I started off the last entry saying I was waking up not knowing what month of the year I was in; the weather was too mild, then cold etc. etc.
Since returning home from House Sitting this Tuesday I’ve been waking up not knowing where I am; in 22 days I’d slept in three separate places and four separate beds !
Don’t worry, all for the right reasons – family !!

RSPB Dungeness
One of my favourite spots at RSPB Dungeness

With that in mind I decided two days out were in order, one in Dungeness and the other at Oare Marshes near Faversham.

I’m still unsure where I am though.

After my frivolous two days I thought I’d better get my finger out and start work around the garden.
Because of recent issues I’ve decided to do no more than two hours a day outside. Needless to say, today I cut down the tops of a few trees in the front garden and spent a total of three and a half hours out there!

I don’t like cutting trees but 1. it’s often good land management and 2. I pile all the bits right up the far end of the property in a large heap amongst the stinging nettles.
I’ve been putting it there for the last five years and this has caused a constant dying off of wood and the lower levels creating nice rotten wood.

With so much diversity in ‘the heap’ many creatures are attracted to it all year round. Dunnocks and Wrens love getting inside to flitter around and maybe roost for the nights and in Summer along come Slow Worms, Lizards, more Birds, Butterflies on the Nettles with all sorts of Invertebrates for them to feed on.

Pruning the trees Down the Lane
Some light pruning in the front! Plus the Grass cut in the back

It’s not actually in the Garden itself, so not an eyesore to anyone. So, when I say it’s wild, I mean wild !

This coming weekend has to see the start of Vegetable Garden preparation, much to dig and compost. I think I said I was downsizing it a bit this year, but if I know me, it’ll be just as big as it was before by mid-March!

I’ve also been around checking up on the Wildlife housing situation and all seems OK. The Hedgehog hasn’t peeped out yet so in many ways that’s good news – we get a mild snap, some come out only to be hit by freezing temperatures a few days later.
See My Garden Wildlife – February update .

Curlew and Avocet at Oare Marshes, Kent
A Curlew and Avocet at Oare Marshes in Kent

I received some information from the Hedgehog Society the other day, apparently numbers have decreased by another third in just the last ten years. As one of the Countries official most endangered species, every effort has to be made they survive for our Children and their’s to enjoy in years to come.

A large part of the reason for their demise are the vanishing hedgerows and this is not helped by new Housing Developments which, in most cases, not much respect is given to nature – build them quick, sell them fast.

I’ve written the following article in Down the Lane Extras, ‘ New Housing Developments – a Hypocrisy?

So with March and Spring on our doorstep now’s the time to get out there, trim high the grass, get digging and sow relevant Vegetable seeds.

For the Flower beds there are many varieties nowadays to attract many species of Wildlife, especially Bees and Butterflies, both so important to our future.
Another great little helper for us Grow your Own fans is the Ladybird, try Fennel, Dill, Tansy, Angelica, even Dandelions if you have a wild patch.
One can use all the pesticide you need to rid Blackfly, but Ladybirds will sort them out faster and certainly in a more Gardener friendly fashion.

Next Friday I’m off to Southampton for four nights, it’s my 68th birthday. The biggest surprise of all will be the fact I’ve got this far !! Mispent youth and all that.

After a winter of discontent on the web site I’m glad to say that Visitors are picking up to much the same as this time last year.
If you are a Forum Member and not popped in for a while, it would be great to hear from you. If you’re not a Member, why not sign up! There’s a Members Only section where a bit of gossip goes on. It’s not all Chickens and Vegetables you know !!

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