Monday 31 March 2014

Bangor Walled Garden in March - Birds and Plants

I am sure you all know the song, “Come into the garden Maud”, well today we are walking round the Bangor Walled Garden this month with me, not Maud!  It does not open to the public until Easter however I am sure many of you know I have managed to visit it in January and February to record what is going on in the winter and how it changes over the months.   Today, I was fortunate to meet the head gardener Nicola who was very helpful in aiding me with some ID and information.

 This is the view through the entrance.

I am looking forward to seeing what blooms will flower under these pansies. I will be back with the next instalement!

I rarely go into the garden without seeing Mr Robin and he usually sings for me.

This shot was taken to show the growth on the wide Rose from the last time and in the background you can see the yellow and red stems of the Cornus plant.

Viburnum tinus

 Drimys winteri variety andina




Above are the Broad Beans that I have shown you over the last 2 months and they are doing very well.  However in the shot below is a sadder sight.  These were the peas.  Nicola was telling me the Doves love them and have eaten all the shoots.  She will be sowing more of them.

This bed is full of onion and garlic and are doing well.  Everything in the vegetable is grown organically and in the summer all the produce is sold every weekend to the public.

This is an espalier Apricot tree above and below some of the buds are just showing.  Nicola was hoping there would not be a frost to ruin them.  When the buds open, she was telling me the bees do not pollinate this tree and she has to hand pollinate it herself.  Wow!  What a  big job!

There is a walled garden within a walled garden and in this section there is a greenhouse, cafe, bandstand, some beds and a large grassed area that is used in the summer for events.  Last year I took a group to see Romeo and Juliet which was performed by a touring company.  I am hoping there will another play this summer.

This is a lone flower of a Geranium I found in the greenhouse.    They bring on a lot of seedlings and slips to plant out later such as these Sweet Pea below and as I looked down to the other end of the greenhouse I wondered why they had eggs in egg boxes!

I had to laugh at myself when I arrived at the other end of the green house to discover, that the eggs where potatoes being sprouted!!

Even the dogs are looked after when they come to visit the garden.

We end our walk as we pass through this archway from one walled garden to the other one.  I hope you enjoyed our walk with me today. 

Now that I have managed to record the last 3 months, I would like to continue to record each month until the end of the year to watch the differences over that time.

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Sunday 30 March 2014

Sunday Thought

"Grass dies and  flowers fall,

    but the word of our God lasts forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

Magnolia Tree


Isle of Wight, March 2014.

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Saturday 29 March 2014

Red Squirrels on the Isle of Wight

When I was on the Isle of Wight, Eileen and I went to see if we could find the Red Squirrels.  The I.O.W. have no Grey Squirrels, in fact if anyone sees one, they have to report it to the authorities.  It was not long before one appeared on the ground in front of the hide however unfortunately for us, someone had thrown nuts on the roof of the hide and that is where the Squirrel decided to eat.  It was not as good for photographs from our point of view as the Squirrel was never totally in view.  Now, grab you cuppa, put into slide mode and enjoy this lovely animal.

There are quite a number of places to find the Red Squirrel on the island however this Squirrel was seen at Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve.

The small and isolated but thriving population of 3,500 red squirrels on the Isle of Wight is very important. Although a British native, the red squirrel is an endangered species. 

With its familiar bushy tail and tufted ears, the red squirrel is easily recognised, yet sightings of it are increasingly rare in Britain, especially in southern England.

Its struggle for survival began in the late 1800s with the introduction of its bigger and stronger North American cousin, the grey squirrel. Grey squirrels out-compete reds for habitat and they carry the squirrelpox virus - fatal to reds. The Isle of Wight is special because it has no grey squirrels. 

Red squirrels produce litters of three to four kittens a year. They do not hibernate, but will stay in their dreys during bad weather – although they have to come out to feed.  Important food sources are hazelnuts and seeds from native Scots pine.

They supplement their diet with nuts from other trees such as beech and sweet chestnut, and with berries and, occasionally, fungi and insects. The red squirrel’s life expectancy is six years but only about one in six survives to adulthood.  Cars, cats and dogs but also foxes, weasels and larger birds, especially buzzards, spell danger.

The National Trust are also actively managing woodland to support a healthy population of red squirrels. At Newtown and Borthwood, small areas of Hazel are coppiced on an eight to 14 year cycle to create a varied habitat.

It is illegal to bring a Grey Squirrels into a Red Squirrels territory.   The penalty is 2 years imprisonment or £5,000 fine.

The last time I saw Red Squirrels was when I took my grand children to the same spot and we were able to hand feed them on that occasion.  If you wish to see these photographs, CLICK HERE.

The video can be accessed at

If there is a black space below, click it and the video will appear.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

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I am linking this post with Saturday's Critters.  

Friday 28 March 2014

Garden Birds

While having my breakfast a few weeks ago I thought I would video (through my window) the birds that came to my feeders.  All winter I have had this female Blackcap and I have enjoyed watching her in the garden.  For the previous few years there has been a male Blackcap which was quite aggressive to some of the smaller birds however she did not seem to be like the male. That day I only had the Sparrows (M & F), the Blackbirds (M & F), my Collared Doves and my friendly Robin.  I have a video at the end so just sit back and join me at breakfast time.

The video can be accessed at

If the space below is black, click it and the video will appear.

That’s all for today so I hope you enjoyed seeing the birds in my garden.

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