I sat down to write this update and as I did so saw a whole flock of starlings fly across our back garden and land on our fence. There was a mad session of them flying down to the small nature pond to drink, and then they were away. I was very lucky to get this picture!
State of the garden
I used to do regular ‘state of the garden’ updates in the old blog structure, and today felt about right for a quick flirt around the same topic. A bit more of an overall goings-on rather than an in-depth look at just one thing.
The garden is coming along nicely, I feel.
When we moved in
It was, basically, someone else’s garden. A shed with a slowly sagging roof and maybe hundreds of old plastic pots. Conifer hedges along both sides, 10 feet high and about 5 feet thick. It was lawn that had been manicured and chemicalled.
No birds stopped here.
Here’s one side of the back garden.
The conifers and shed are long gone, with a tall fence along our boundary instead. The entire right hand swathe of lawn and the old path site are now under the polytunnel. Between the polytunnel and the fence lies a new path, created from the old slabs. So the lawn has been allowed to mostly grow how it pleases in between sporadic cuttings. Our dogs run on it and dig in it happily. A bird cherry tree has self-seeded.
On the other side of the garden, well, it’s virtually unrecognisable! The wall around the patio area has gone. Under the main chicken run is the remains of that patio (keeping rat away). A new path snakes its way towards the run (under construction). Our rotary washing line is closer to the back door – easier to run and get the washing in when it rains!
A self-seeded elder shades the nature pond (just out of shot). The willow arbour (also just out of shot, should have turned another degree to the left!) and the secondary chicken run. That part of the garden is soggy, so we put down some woodchip. There’s also an apple tree (just a little one so far!) sheltering behind the main chicken run. Dog roses grow on the arch just visible, with a self-seeded rowan tree just beyond it.
Flock of starlings
In a few short years we’ve gone from an immaculately maintained and wildlife unfriendly back garden to something quite different. It’s been a labour of love. It has taken us time, money, and repeated trials to find what works for us and what we want to do.
I haven’t even found any of the old photos of what is now the swing decking, or crammed another shot in to show you where we capture over a thousand litres of rainwater!
And yet we still have so many plans to take this space forward with us into the future. I hope to see many more flocks of starlings in that time
Flock of starlings
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