Saturday, 26 April 2008

A Wildlife Garden needs Wildflowers

Bag End is a wonderful place and contains a Secret Garden. It's a smallish area that is a 'dog leg' off the main plot having been purchased as additional land in 1977 by the family who lived here then - gosh, that's 31 years ago. It's lovely but I don't think anything has been done to it for 30 years!

We have a section of fairly old wall that is 7 foot high on the road side but only 5 foot high on our side - there's a LOT of soil that I need to dig out and move away from its base. It's a job which will be considerably assisted by John and the digger that we need to bring in to deal with the tree stumps.

Eventually this might be a home for compost bins, leaf mould bins, a log pile or two (apparently one now calls them Wildlife Habitats . . .) and a few nursery beds. It is currently heavily shaded and covered by a carpet of Celandine which is nearly the only thing in flower at present and this beauty:

I confess I had to ask Kath to identify it for me because I was having brain failure. It is a small Comfrey, a most beneficial addition to compost heaps and also makes a fabulous (if stinky) liquid feed if you steep the leaves in a bucket of water for about three weeks. Previously I have only grown the large Russian Comfrey (that's my excuse for not recognising this one).

This pretty little flower crops up all over the garden and in the bottom of hedgerows around the village. Kath tells me it is Ladies' Smock or Cardamene praetense if you're being horticultural.

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