The Perfect ‘Hyde’ Away…

#LondonWildlifeChallenge

Picture this; You’ve finished work at the office. You’re tired. You’re in London and you need fresh air and a jolly good ‘earthing’. By which I mean ground yourself back to nature…. Nothing cheeky…. Naughty.

Well I may have your solution here; Hyde Park I truly believe is not hyped about enough. This is an utterly gorgeous spot, splat bang in the centre of London and a space where wildlife flocks to!

Within half an hour I had spotted Canada geese, Shag (cheeky..), Moorhen and Coot in the bird department (otherwise known as the lake). But the real head turner for me was seeing hundreds (maybe thousands, but you know… Didn’t stop to count!) of honey bees (Apis) busy buzzing around the lambs ear plant (Stachys byzantina) IN CENTRAL LONDON! I was so excited I had to sit down with a cup of tea…

The Royal Parks certainly look after this space and the wildlife appears to be extremely well catered for – which I just love and is so important with a third of all species currently in critical decline.

The walled garden is particularly lovely too, if scented flowers float your boat.

So go and check it out for yourself, if you haven’t already. I’m now beginning to see why London is this month becoming the first ever National Park City.

There we go! A positive post. B.E.A.Utiful.

Buzz Off…

I know it’s yet another pants title, but please don’t actually buzz off…

London Wildlife Challenge day: absolutely no idea.

Walking home from work the other day (in central London) I passed this climbing creeper plant which has engulfed an entire housing estate courtyard. It was alive and packed with beautiful honey bees! But why? If anyone can identify this mystery, magic plant then do get in touch with me please! I find it astonishing that in central London thousands of honey bees were in one place. Bloody smashing. Just listen to that hum of thousands of little wings…

Cupping Some Rather Ripe Tomatoes… Oi oi!!

London Wildlife Challenge day #4

Today I met with my big sister, Bebe and we headed off to the ‘Queen Elizabeth Hall Rooftop Garden’ situated along the SouthBank. All I can say is I was utterly amazed when I climbed the stairs to find the most beautiful beds of flowers and vegetables and not kept overly neat and tidy – which I loved (and makes it even more of a wildlife haven!) A nice little cafe means you can grab a great coffee too, while you enjoy the abundance of residing insects there. Butterflies, bees and beetles to name a few! In the photos you can see Bebe “rummaging for a bean” – her words not mine… and me cupping some lovely ripe tomatoes…. End of crude jokes.

Seriously though if you’re right in the city centre, go and have a look for this secret, wildlife oasis. It’s a wonderful place.

© Eve Sanders (ToobysTravels)

Pondering on Pond Life…

Struggling with missing my home in Devon after recently moving to London – I decided to go pond dipping (because I’m secretly four years old…) “Pond dipping in London?!” I hear you say.. well yes! Now I’m not going to pretend I was expecting to find a lot, after all I’m in central London where there’s less wildlife right? WRONG! Equipped with nothing but a small net and sat cross legged in my pyjamas (what a grotesque image… I apologise..) I found a huge abundance of species, from enormous frogs to small water Arthropods! Now, I am very fortunate to have a well established pond in my garden, but fear not if thy self lacks a pond. A small washing up tub (available from… well any where to be honest…) dug into the ground, or even just placed on a patio/balcony with some stones leading up to it, so wildlife can enter will do the trick! Not bad for day two of my London Wildlife Challenge aye?… Don’t be so cheeky..

Hedge Pigs Please Don’t Go!

It’s #HedgehogAwarenessWeek and therefore time to ensure your garden is hedgehog safe. These little piglets are dramatically declining in numbers and therefore it is vital we work together to protect them. Hedge rows are fantastic, along with ensuring there’s an entrance into your garden (even a hole in the fence will do!). A flipped plant pot with some hay and meal worms in will also make an excellent hedgehog home…

Beat Box?.. Or Bat Box?

How the bloody hell is it April…. Beats me! But all the same I thought it was about time for another seasonal jobs post, so here it is.

Tis’ the season for whacking out the old builders-bum tea and making yourself a bat box (ensuring you use untreated and unplanned wood). These boxes are a fantastic way to encourage these majestic critters into your gardens and outbuildings. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t move in instantly. They like to take their time and it will take them a while to find and use your handy work for nesting. Compost heaps and ponds generate the types of insects that bats like to eat. You can also plant white or pale coloured flowers that are more visible to nocturnal, night-flying insects such as moths, which are another valuable source of food for bats. Avoid using pesticides in your garden too! Poorly bats will not thank you!

Migrant birds from Africa such as willow warblers, housetrains, swifts and swallows will have now arrived. It is a perfect time therefore to set up nest boxes for these marvellous fellows and to ensure all your bird feeders are regularly topped up!

Now make another cup of tea.. maybe grab a cheeky biscuit or two (oop, naughty!) and watch the spectacular spectacle of wildlife flooding in to your garden.

Enjoy!

TT x

Spring around the corner jobs!

Winter is a crucial time to take part in wildlife jobs around the garden. These can include simple errands such as ensuring your bird feeders are nicely topped up for your little visitors and cleaning out the ever important bird bath (ensuring to regularly unfreeze it), to placing nest boxes in suitable locations. For the even smaller visitors such as bees, planning your planting to include flowers from February through to November and planting in clumps, can be vital for our important pollinators.

Other, larger jobs, can include setting ponds (even the smallest pond will attract dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, newts and toads!), creating a compost heap, and setting logs down.