Wildlife haven.

As many of you know we are involved in setting up the local Community Garden. Last summer we planted an area close to the entrance with flowers and other plants that attracts wildlife like bees, birds and butterflies. We did not remove plants like dandelions, daisies and clover.

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The garden got some feedback with comments like: “aren’t you going to tidy up those weeds?”, “it looks very untidy in that area” and “when will you plant something there?”

We realized that some action was required. The pollinators are in serious decline all across the world and we wish to help them as much possible in the garden by providing them with a safe haven, free from pesticides and full of plants that flower all throughout the year.

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We believe that it is time for a change in perception of what a beautiful garden is. We must allow plants like nettles, dandelions, buttercups, daisies and herb Robert spaces in our gardens. A lawn with only grass is like a desert for many insects. We need to include untidy areas, log piles, compost heaps and water if possible.

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For the community garden we thought a sign would be a good way to point out that the “untidy area” has a purpose and hopefully change some peoples view.

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We had a piece of ash in the shed and started by using grid paper to make a template for spacing the letters on the finished piece. This is nessesary, boring work but you end up with a clear and readable sign.

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We drew the spaces for each letter on the board and used a ruler to create the outlines of the letters. For a durable finish we used a small wood burning tool with interchangeable tips for filling them in.

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We wanted to include a few bees and butterflies in the design and used a combination of acrylic paint and burning for colouring them in.

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This robin looked a bit out of place so we decided not to include him in the final design.

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It is our hope that the sign will last a long time and we are planning to use several coats of yacht varnish to protect it from the damp Irish climate.

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It will be mounted on posts in a couple of weeks and the crew at the Community Garden are hard at work sowing seeds for a splendid, multi-coloured wildlife friendly display this summer.

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At the moment we are delighted with the muscari and daffodils poking  their heads up on our pollination patch, ready to feed any early bees.

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These are a few photos from last year, a lovely reminder of how much beauty can be found in nature. Without our pollinators, we have very little chance of surviving as a species. The time for action is now, and we would love to see more flowers, wildlife havens and pollination patches everywhere.

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5 thoughts on “Wildlife haven.

  • Your wildlife garden has its own special beauty. I’m quite concerned with what I perceive as a lessening of insect numbers in my garden in the last few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  • in our region, too many of the native pollinators are distracted by the exotic blue gum eucalyptus and other exotic specie, and are consequently ignoring the native flora that rely on them for pollination. The native California poppy is scarce in most of the native range.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is important to plant a lot of native species of wildflowers in gardens and let them self seed. I do grow the California Poppy as well though as they are very pretty and our bees like them. Here in Ireland there is a marked decline in all pollinators so all flowers are good to try and up their numbers. But natives are always best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • California poppies seem to be popular everywhere except here. The weirdly colored sorts look so excellent in pictures of other gardens, but they seem rather weird here. The bright orange is too perfect to tamper with. When I was a kid, the creamy white or pale lavender ones were extremely rare aberrations, comparable to four leaf clovers.

        Liked by 1 person

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