Skip navigation

Wildlife Garden blog

1 Post tagged with the wild_garlic tag
0

With the Wildlife Garden opening earlier this week and our first event of the year due to happen this Saturday 6 April, Larissa has been looking around the garden for the first signs of Spring ...

 

"Sitting at my desk in the Wildlife Garden shed, I heard something scratching outside. Thinking the squirrels were raiding the bird seed, I crept to the window to catch them at it. No squirrels, then the sound came again but from under my feet. It was the foxes confirming our suspicions they had taken up residence under the shed again.

 

Despite the chilly weather persisting, the garden is slowly beginning to wake up around us with the first bluebells, daffodils, primroses and cowslips appearing, and the blackthorn beginning to blossom.

 

NHM1 (1).jpg

Wild daffodils in the Wildlife Garden were some of the first to flower this year.

© Derek Adams

 

The leaves of the wild garlic have carpeted the woodland in one area while, in another, dog’s mercury is making an appearance.

 

NHM2.jpg

A squirrel climbs a tree above the wild garlic covering the woodland floor.

© Jonathan Jackson


However, this is a poor show compared to last year when around this time wood anemone, marsh marigold, wood sorrel, and wild cherry amongst others were all in flower.

 

NHM3.jpg

A bumblebee enjoys the nectar from a hybrid bluebell in 2012. We haven't spotted many bumblebees yet this year.

©  Jonathan Jackson  

 

Although the sleepy frogs and toads are yet to wake up, the birds are gathering supplies for their nests. This wren spent a whole day meticulously constructing a nest only for it to be blown down the next day.

 

 

 

This wren spent the whole day building a nest precariously balanced on the shed porch ... Unfortunately the wind blew down its efforts the next day!

© Larissa Cooper


It’s not just the wrens who have been busy. The moorhens have been spotted carefully choosing dry leaves and pieces of reed before carrying their finds into their nest box. The box is so full - as you can see from the picture below - there is scarcely space for the moorhens themselves. The moorhens are not the only birds on the pond preparing for spring. Over the last couple of weeks, a group of mallards have also been visiting the garden on a daily basis.

 

NHM5.jpg

You can see just how full the moorhen nest box is!

© Larissa Cooper

 

The staff and volunteers in the garden are just as active with preparations for the opening of the garden at the beginning of April. The laid hedges have all had a trim to encourage bushy growth which will benefit both the birds looking to nest and the small mammals which hide in the base of the hedge.

 

NHM6.jpg

One of our laid hedges trimmed and ready for spring growth.

© Larissa Cooper

 

In some of the hedges we have added new whips (the name given to nursery-grown small trees and hedge plants) to fill a few gaps. Elder and wild cherry have been added to the hedge bordering the Darwin centre courtyard and the Wildlife Garden and will be allowed to mature within the hedgerow providing nectar for insects and food for birds.

 

I love this time of year, if only it was a little warmer…"

 

Thank you Larissa


Watch out for details of our Spring Wildlife and other events on our web page.