Adele the hedgehog - a good news story

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Just found out (via twitter) that Adele the hedgehog was released from our local hedgehog hospital on 7 April to a secure garden. Last Autumn, we found her wandering slowly, in daylight, at Nightingale. She weighed only about 300g and had every kind of parasite. The hospital volunteers and staff gave her some amazing care and she was more than 1600g by the time she was released. Go Adele!

She is the third hedgehog we have found during volunteering sessions at Nightingale and had to call for help. One didn't make it but the last two have done very well and have been released to safe locations.

We have recently seen some hedgehog poo in the garden so we hope we might be a happier night-time habitat for these very popular animals. This is one reason why we lock the garden at night to give the wildlife a rest from visiting humans and especially dogs.

 

Meadow sowing and blossom out

 Finally, we found the right conditions and time to sow the annual and perennial Pictorial Meadow beds. We have Velvet and Pastel mix in the triangular one; Velvet in the two annual beds (to the left here) and Tuscan Hills in the two perennial beds (to the right). We are a bit short of hills here, and probably Tuscan weather too... but it was the best mic for Spring sowing.

Finally, we found the right conditions and time to sow the annual and perennial Pictorial Meadow beds. We have Velvet and Pastel mix in the triangular one; Velvet in the two annual beds (to the left here) and Tuscan Hills in the two perennial beds (to the right). We are a bit short of hills here, and probably Tuscan weather too... but it was the best mic for Spring sowing.

 Really good to see the cordon apples coming into blossom.

Really good to see the cordon apples coming into blossom.

 This photo is surprisingly, for me, in focus.

This photo is surprisingly, for me, in focus.

 I like the apple blossom when it is still in tight buds too.

I like the apple blossom when it is still in tight buds too.

More things happening

 Our big rhubarb bed is looking very good at the moment. Underplanting with a few bulbs and lots of pulmonaria (lungwort) seems to work well. 

Our big rhubarb bed is looking very good at the moment. Underplanting with a few bulbs and lots of pulmonaria (lungwort) seems to work well. 

 The recycled bulbs are looking great at the moment - we had no idea what they would look like but planting similar looking ones in blocks works well. Some of them even smell nice too.

The recycled bulbs are looking great at the moment - we had no idea what they would look like but planting similar looking ones in blocks works well. Some of them even smell nice too.

 Almost ready to sow the meadow beds... 

Almost ready to sow the meadow beds... 

 If you are in the garden, look out for this kind of plant - they are full of bumble bees at the moment. I think the black one here might be a male 'hairy footed flower bee' - I hope so anyway because it has such a good name - they especially like pulmonaria, which seems to like our funny soil. As do docks - which I have just noticed needs weeding out next to it...

If you are in the garden, look out for this kind of plant - they are full of bumble bees at the moment. I think the black one here might be a male 'hairy footed flower bee' - I hope so anyway because it has such a good name - they especially like pulmonaria, which seems to like our funny soil. As do docks - which I have just noticed needs weeding out next to it...

Busy afternoon seed planting and other things

 Lots of seeds for delicious veg and herbs started by our seed-sowing dream team.

Lots of seeds for delicious veg and herbs started by our seed-sowing dream team.

 We needed to move last year's parsley to make room for the sweet peas - I hope we will get a bit more crop from it before we replace it with new plants.

We needed to move last year's parsley to make room for the sweet peas - I hope we will get a bit more crop from it before we replace it with new plants.

 The other sweet pea wigwam, with a few bedding plants... hope they won't compete too much for resources.

The other sweet pea wigwam, with a few bedding plants... hope they won't compete too much for resources.

 The living willow in the circle (aka 'Reggie's tent') is alive and starting to sprout leaves. Will be good to see it green and a bit less twiggy.

The living willow in the circle (aka 'Reggie's tent') is alive and starting to sprout leaves. Will be good to see it green and a bit less twiggy.

 We have started a second raised bed for squash and courgettes - our aim is to make an arch between the two to grow some of them up. All recycled wood from air conditioning deliveries. And a lot of digging from our dream digging team.

We have started a second raised bed for squash and courgettes - our aim is to make an arch between the two to grow some of them up. All recycled wood from air conditioning deliveries. And a lot of digging from our dream digging team.

Pond news and things blooming

 The newt is camera shy, but we have some pretty native pond flowers in bloom at the moment.

The newt is camera shy, but we have some pretty native pond flowers in bloom at the moment.

We don't have any frogspawn at the moment but we saw our first newt today... very excited. 

The wet week has brought on lots of the bulbs (and weeds).

 We planted our sweet pea plants out, which is always exciting. And then followed on with some direct sown peas, as an insurance.

We planted our sweet pea plants out, which is always exciting. And then followed on with some direct sown peas, as an insurance.

Lovely to see so many people in the garden this afternoon... and even a new puppy, which is possibly why there were so many children in the garden.

Happy Easter holidays

We were nervous about waiting until Easter Monday to share cake - due to the dire weather forecast - so got a bit festive today instead/as well. Not many gardeners or regular tea drinkers. But lots of families (some running off the sugar rush from eating too much chocolate earlier on) - very nice to meet you all.

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Ribbet

 One of two frogs found in the raised bed hole - it was a bit muddy and not very interested in our dogwood hoop making...

One of two frogs found in the raised bed hole - it was a bit muddy and not very interested in our dogwood hoop making...

We had a lovely afternoon in the garden on Monday - with two new people joining in and old friends coming back to see us. One of us dug out a new raised bed and started to make the walls. Several of us cutting dogwood in the park and learning how to make hoops with it. We will use the hoops, of different sizes and colours at one of the local primary school's garden on Thursday and maybe at events later in the year. We tried but failed to make a bird for our throne nest with the dogwood but it isn't long, or flexible, enough for the armature we have started; we will need to find some willow instead...

Planting starts - and tadpole update

Despite the threat of more cold weather, we decided to be cautiously optimistic and start to plant some seeds in our newly topped-up raised beds.

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Our new terraced beds with some chives, red onion sets and various veg and herb seeds.

 As well as 'loose seeds', we are trying out some seed tapes, which have come all the way from Hungary. These have some herb seeds embedded in them. 

As well as 'loose seeds', we are trying out some seed tapes, which have come all the way from Hungary. These have some herb seeds embedded in them. 

 When we have a garden session, and if there are children around, we like to scoop up a little of our frogspawn for closer inspection. The eggs are starting to develop from just dots into commas. And we were delighted to find a tiny tadpole with gills, which swam vigorously around the yogurt pot. We put them back carefully after an hour or so. We are hoping the cold weather this week doesn't damage the spawn. Maybe our visiting frogs will return too for some more egg laying...

When we have a garden session, and if there are children around, we like to scoop up a little of our frogspawn for closer inspection. The eggs are starting to develop from just dots into commas. And we were delighted to find a tiny tadpole with gills, which swam vigorously around the yogurt pot. We put them back carefully after an hour or so. We are hoping the cold weather this week doesn't damage the spawn. Maybe our visiting frogs will return too for some more egg laying...

The pair of mallard ducks also had a pleasant afternoon on and next to the pond, until another drake came to visit - but he was quickly seen off.

Busy day in the garden

We had a very productive day in the garden on Thursday. We had a big team from Community Payback, plus several Streets and Open Spaces staff, people dropping by and helping out. We planned to:

  • Get some old paving slabs, found in the garden, laid perfectly by the club hut door so we can make a ramp for easier access;
  • Start to prepare a base for a new storage shed, with the spare soil being used to top up the raised beds;
  • Clean and re-varnish the benches and the picnic table;
  • Start to prepare a meadow bed by the bare fence in the park.

We didn't plan to witness a massive fight in the pond from two drakes... or have sun so strong at least one person applied sunscreen. Quite a day.

 

 Three ducks looking very peaceful after their earlier scrapping... 

Three ducks looking very peaceful after their earlier scrapping... 

 The ugly bed by the fence - a first step in making a mini meadow

The ugly bed by the fence - a first step in making a mini meadow