The Habitat Garden Blog

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Category: Habitat Gardening

  1. Life in the Long Grass - Incredible Inverts

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    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. Meadow in the Making

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    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.

  3. Elegy to the Willow

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    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.

  4. ‘Connection’ and the Sanctuary of Sanity

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    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.

  5. Hummingbird Sighting in Essex!

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    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 place to nest and overwinter, (although the ‘hive’ pictured below is just emblematic and is in fact a wormery).