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My New Garden

You may remember my previous article from last year about my experience of moving house?

Well… this year I thought I would write about my new garden.

I moved to Hay-on-Wye in February 1994 and for 27 years we only had a balcony with our maisonette (overlooking my neighbours beautiful garden I will add) so I never had a chance to enjoy a garden myself, until last year when we moved into our new house in Chepstow. 

DaffodilsShoots

Daffodils / Unknown Shoots

I must admit that I am very excited about all the green shoots that have been appearing in recent weeks… I don’t know what they are, so it is very exciting watching them grow.  At the time of writing this article (mid-February) we already have snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils for sure. At the end of the season last year, we had a very good covering of cyclamen, and they are currently looking very healthy, so we are looking forward to another splash of colour from those later on in the year.

Snowdropspatio

Snowdrops / Patio

We have asked the advice of an expert gardener and are going with her plans for the borders around our patio area. She has recently planted a couple of climbing roses and, in one corner, a crab apple tree which will hopefully provide us with some beautiful blossom in the years to come.  Some friends bought us a carpet rose which has thrived since it was planted in late summer last year, so we are also looking forward to the flowers from that.

The other advantage of having a garden is the birds.  I have lately become a bit of a twitcher! I love feeding the birds and watching them come and go. We recently took part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and were able to report a healthy number of garden birds, including a nuthatch and a long-tailed tit, although for the count we only saw one of these. For those unfamiliar with the long-tailed tits, they are usually to be found in large family groups – this one must have lost the rest of his family!

My goal with regards to birds is to attract goldfinches to our feeders. I have seen one in the top of our neighbour’s sycamore tree but so far haven’t managed to persuade any to visit our feeders. We have quite a large family of sparrows which enjoy the cover of a couple of conifers and a small rowan tree – the cheeky little things are using our garage rafters to nest in. I currently have a few bird houses on order to put up so it will be interesting to see if we manage to persuade any birds to take up residence in those but I suspect we may be too late for this breeding season and may have to wait until next year. We’ll see.

BordersSquirrel

Borders / Squirrels

The other trees we have in the garden are a couple of corkscrew willows (I hadn’t heard of them until we moved here) and a very large lime tree (no relation to the fruit!).  The small birds seem to love the willow trees and we very much hope that the lime tree will attract the beautiful Lime Hawk- Moth. We will look out for the caterpillars! The other regular visitors to the garden are the grey squirrels - I know that they can be viewed as pests in some areas but it is quite amusing watching their antics trying to get the bird food.

There is so much happening in our garden and I am really looking forward to experiencing a full year of the goings on!

Update: Mission accomplished - after getting a niger seed feeder we are regularly getting goldfinches in the garden!

GoldfinchesMore Squirrel Action

Goldfinches / More Squirrel Action

Contributed by Maria

(Published 23rd Mar 2022)

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