Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Wild Side

I have spent quite a few hours at the top of our lane recently trying to improve the place.  As I have already mentioned this is a road verge separating the top of our road from a fast flowing and busy by-pass.  I was fed up of seeing it over grown and filled with litter so I went in to do a little pruning .... and got carried away!

This ....

 ... now looks like this ...

 The area was filled with piles of dumped garden waste including large tree trunks.  Most had been there so long the branches snapped off very easily to form a large pile of firewood .... and a great place for any homeless hedgehog mad enough not to want to move into my hedgehog box (see previous post!)

The other problem was the huge brambles that had grown over the shrubs and trees and were cutting out all the light.  It was hard work cutting them down and pulling them out of the vegetation.  Anyone looking at my scratched arms and legs might think I have been self-harming!

Thirdly there was the problem of litter.  I was okay with the food wrappers and beer cans; disturbed by the pants and stockings but rather disgusted when I was confronted by used toilet paper and a smelly place!  That particular area was avoided.

 This area ....

... was quite straight forward.  Just litter and dead wood to shift and it turned into this ...

Here is another before view ...

This isn't quite the same angle but it is the same area (look closely at the tree on the left and you can tell from the V shaped branches).

Next I dug up part of a large nettle patch.  I know what you are thinking but I didn't destroy the nettles, just incase there were any insect eggs, I took them to a compost area next to more nettles.  There are plenty of other nettles here!

The ones I dug up were growing from an old pile of dumped garden waste that over the years had formed a small hill of compost ... perfect for the 200 spring bulbs I had received from a Gardeners' World offer (paid just £5.60 for P&P).

It might look like I have buried someone at the moment but by spring we should have daffodils, crocus, snakehead frittilaries, chionodoxa and anemones covering the bare earth.  I have put a couple of primulas in, some foxgloves and aquilegia.  Bluebells and grape hyachinths have been planted in the middle and I scattered some wild flower seeds around (yes, I know it is rather late but it is still warm).  

An old plastic box filled with stones and plant pots made the basis of a small watering hole for birds and frogs.  I have placed it well away from the path and fenced it off to avoid any stray children falling in face first (but the water is very shallow just in case).

Four bird boxes are on the way from Amazon.  I will set up a small feeding station: in the meantime I have hung a couple of fatballs from a tree.

I have been beaten by this section.  

I made a start but after three hours I was worn out!

I made a small hedgehog house out of the twigs

I am pleased with how it is looking now as I walk passed.  More importantly though a robin has started turning up everytime I go up there and on my last visit a flock of long tailed tits kept me company so I just need a hedgehog to move in and I will be very happy.