowers, but the air in general. Does it smell clean and fresh? Or maybe something is polluting it? Some of the common smells from an urban garden might be things such as freshly cut grass, food, rain, flowers and herbs, smoke, earthy smells etc… Focus on the natural ones. My favourite is when it has just rained!

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Sound

Listen to the sounds around. I could hear alot of other noise; an ice cream van, people talking, lawnmower, some kind of DIY, the bouncing noise of a trampoline… I tried to filter all of these out and tune into natural sounds. If I listened carefully, I could hear four different bird calls.

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Touch

I touched the grass, then took off my shoes and walked barefoot through it. We did this same activity, called Grounding, last year and I wrote about it briefly here.

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Taste

I didn’t taste anything. However, I could have made nettle crisps so that is perhaps inspiration for some other time! I would also love to learn more about foraging in general, since at the moment I don’t feel confident doing it (except for berries)!

#30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild

Nature Printing Pebble Art #30DaysWild

Inspired by The Pinterested Parent, I sat in the garden yesterday afternoon and tried to create some beautiful nature printed pebbles. I say tried, because it turned out to be harder than it looked – or at least for me! 

However, this didn’t bother me in the slightest. Just as I teach Squiggle, it wasn’t about the finished result, it was for the sheer enjoyment of doing it. Plus it is relaxing. I love to be artistic simply for pleasure not gain. Sure, creating something that looks pretty at the end is very satisfying, but if it doesn’t work out, it is no loss. 

I found the painted leaves and grass quite interesting, and photography is my favourite creative outlet, so I decided to compose a couple of photos. However, regardless of how the original idea turned out, this was a really fun creative activity!

Remember this week’s linky is open to share your ‘wild’ adventures too! 

DIY Seed Bombs – #30DaysWild

Squiggle and I made seed bombs, as a more unique way of planting the wild flower seeds we were sent from The Wildlife Trusts in our 30 Days Wild pack. It is a really simple, fun activity… and all you need is clay, soil and seeds! 

Firstly, get a small lump of clay and flatten it out.

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Next, put some soil on top…

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Then add some seeds on top…

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Mix it all together…

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Roll it into a ball…

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Now you have your own DIY seed bomb!

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Throw the seed bomb into your designated area to plant it! 

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If you don’t have any clay, alternatively you can also use flour instead. I tried this method by myself just out of interest. Begin by mixing the seeds into the soil. Then mix 1/3 flour with 2/3 soil/ seeds, using a small amount of water to make it ‘stick’, and roll into balls. 

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Have you ever made a seed bomb? If not, why not give it a try! 

#30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild

Butterflies – #30DaysWild

Yesterday I watched a blue butterfly fluttering around my garden. I am not sure if it was a holly blue or common blue but it was very pretty! I didn’t capture a photo of it because I didn’t have my phone on me but I decided to take a few minutes to write about butterflies instead.

I do feel slightly wistful whenever I see butterflies around our local area, especially blue ones, because they remind me of the amazing local butterfly conservation project that closed down. We have so many happy memories from our visits to Butterfly World and it was genuinely my happy place; it was where I went to feel a deep sense of peace, it had such calming vibes about it. 

Squiggle loved it too; it was such a wonderful large place to learn and explore. The environment helped her to thrive; it was a place for her to feel free and confident. She always showed so much independence there and formed friendships during our visits too. It was a great loss to us personally.

More than that, it was a vital conservation area that saw the return of butterflies that had been extinct in this area for many years prior, including the Small Blue. The closure was unexpected and we tried to get the meadows protected, and/ or save the project full stop – but to no avail. This year, if the meadows are not maintained, all that progress made – and the benefits of the project for our natural environment, diversity and conservation – will be lost. The campaign continues via Save Butterfly World if you would like to read more or support the charity.

Anyway, back to a more positive note! Nature Detectives by Woodland Trust has some great facts about butterflies for kids. There is also an i-dial to help identify them too. 

Lastly, here is a photo I took of a Holly Blue last summer in our local area…

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Remember, today is World Environment Day so share a picture of your favourite nature spot using the hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #WithNature to help create the world’s largest nature photo gallery!