Frog alert at The Nook - the heron is back and having lunch!
I covered one corner of the pond with a piece of metal grid (reinforcing grid used in concrete). I hope that will put it off - but is that truly "eco"? Should I be letting things get on with life and not interfering?
If one thinks not then no environment is not manipulated, especially a garden.
The pic was taken a year or two ago - the daffs are not yet out. (Except the tete-a-tete).
With the lack of rain the manure mulch is very dry and scattered everywhere - blackbirds and thrushes are the worst but dunnocks are at it too.
The milder weather - well, it is still cold but warms up nicely during the day (hence the frogs) (they are amphibian and need a bit of warmth to get them active) has brought out the bunnies - we feed all here, no one turned away - rabbits, herons, blackbirds, slugs ....
I have had the MOWER out - the little one. The lower garden is still boggy but needed a skim badly. It looks so much better now. One has to make a few concessions to order, even in an eco garden.
I am still digging and manuring veg beds, have set out the bottomless plastic pots for carrots, pruned the oldest wood out of the blackcurrants, R has finished cutting back the buddleias, I have snipped the top off the beech hedge at the maximum height I wish it to achieve, edged the goosegog bed with salvaged stone, checked the grease bands on the fruit trees, cleared around the lower stream and ponds and even had time to stop and smell the flowers on the winter-flowering honeysuckle.
The snowdrops are flourishing even though the snow has gone (and will not come back, I hope).
I have given some thought to how diverse are the habitats we have in the garden. We have the lawns, veg and fruit garden and flower beds, of course, but also the wood with mature trees, bramble patch, shrubbery, stream, bog, pond, field hedge and bank, a big decaying log pile, manure heap, bird boxes, feeders, dry stone walls, rough grassland, wild flower area - and so on.
Maintaining all this takes some time - well, not the wild bits - generally they are left to their own devices yet prevented from taking over the rest of the garden. The sycamore and ash seeds would soon have the whole garden a potential woodland if nothing was done.
Every winter one forgets just how much work is involved in the garden and as I gradually fall to bits (it is called ageing) I wonder each year how long I can go on doing it. I suppose, if I stop, the whole lot will become an "eco" garden.
Yet it is variety and contrast that make the whole thing a joy, the surprises - yes, even coming face to face with the evil eye (I mean the heron).
Just glad I am not a frog.