It has seemed a long time coming, hasn’t it?, but you get the feeling that spring is about to launch itself at us. I get a rush of excitement just thinking about it – ahead lies all that birdsong, the first butterflies, croaking frogs and beautiful blossom.
Some of you may even have frogspawn already, or robins starting to nest. Let us know.
However, there are still many birds around which haven’t started to think about nesting yet, such as siskins. This is the best year in ages for seeing these bright little finches in gardens. Unfortunately it has been a poor year for the tree seeds they feed on out in the countryside, but you give them a lifeline with the supplementary food you put out. Try nyjer seed for best results.
Well, I stopped for a moment whilst writing and noticed that my bird feeders are running low. And I must prune that late-flowering clematis and my buddleias and caryopteris, and start the big garden tidy up after the winter. There’s so much to do – I believe ‘bring it on’ is the phrase these days!
Things to watch for in March
The first butterflies of spring are always a delight to see. Almost always it is one of our species that has overwintered but which will it be in your garden?
Bright yellow male brimstones? Peacocks with their big ‘eye’ spots? Or it could be jaggedy-edged commas, tiger-striped small tortoiseshells, or black, red and white red admirals? Most will start by getting warm in a sheltered, sunny hotspot, so it is a great month to photograph them.
Come and learn more about gardening for wildlife at the RSPB’s new garden in Suffolk. Our wildlife garden at Flatford, near Ipswich, is entering its third year and maturing beautifully. It is a lovely location in which to learn how to garden with wildlife in mind.
Shirley Boyle, our head gardener there, will be running Homes for Wildlife workshops on Saturday 27 April, 29 June, and 14 September, 10 am to 4 pm, just £45 per person.
Places are limited to 10 adults for each, so you are ensured individual attention. Shirley has a degree in horticulture, is trained in garden design and has 12 years’ experience in the field.
For more details, please call on 01206 391153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildlife gardening expert