I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Our Wildlife Garden in Brittany....

Over this last year in particular I've been more and more aware of the increased amounts of wildlife that inhabit our 1.5acre plot here in Brittany - every day it feels like I discover something new and so as I've not had much time for updating my blog I've been saving up some of the photos to share with you from the past few weeks.

This young Green Woodpecker arrived on our lawn one day - a great surprise and appeared to find all sorts of insects as he pecked through the soil - unlike the spotted woodpeckers they have sticky tongues and which help them feed on insects such as ants.

I'm coming to the conclusion that planting has a great deal to do with what comes into your garden particularly with the recent increase in the butterflies which seem to show a real partiality to both Sedums and Asters at this time of year. With the forecast showing continuing warm sunny weather for the foreseeable future I feel like we're in for a bit of an Indian Summer which is great...

The other visitors to our garden in greater and greater numbers are bees and we have quite a variety of them - this is particularly good in light of all the publicity of their failing numbers. There is a good choice of pollinating plants for them to choose from most of the year round including large bushes of flowering Ivy which is just starting to sprout now and which the bees love; this also provides fantastic black berries for the birds over the winter, some good shelter for both birds and other wildlife during adverse weather and good nesting sites in the spring.

Wandering round the garden one sunny afternoon doing some pruning I discovered again for the first time, this pair of mating Gold-Ringed Dragonflies... need I say anymore!

One exciting discovery was this Convolvulus Hawk Moth which I found in amongst our kitchen window box under the Geraniums! I've never seen one before so it was doubly exciting - apparently reading up on this it comes from Africa and is a summer visitor to Europe although rarely seen in the North!

For the first time in 3 years we've managed a really good crop of tomatoes without losing the whole lot to blight - we did have a bit but I took off ever leaf and diseased fruit and this seemed to do the trick! The crops of fruit in general have been wonderful this year - the plums and strawberries and blackcurrants were the best we've ever had. Currently the blackberries are wonderful and they seem to be enjoyed my many of the visiting wildlife.

To finish off with a shot of one of the sunflowers which I grew from seed and with the others are providing the garden with wonderful late summer colour and after the flowers are over are a real favorite with the Blue and Great Tits.

Hope you've enjoyed the snippets from some of my findings here... we were recently away in the south of Brittany where I took quite a few pictures of the wonderful beaches and a couple of nice gardens too, so will try and get myself organised to post these up during the week ahead...


shirl said...

Hi again Miranda, loved catching up on your garden and its wildlife… great pics too. I do like that sunflower colour!

Nice to see some views of your garden too. Gosh difficult to pic a fav… guess it would be the dragonflies as I’ve never seen them in my garden. Guess you’ll have a large pond?

Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Gail said...

I had a marvelous time visiting your garden creatures. The red butterfly is stunning. I love sedum for its ability to attract the honeybees...and the asters are just as marvelous. I look forward to your beach trip...Happy Autumn, gail

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - thanks so much for your visit - glad you liked the pics - we don't have a large pond at all - something I'd love to introduce - we do have a stream at the bottom of the woodland but it's not that near to the main garden... perhaps a project for 2010? I've been seeing signs of a hedgehog in our garden so am going to have to go and investigate one evening... how are yours? Have a good weekend Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Gail - thank you for your visit and for your enthusiasm - I love Asters too and with the continued good weather the butterflies are loving it! As you can see I've not had much time for replying to postings or posting holiday snaps but will do my best! The Truckers tomato plants have now been producing delicious tomatoes by the way - will have to try again next year with the others and see if I have more luck with the seed germinating... Have a good weekend and will pop over to your blog again soon - Miranda x