Balance Awareness Week

Balance Awareness Week 2017

Defeat dizziness and raise funds for balance disorders

It’s Balance Awareness Week (BAW17) next week, from September 18-24 – what has that to do with gardening, you may ask? Continue reading “Balance Awareness Week 2017”

Spiders: traditional deterrents

Keeping Shelob out of your home

Spider
Too many legs and eyes – Shelob guards the cucamelons

They’re great for the garden, I know, but as a former arachnophobe*, I still dread that fleeting movement you see out of the corner of your eye when sitting with a glass of wine trying to watch Modern Family.

Why do they come indoors? Mainly, it’s for a place to live- it is warm and dry and there are dark corners where they won’t be disturbed.

Also, many males search for a mate.

They’re most likely to be found in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements where it’s moist. Continue reading “Spiders: traditional deterrents”

Feeding birds in winter

Helping our feathered friends survive the cold

Robin
Favourite garden visitor – the robin

In winter, life is tough for birds and a real cold snap can lead to death from starvation and exposure – without enough fat layers to insulate them, many will fall victim to extended low temperatures and a dearth of natural food sources.

However, we can help get our garden birds through the winter – as well as being fascinating to watch, most of them eat insect pests. Continue reading “Feeding birds in winter”

Bad back blues

Dreaded curse of sciatica strikes

Pond
Autumnal colours around the pond…

I hope nobody’s noticed, but I haven’t filed a ‘My Garden’ blog in a while, which is unlike me. No, it’s not laziness, but a worsening of the bad back that’s been troubling me since March.

It’s not just the normal tweaked muscles that is part and parcel of life of gardeners of a certain age. This is sciatica, and if you’ve never had it, you’re very, very lucky. Continue reading “Bad back blues”

Big Butterfly Count 2016 results

Numbers collapse despite good weather

Big Butterfly Count

This year’s Big Butterfly Count results are in and make grim reading.

Some common species saw their numbers collapse over the summer, despite the UK experiencing weather conditions that usually help them to thrive.

More than 38,000 counts were completed with 396,138 butterflies logged – the world’s largest count of butterflies. Continue reading “Big Butterfly Count 2016 results”

Bee on chive

Treating bee and wasp stings

It’s the season to be stung

Bee on Campanula carpatica
Bee on Campanula carpatica

One downside of encouraging bees to visit your garden is the risk of getting stung.

This last happened to me while deadheading a sunflower.

I couldn’t tell you what type of bee it was but it was not happy with me getting rid of its nectar source.

I didn’t see it happen – just felt the searing pain in my hand. There was an entry wound at the base of my finger, but no venom sac. Continue reading “Treating bee and wasp stings”