Kate's blog The nature garden, helping nature, small or large gardens
Saving our nature has been a long-winded effort here in the Fens Cambridgeshire, with insects and wildlife struggling badly. People around here seem uninterested in nature so at least I'm doing my bit.
The nature garden we made consist of a small pond (it's cover over by plants and the frogs love it) that part of the garden is just 5 x 3 feet in size and for its sizes attracts many insects. the large pond is our fish pond and has been in place for many years. I managed to get my mother to sew more wildflowers around the back of the main pond, it's now starting to attract the bugs. Total cost with the small pond and seeds is just £21 (without large pond and fish, they don't count).
The small pond helped the frogs bunch back in the last few years, many years ago we would see hundreds of frogs but over the years they have declined at an alarming rate, in 2016 just 3 breeding pairs and this year 2018 7 pairs was seen), the cause is over farming, crop spraying being the major issue.
Back to the garden, plants are mixed wildflower seeds, most garden centres sell them and even pound shops!, I will post images of the plants that really floats an insects boat later! I found another very important items if you can fit one or two in our old dead tree logs, I'm shocked at the life that has set up home within and around the logs, small burrowing bees, bracket fungi, spiders, moths hide on the bark. For me being a photographer to see the nature stopping by for a snack or setting up home is just a joy, I'm proud I'm doing my part. Will update as the garden grows.
The nature garden but the real wild garden are the plants to the right of (fig 1) lower right and towards the fence and where the large tree log is (just to the left of that is the small pond and rest of the wild garden)
Combine both mothers garden and nature has made for a great home for all kinds of creatures. the garden is like a small word with damselflies, spiders, frogs, moths, butterflies and many other bugs, we have a very large range of bees turning up and best of all are the hummingbird hawk moths first one of the years last night 06/07/2018, the nature doesn't stop when the sun goes down either, in fact a wealth of creatures comes out to play!, the frogs seem to be loving life and looking closely will see caterpillars, spiders and a good range of moths.
In spring when the frog spawn (fig 2), they may well spawn in the wrong pond (they just never listen do they haha), if they do it's out with the spawn asap (the fish thinks it's lunchtime otherwise), placing the spawn in the frog pond ensures the safety of the tadpoles we hope!
The new nature garden (fig 3) box of mixed wildflower seeds £3.50 and as you can see is coming along nicely. we water every 3 days and add some plants we find around the countryside, but please remember just to remove one plant or flower, not the whole lot.
Stunning blue-tailed damselfly (fig 4) that has taken up home in the main pond. Always look out for these colourful and fast moving Odonata.
These hunt small flies like greenflies so on so think before using those insect killing sprays!
All the insects (above) have been photographed around the nature garden, the gardens first-year last year.
Click on any image to visit the gallery.
Some of the wildflowers and boy they look stunning, the frog's pond we have left to be slightly wilder and overgrown, this gives cover to the frogs and is the same kind of undergrowth you will see along a river or lake. keeping this pond as nature intended.
Our nature is suffering badly, be it hunting, loose of woods, meadows and forests and we are the cause!, I think the world is slowly starting to notice but human greed will no dought get in the way, it saddens me that once nature is gone it will be gone. This world belongs to nature and not us, nature has been on earth far longer than humans. In our short time here we have destroyed and killed many creatures and sadly many have become extinct.
(fig 5) the nature garden does look stunning and is a rewarding subject, why not try it and if you have no garden a window box works too.
All my life I have been into wildlife and the natural world and in my short time on this planet I have seen nature disappear, once common insects and birds are so hard to find now that I call rare.
When I'm out and about and meet people I often will ask them some to the point questions, all based on do you feel nature is as it once was and they often state it's harder to see, so people are noticing but they need their minds jogging.
So next time you out and about, take a closer look, are there fewer butterflies? are or you not hearing and seeing the birds you used to see? these simple steps is a great way in jogging the memory, you may be shocked!
PS will add to this blog, I'm building a bug hotel soon but not the large types.