Sunday, 7 July 2013

A wild patch in an Uckfield garden

I'll confess that parts of our Manor Park garden are rather dishevelled. This is partly by design - we want a wildlife friendly garden. It's partly by accident - we don't always keep up with the weeding and tidying. This year, the late spring seemed to compress gardening time to just a few short weekends. One of the areas that has minimal attention is the wild patch. Usually I act as a referee between competing plants, so the more vigorous ones don't swamp the others and encroaching grass is kept firmly in its place. This year, I blatantly gave up.

The wild patch
The result is a riot of yellow common bird's foot trefoil and common St John's-wort, shocking pink bloody cranesbills, red valerian and many, many more wild and wildlife-friendly plants. The grass that I usually remove has added a golden fuzz of seedheads between and above the flowers. The wildlife loves it too. The patch is full of bees, beetles, moths and butterflies.  Some larger visitors nibble the vegetation and weave their way through the long grass.  In the last few nights we have had a visiting badger, deer and fox. The foxes and the badger seem to have made quite well worn paths in the long grass. The following photos show these animals slightly away from the patch because once they are in it, they are partly hidden from view.

A badger trundles across the slope just below the wild patch
A fallow deer browses for tasty plants.
A fox trots through the grass

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