Friday, December 30, 2011

Compost Bins & Bird Song.....

Hello All,

I do hope that you have had a great Christmas and received all that you asked Santa for!?....I know that my four year old daughter received just about all she asked for but more importantly we have been able to spend some quality family time together due to a nice long break over the Christmas period. 

It's been quite some time since my last post as life in Higgy's garden has been extremely quiet through the last couple of months with very little action of any kind! I wound the garden down in October as we had a colder spell which I mistakenly thought was the start of our winter only to see really mild weather through November and December! I have to say that due to this warm weather and the amount of berries and fruits that were about I also had virtually no feathered visitors either!

On the plus side this quiet spell gave me good opportunity to get out with the camera and take lots of pictures of our local sea birds. This has been great fun and a nice break from the hard work completed in the garden so far!

Having rested for a while I did start to get restless and as you will have read in the last post start sorting out my wild flower area ready for next season.

As we are situated on what is classed as 'wetland grazing land' the garden does get really wet underfoot at this time of year making many of the waiting jobs in the garden impossible to complete until Spring arrives and the weather and soil dries out a bit! Despite this I have managed to get out this month and build a compost bin which I had been trying to get done for some time!

Not the most exciting of projects but here it is none the less....

 Here is the first of two (possibly three) compost bins. Not very glamorous or pretty but functional and completely free!! In true Higgy fashion the pallets were from an advert I put on a wanted board at work, the stakes used to fix them in place I had left over from the play area project. I simply cut the pallets to size and then drove the stakes into the ground to secure them in place....Easy!! I have added a nice helping of 'free' manure on top of the initial compost to help get it started
  I have enough pallets left to make a further bin opposite this one and possibly another bin behind which once established should provide some good quality compost hopefully!

As far as gardening goes that's about it other than potting up a few tender plants to over-winter in the greenhouse and clearing out the two raised vegetable beds as below....

The two raised vegetable beds have been cleared out and a good helping of manure added onto the surface. Once the manure has been washed in by the rain and rotted down a bit more I will dig it into the beds ready for spring planting.

As stated above the garden has been devoid of bird life for a good couple of months and I have to say that by mid December I was starting to get a bit worried that something was wrong. On the 18th December we had our first 'proper' frost here in North Somerset and I have to say that I was more than a little relieved to see a steady flow of birds back on the feeders with the arrival of - Robins, Blackbirds, Black Caps, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Sparrows, Crows, Black Headed gulls, Dunnock, Green Woodpecker, Chaffinches, Gold Finches, Song Thrush, Jay, Magpies and a Buzzard who flew through right past our kitchen window obviously looking for a quick meal!!!....
Since the above arrivals we have started to enjoy a steady flow of further species including new visitors such as Redwings and the return of my beloved Reed Bunting today! It really did make me smile to see her back on the feeders tucking into the seed! 

With the arrival of my feathered winter visitors I have noticed the garden come alive again with the melodic sound of bird song which is a joy to sit and listen to, how lucky we are to be privileged to be able to enjoy these beautiful and fascinating creatures!

It's great to finish on a high point again and I'll leave you with a few snaps of my recent and current visitors to Higgy's Garden....

1. Blackbird - we have regular visits from different Blackbirds which can get quite 'heated' sometimes!!

 2. Robin - Everyone's favourite and again we often see two or more at any one time here

 3. Blue Tit - Always fun to watch hoping around after insects

 4. Great Tit - Already paying great interest in one of our bird boxes!

5. Goldfinches - Loving the seed heads left on the Verbenas & Rudbekias in the perennial border. It's great to see this as I try to grow plants which look great in summer but also provide food for birds in winter so a real success story for me to see up to six birds regularly feeding on them!  

6. Redwing - A brand new visitor to Higgy's garden this year and I have a nice little flock of about 8 or so Redwings visiting at the moment so really pleased with this!

7. Black Headed Gull - where there's food!!!......

8. Grey Squirrel - And of course it wouldn't be complete without these little critters (love them or loathe them!?)....

Well that really is about it I don't have much else to report but I am so pleased to see the return of my feathered friends and of course first time visits for others! It is great to see and hear the garden alive again after a long period of inactivity. My next project is to start the wildlife pond so I'm hoping to be able to report my progress really soon.

As I write this post we have just entered New Years Eve here 01:00hrs so I bid all of you a very happy and successful New Year! I look forward to speaking with some of you again in 2012, please do feel free to leave me comments and questions as I love to hear your thoughts on my garden and blog and have a good old 'natter' with you!....