Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Pond Project

We've added another new bird to the garden list in the week - a Lesser Redpoll; unfortunately the first time I scared all the birds off by rushing to the window, camera in hand and the second time the images I captured were very blurry. We've also been visited by the first Siskins of the winter, just before they head further North to breed.

The hedge is looking in fine fettle, with the Blackthorn in blossom, which bodes well for a berry crop for next winter. So both the habitat and food supply is improving in the garden:















If the hedge has another good year it maybe tall enough and strong enough to be lain down, which will help us achieve our goals of having a secure boundary which is dense enough for nesting birds and provides food and shelter for them.

After the hedge the next project was an orchard to grow some fruit. We planted a couple of pear and apple trees last winter, together with a damson tree. This winter we've added a cherry tree and some berry bushes, though the invincible pear is looking in the best shape. We had two delicious pears from the tree last year and judging by initial looks we're in for many more this year. In a few years time the volume of fruit being produced should be good for both us and the birds for a 'winter larder':





















You can also see the rough patch behind the fruit trees, which is good for snails and therefore Song Thrushes (a local cat killed the singing male last week which was a real shame - they shouldn't be allowed...) and for insects and therefore the Wrens. The compost feeds the trees.

The third major garden project we've started is the Pond Project. You can see the pond here:















OK, right now you need imagination to see how it will look when done, especially with the huge rock and the various items of building detritus we're extracting :) Current estimate is 2 tons of rubble removed and we've only dug about a quarter of the area so far! We plan to complete the digging this year, if possible, then to lay out the liner and plant it over next winter and spring. Excavations were halted however, early on Sunday afternoon, when we disturbed a 'village' of Solitary Bees. Two very sleepy, small, black and white bees who were surprised to find their burrows now open to the air. We too were surprised though we had the advantage of being awake. Hope they make it through tonight, which hopefully will be the last very cold night. We'll leave digging that section for another couple of weeks to give them a chance to all emerge from hibernation, such that when we do dig we don't disturb any more of them, fingers crossed.

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