Jessica Gowing, Cricklepit garden volunteer, writes about her last two weeks in the garden:
The weather has been very mild for November!! I am interested in learning about the effects of our mild autumn on wildlife and would like to get some ideas on how we can help our garden species cope with this and maybe design a few features for the garden.
In Garden Group last Wednesday we hard pruned the buddleia in the rain (which I found surprisingly satisfying), however looking across the leat I find myself missing the buddleia purely because of the attractiveness of them! I know next year, though, we can expect lots of wonderful new shoots of buddleia popping up in spring which will be very exciting! I am looking forward to seeing all the insects and butterflies frolicking on the flowers again in the sunshine!! Lets hope the frost doesn’t get to them over the winter. We cut up the larger buddleia branches and made a small covered habitat pile behind the cottage bed to encourage a home for frogs and other wildlife in the spring or maybe hedgehogs in the autumn… and made a brush pile with the rest next to the wormery/compost heap. The group also did another small task making a sand border around the ponds (to make it look nice – and to prevent anyone putting their foot in there!).
When the weather has been very wet I have been in the office compiling a plant photo ID of the habitat beds in the garden. There are five themed beds, which are coast, Culm grassland, woodland, moorland and cottage. I will start weeding them next week, but some of the beds will be more difficult because a lot of the plants look like weeds! I also noticed some big unripe strawberries in the cottage themed bed which means it really is a strangely mild autumn so far!
I have some ideas for the labyrinth too, and would like to prepare something exciting for the Christmas at Cricklepit event on Saturday 3rd December.
Read Jess’s blog next week for further updates on Cricklepit Garden.