The Habitat Garden Blog


Welcome to The Habitat Garden Blog. 

My name is Jilly and I am The Habitat Gardener - amateur naturalist, gardener and blogger. I came to this garden in summer 2016. It was like a long awaited homecoming. It is an old country garden, derelict in places. A dreamlike place where the nettles are long and the past almost tangible. My challenge is to create an aesthetically pleasing, manageable garden while not diminishing (and hopefully increasing) the habitat it offers to wildlife. This blog follows that journey. 

Come along for the ride! My posts contain leanings and learnings on habitat gardening, tips, video guides, book reviews and 'Species Spotlights', with the occasional poem thrown in. 

Jilly The Habitat Gardener

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Latest Posts

Hummingbird hawk moth

I’m so glad this beautiful book came into my life. In it, Charlie Hart describes his journey through the profound grief of losing his parents. He managed to navigate this grief - alongside a lifelong battle with anxiety - with the help of his seven acre Essex country garden.

The garden gave Charlie the tools to come to terms with his past and the opportunity to overcome his deep sense of loss by cultivating a sense of hope in its place.

Tue 14th May 2019 at 21:00

Children pond dipping

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Ask any gardener why they garden and mental well-being will be high up on the list. Perhaps not stated so overtly, perhaps paraphrased, but no doubt an acknowledged, perennial driver for this popular pastime. Gardening is good for our mental well being - we gardeners know this intimately through personal experience. 

Mon 13 May 2019 at 20.00


One advantage of living on the other side of the planet for a while is discovering an entirely new flora. Spring is still spring, but to my British eyes she appears to have emerged in a fabulous new outfit this year.

From the vaguely familiar to the downright exotic, new and unusual plants are popping up everywhere and its a sight for sore eyes.

Tue 7th May 2019 at 20.00

Hummingbird hawk moth

Hummingbird Sighting in Essex!

One of the first things I did when we moved here was plant a ‘pollinator bed’, designed to offer as long a season of pollen and nectar as possible to insects. It also provides a small source of water, bare earth and places to nest and overwinter, (although the ‘hive’ pictured is just emblematic and is in fact a wormery).

Mon 1st April 2019 at 09:00

Featured Posts

Toad (Bufo bufo)

My First Enchanted Garden

We lived in an ordinary house on an ordinary street but to me the garden was extraordinary. In fact, it was magical.

I remember being about four years old on those sun-dappled mornings of early summer. I would jump out of bed and run straight outside - bare feet on dewy grass - beyond excited to check if any of my ‘traps’ had worked.

I was intent on catching mice or frogs or hedgehogs (or fairies - which held equal status in my infant eyes). Of course I never caught a thing. 

Style vs Substance

There is a snobbery in the gardening world about wildlife gardening. There, I’ve said it. But don’t be too outraged; there has been a corresponding snobbery in the conservation world about gardens in general for many a year! 

Some garden makers are guilty of looking down their noses at ‘wildlife gardens’, perceiving them too scruffy, alternative or unintentional to compete with the high art aspirations of ‘real’ gardens. Wildlife gardens are sometimes seen as lesser gardens, alright for children but not for the serious gardener.