July 2012 - Bawburgh Gardens

It was Bawburgh Open Gardens Day yesterday, and I actually managed to make it round to all 14 gardens. Each garden seemed to have its own theme, personality and wildlife features. The weather was kind, the sun came out, and the gardens were shown off in the best possible light with vegetation lush due to the recent wet weather. Many showed areas specifically left for meadow flowers and grasses, most contained nectar rich flowering plants that help insects thrive. I suspect toads were in abundance in the dense undergrowth of some gardens. I was saddened to see few butterflies, dragon flies and damsel flies (cold, windy, wet weather has not helped these insects) but encouraged to see lots of bees and hover flies. I was thrilled to see the bumble bee nest in the bird box of 1 Hall Farm Place. Birds were singing their hearts out and - was it my imagination or was there an increase in the house sparrow population? (I wish some of them would visit my garden). The compost heaps evident in most of the gardens created likely habitats for slow worms (legless lizards) and hibernating hedgehogs.  Some of the gardens had ponds, streams and of course the river to increase the diversity of potential wildlife sightings. The Yare has resident otters, so these may become a feature of our village in the future; I'm sure they have already passed through (pond fish beware - including my own). Water voles may again become a common feature by the streams and river (there were holes in the bank of the stream, Childs Terrace - how lovely to see the stream flowing so well again).  This year we have seen cormorants, egrets and herons fishing in the river, with waterfowl such as swans,  mallards and moorhens. Has anyone seen a kingfisher in Bawburgh this year?

We are a rural community and gardens within Bawburgh interact with the wildlife around us.  We cannot influence the weather which in turn has such an influence on our local wildlife - but we can and have made our gardens wildlife friendly (I just wish I could keep those rabbits out!). Thank you to all those who opened their gardens. I for one had an extremely enjoyable day.

lingibson@bawburghvillage.co.uk

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