Friday, 9 January 2009

The Holly and the Hens

My aim in the garden is to make it as wildlife friendly as possible and on the whole it does pretty well,despite having four cats prowling around. I'm afraid there have been some fatalities amongst the bird population at various times but as my cats are getting older and lazier this has been reducing yearly.
Some would say don't feed the birds if you have cats but I do in the winter because mostly the cats are in sleeping during the day when the birds are feeding. The feeders are hung up high though just in case.
I never use slug pellets or chemicals harmful to wildlife and there are plants to attract bees butterflies, birds etc. Also important are small hiding places for Field mice and Shrews and of course Hedgehogs need homes and we have hedgehog houses plus woodpiles.
All these things make a difference as we have all the animals and insects above in the garden.
Anyway more about all that another time!
The Hens... Henny Penny and Lenny were with us for about 5-6 years. They were brought to me in a sack of all things, having been rescued by a very kind neighbour of ours . They were lucky as the others left at the place where they came from, were not locked away that same night and a fox got in! They were a breed called Polands .....very fancy. Lenny was the most friendly Cockerel and a very good husband to his girls, always keeping them safe and finding the choicest worms for them. We made them a lovely snug hen house from pallets and bits of wood we had and it served them well. They all went to the Chicken run in the sky a couple of years ago but while we had them they had the run of the garden and often popped into the kitchen to see if I had a titbit for them, so I think they had a good life.

The large bush in the photo is a Holly.. it just keeps growing but it makes a fantastic safe haven for birds and Blackbirds nest in it most years. It does not bear berries though.

I was out in the garden today for 3 hours clearing borders ,sweeping , cutting back and generally tidying. It was very pleasant as it was not too cold and there was no wind, The ground had thawed out well too. The Robin followed me about and I spotted a Wren on some pots.
Oh and Ollie had to come out and see what I was doing. He thought he was safe with me there as he's a big baby really, pretends he's a hard nut but he's not, ha!