Bank Holiday Monday started for me before dawn in Richmond Park with the moon up and mist
cloaking the trees on a dawn chorus walk listening for bird song. In three hours we heard or saw 33
different birds. The areas fenced off from the browsing deer and disturbance of dogs had the
greatest number of birds and fabulous song thanks to the dense bushes where they can rear young
safely. It made me realise how important shrubs are for birds (very few actually nest in trees) and
to help our garden birds here by resisting giving shrubs much of prune until August when nesting is
over. Look out for baby birds in your garden. Cats out at night love hunting them and are successful
with their superior night vision, so if you can keep cats inside during the hours of darkness that really
ups the birds’ chances.
If you travel by tube or train from Putney stations you may have noticed the wooden planters on the
platforms covered in a variety of flowers and herbs. These have been planted up to encourage bees
and wildlife and are an inspiration of what can look colourful in a small space and at the same time
provide herbs for cooking. Take a look at http://beefriendlytrust.org/
Jobs in the garden this month
- Dead heading of tulips and daffs to help them save energy for next year’s growth
- Re-pot seedlings once they second leaf stage. Handle seedlings by the leaf, not the stem, as
a broken off leaf will regrow but not a stem.
Take a look at two very useful sources of information for all the practical side of gardening including
lots of tips (and support for beginners too) and help with pests and diseases and beneficial wildlife
gardening. One is the RHS – you don’t have to be a member to access it – https://www.rhs.org.uk/ .
The other is Gardeners World which has a great list of what to do and how to do it month by month.
https://www.gardenersworld.com/what-to- do-now- may/