Build It, And They Will Come...
Now, I do like a nice garden. Much like Messers Don and Titchmarsh (when he isn’t novelising) frequently proclaim, “The Garden is another room of the house” - an open air extension if you like, and I too subscribe to that sentiment.
Every March and September like one of their gardening bible disciples I’m out there, scarifying the lawn and removing all the dead thatch and moss, applying liberal mixtures of Fisson’s finest feed n’ weed, top dressings and re-seeding and, when not mowing, will instead with equal religious fervour, viciously poke holes in it with some evil looking, multi-pronged, rolling torture device left over from the Spanish Inquisition (or the local S&M boutique).
I’m also fortunate enough to have a reasonably large greenhouse to over-winter my hanging baskets and planters as well as propagate cuttings, grow from seed (always ending up with too many and giving most of them away to family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours) and generally fall asleep in when the afternoon summer sun does its finest. I literally live in my local(ish) garden centre (albeit mostly their coffee shop - top cakes!) that we’re on first name terms, and I’m even known to frequent the odd garden show (or two).
Now all of this will probably make you think I like gardening. Huh! I may live in a clean and tidy house, but that doesn’t mean I LIKE housework! I do it for a reason.
At the bottom of my garden are a number of trees. A Pussy-Willow (which is a right pain in the @rse, growing at speeds faster than Mr. Bolt can run), a couple of Silver Birch and a Spruce. Various Pyrocanthus, Box, and Yew also ensure that most of the town’s chirruping population seemingly look upon my garden as the feathered equivalent to London’s Barbican. Of course it’s my fault, this is my reason; My gardening is deliberately done to attract them.
There was a statement in some film I recall (Field Of Dreams?), that “If you build it they will come…” I can testify this is absolutely true - of the feathered variety at any rate. They came, if not actually in, certainly what sounded like the hundreds (judging by the dawn chorus anyway).
And it’s wonderful - especially now Spring is just about to, errr, ‘spring’ and all of my residents are returning and nest building. This little fella I caught on top of one of my garden arches in amongst the newly leafing Clematis which grows over it. He was out collecting bits for his new ‘des-res’. In a few weeks time I’ll probably be cursing the racket they make as dawn nears (it’s an indicator of me shortly needing to get up for work), but the reality of it is, I’ll love every one of them being there;
And once again, I’ll love being their ‘landlord’!