The Habitat Garden Blog

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  1. Scarlet malachite beetle, Malachius aeneus

    As it is currently very grey outside (on so many levels!) and there is so little to do, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with some old friends. I say old friends; it’s not like I was once an avid entomologist or that I was ever on first name terms with any of them... but I was once certainly closer to the myriad ‘life in the long grass’, as all children are.

  2. Old photograph for the victory garden post war

    Back in March when I realised I was facing months of homeschooling three primary age children (picture staring into the abyss, but without the redeeming feature of an abyss), I decided to press go on the self sufficiency project that has been a long held dream of mine. There is an ancient and decrepit swimming pool in the garden here which must once have been a rather glamorous luxury, somewhat at odds with this rustic setting.

  3. Hens 2

    Reflecting on the past year in the garden, it is hard to know where to begin. It already sounds so cliched to say that lockdown helped bring neighbours together and enabled people to enjoy their gardens more. But of course it is true; at least for those of us lucky enough to have them. My husband remarked he had never before noticed how beautiful spring is - until this year. He finally had the time at home to observe and involve himself with the gardening process which was always my project, but is now his too. This is wonderful to me.

  4. Scabious and hare bells in the Chilterns

    Saturday was a very happy day - my mother in law remarried in the beautiful Chiltern hills. Meeting later in life, Jean and Barry decided to make hay while the sun shines - and shine it did on their big day. 

    On the morning of the wedding I went for a jog along the ridgeway through the species-rich chalk grasslands of Aston Rowant nature reserve. It was a damp and windy morning, cheered by sunny spells. Small blue and marbled white butterflies battled with the breeze among the swaying wildflowers, as red kites wheeled and cried in the sky above.

  5. Gracious Weeping Willow

    The funny thing about homesickness is that it waxes and wanes like a harvest moon; one week looming large and hanging ominously above everything, a few weeks later a distant and barely perceptible sliver in the endless sky.

    They say homesickness has everything to do with attachment. For me it is attachment to a sense of place - a genius loci - which I only truly feel when I’m at home. And the thing which sparked it off most recently was the unexpected demise of a veteran willow tree in my garden back at home.

  6. WiFi

    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.