A Wilded Churchdown Garden

A Wilded Churchdown Garden by Ann Smith

Our small 1930s suburban garden on the edge of fields and in the vicinity of Gloucestershire Airport has been home to us and to many creatures for 30 years. As I have aged, I’ve allowed the humble plot to become wilder and wilder and I encourage others not to panic at the sight of a little unkemptness. While I have not yet, to my shame, photographed many fauna for you, I show examples of how to create pockets of different habitats. Hedgehogs no longer raise their young here, but I suspect there are many intricate food-chains plus regular bird visitors. A common whitethroat popped in and a grasshopper warbler once came close. I have submitted bird records to
GCER. When we extended a couple of years ago, we added integral sparrow nestboxes within the brickwork, high up under the eaves. They were soon in use, alongside the 15 other varied non integral ones (including a starling box). Every day when I wander outside, I am thrilled by another seedling poking up through a paving slab crack, another jumping spider warming itself on the rubble I left especially, by the blackbird feasting on pyracantha berries or on the heritage apple varieties from Gloucestershire Orchard Trust. A thousand tales to tell, one hundred nooks and crannies, a single soul uplifted with happiness. All is welcome here.

In memory of my mother, Jennie, who inspired me so.

Please read the captions for each photograph for ideas.

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