Wild life in the garden, or around!

My ideas these days - as informal and relaxed as possible. Poppies by the compost heap. Orchids in the lawn in front of the cottage/gite.


The scenario you describe is not entirely foreign to me. :wink:

1 Like

Seems such a long time ago, he used to broadcast from Sharston Allotments in Manchester I think, remember Ted Moult too, a troubled man with a very sad ending, and Percy Thrower, sacked by the BBC for taking part in an ITV advert.

What trivia remains in my ageing brain. :roll_eyes: :rofl:


Later than the others, but absolutely my all time favourite: Geoff Hamilton. :slight_smile:


I’ve got all their books… and now, virtually no garden to make it worthwhile… but I still enjoy browsing through them :+1:

1 Like

Mine too Sue, think I’ll browse through these again this weekend. Opened them to find lots of newspaper cuttings / gardening tips inside :slightly_smiling_face:


I used to get dragged to Geoff Hamiltons garden at Barnsdale whenever we were passing (which was quite often!)


Lucky you! :grin:

1 Like

The swimming pond is awash (?) with tiny baby newts still, all basking just below the surface, and their parents popping up everywhere for a quick gulp of air. The surface has many small clumps of blossom blown from the trees and I was itching to sweep it with the net but worried about the little ones who are not pond wise yet, I can easily, when I first descend but before swimming, pick one up nearby in my palm from below.

Brilliant idea, I remembered an old tin tea tray in the shed and swept the surface before depositing the results on the tray. Then, very carefully was able to search through the detritus to discover each and every one of them, gently picking them out and dropping them back into the water. All 9 of them, with one sweep. :astonished:

One other problem which has surfaced in the last 2 weeks or so. After I swim I see floating islands of mud, obviously disturbed by my wash as I plough up and down. Easily removed they really are just that, mud, with a little leaf traces too. I have never noticed this phenomenon before and wonder how they float to the surface to become muddy ‘icebergs’ with 90% of their bulk below the surface.

1 Like

It’s due to the biological process when the leaves decay , releasing gas (methane) which makes the clumps slightly lighter than the surrounding water

Oh how wonderful to have newts, I love newts :heart:

I thought it might be something like that, but just wonder why it hasn’t happened before. When I re-started swimming, around this time last year, after each swim I dredged the large build up after years of neglect until the ‘catch’ was negligible, but I have never seen this happen before, and there were many more decaying leaves up to that point.

@vero I love newts too, and all the others of my swimming companions, even though they are all invisible while I am doing it. I must be really scary.

1 Like

It might be the “mud” (saharan sand, frog, newt poo?) trapping the gas in the decaying biomass. If it were just leaves, the gas could escape as it was produced.

Just glad that, when I innocently constructed it, the natural action of the mini digger left both ends sloping so that nothing sticks to them and my feet, albeit partly encased in rubber, holed, sabots, never touch whatever it is. I wear goggles with a nose cover and keep my mouth firmly shut. :rofl:

Rare moments of envy for a proper swimming pool quickly disappear as I think of all the constant work needed to keep them clean, filtered and chemicalised. Something I am sure all my wild friends would not approve of. :wink: :grinning:


@David_Spardo could you set it up during the day, and configure the camera to be active only at night ? At least that way, you wouldn’t be scrabbling around in the dark near water presumably deep enough to drown in :scream:

Brings back awkward memories of trimming a lavender… :rofl:

1 Like

Those orchids are much taller than the ones we get - fantastic !

1 Like

Yes - and no. :roll_eyes:

The very tall ones in the background, still in bud, are lizard orchids. Unfortunately when in full bloom they smell of rank male goat! Also, the blooms are “interesting” rather than attractive like the pyramid and bee orchids. But I don’t have the heart to get rid of them and every year there are more. I have to cut all the blooms off for the sake of our guests.


Took me a few minutes to scroll back and see what you were referring to RP. :wink:
I believe it can be set up like that but not really necessary as the batteries last quite a long time and it would be simple to set it up while still in daylight. The danger is not from falling in the pond but from falling off the ladder while lashing it to the tree which stands back from it. :roll_eyes:

Edit re my friends in the pond. Just returned from my morning swim and then, as it is mild enough, stayed to sweep the blossoms from the surface, and one small muddy island. As I stood on the bridge near the far end and was sweeping towards the bank to my left I spotted a much larger creature which I nearly scooped up. My large friend was about 2 feet long with the unmistakable 2 white flashes at the back of the head. A Coulevre, but longer than I have seen before in there. He was struggling to drag himself out but without success due to, at that point, a patch of bare rubber pond liner. Eventually he gave up and moved a bit to the left where the liner bends round a tree with overhanging vegetation thus giving him enough purchase to move away. I wondered if he was there in desperation as I swam by only a couple of minutes before. Of course, like all the others they have no way of knowing that I mean them no harm. :joy:


About to mow the “wild patch” and saw this little beauty (@SuePJ I see you’ve got these too) so now the mower is back in the shed and I’ll be cutting the False Dandelions etc by hand… and I’ll put up some barrier to stop people and dogs trampling it…