RSPB: HOMES FOR WILDLIFE APRIL UPDATE 29/04/2013

WELCOME BACK TO HOMES FOR WILDLIFE

MY APRIL UPDATE

Create bog garden
Leave a fallen tree where it is or move only a minimal distance
Delay cutting until late winter if possible
Cultivate flat-topped flowers for hoverflies

In my last newsletter I thought that spring had seemed a long time coming. Well, it hasn’t exactly put its skates on since, has it?

Someone asked me whether this meant that climate change isn’t happening, but of course the truth is that this is weather rather than climate – eastern Europe is always still freezing at this time of year, so if the weather systems bring us winds from the east, then we’re going to be shivering, climate change or no climate change.

Looking out of the window, however, I can see the first pussy willow is out, which should provide nectar for brave early bumblebees and especially spring moths such as the Hebrew character and common quaker.

If anyone caught my podcast last week, you’ll know I was looking out of my window then too, and got terribly distracted by afirecrest in my garden. Yes, not a goldcrest, but its rarer (and very cute) cousin. It’s amazing what wildlife turns up in gardens.

I dread to think what it thought of the massed array of pots all over my garden at the moment. They’re what I’m growing for the RSPB feature garden I’ve designed for June’s Gardeners World Live at the NEC.

This isn’t one of those £100,000 show gardens, but with the help of a team of volunteers up in Bedfordshire and the RSPB team atFlatford Wildlife Garden, we’re hoping to pull something special out of the bag. Follow our progress here.

Happy spring gardening!

Adrian

Things to watch for in April

Here’s a challenge: look for a creature in your garden you’ve never noticed before.

It could be a bee-fly visiting violets or ground ivy glowers. It’s a bit like a small bumblebee with very long thin ‘fur’ and a long black spike of a proboscis sticking out in front of it like a insect version of a unicorn.

Or how about the hairy-footed flower bee? Males, which are kind of gingery with a darker tail-end and an obvious white face, dart from flower to flower, humming as they go. The females do the same but are black all over.

Or look into your pond, very closely (and safely, of course!) and you might see a little cloud of tiny dots, like a swarm of the tiniest underwater flies, each one moving with tiny jerky movements. These are called Daphnia, which fuel many of the foodchains in the pond.

Adrian Thomas,
Wildlife gardening expert

MY GARDEN

This page is your personal advice list, based on the answers you gave about the size of your garden, the features in it and improvements you’re planning to make to your home.

We have divided the list up into topics. Each topic is numbered and has a downloadable factsheet that you can print out and keep. Topics also have actions that you can tick once you have completed them.

The most important actions for each topic are indicated with a gold star.

Filter my advice list

If your list of advice is very long, choose a type of advice from the drop-down list below.

IMPROVING MY GARDEN

MANAGING MY GARDEN

HELPING BIRDS

HELPING OTHER WILDLIFE

GREEN LIVING

© 2008 The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Written By Lizzie & Joshua Christian. Copyright (c) 29/04/2013

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