As spring turns into summer in the UK, we have enjoyed the budding flowers and trees. Also the first visits to our gardens of a family favourite, the robin red breast bird.
The European robins (Erithacus rubecula) are descended from Old World Fly catcher birds Muscicapidae.
A robin will select a particular garden to live, feed and sometimes nest.
They prefer a garden that has lots of bushes and plants for them to hide and live in & also provides supplies of ready insects, worms, slugs and snails for their meals.
Robins are fiercely territorial and will sometimes fend off intruding birds to ‘their’ garden.
Every year, we enjoy seeing our cheeky little garden robin hopping about among our bushes and plants. They are also not aversed to having a bath on the running falls by our pond.
He/she is not scared or wary of us and follows us about when we are in our garden, He or she would remain still watching me mow the lawn and he would happily dart down curiously to the freshly cut grass.
I photographed our robin last week, then yesterday while sitting in my mate Mick’s garden, we saw and I photographed his garden robin 🙂
Our Garden Robin!, Photo by PH Morton
Classic pose for the Robin in my friends back garden. @ Mick’s garden, Photo by PH Morton
Last Saturday night around midnight, James & Stacey went out for a walk towards a local shop that was usually still open, as it was a pleasant spring night. When they walked back to the house, they found that they were being followed by a curious urbanite, Mr fox .
It was quite amazing to see this little fellow (or vixen?) sniffing around and inspecting our front garden. We guess the fox was hungry too.
The fox appeared to be in good condition with fine fur and bright eyes. Many urban foxes sadly look underfed. Urban foxes have been common in many parts of London. With a dwindling habitat and food sources becoming scarce in the country side due to modern farming practices and population increase spreading, foxes were driven into more urban areas to seek food. They normally come out late at night or pre dawn, and their distinctive howls, barks and yelps sound eerie in the wee small quiet hours of a morning. Foxes have always been in London for at least 80 years. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 foxes now living in London.
Urban foxes can be seen also during the day but are very shy creatures. Normally they run away when approached, but can become bolder and aggressive (rare) if hungry, looking after their cubs or trapped. Foxes like gardens or allotments, they may sleep or have a den to raise their cute cubs. Some people see foxes as a nuisance, however many do like to see these former countryside creatures roaming about.
We were privileged to see this fit young fox up close for about half an hour. It sniffed my shoes as I was lucky to take photographs. It did not seem shy or scared by us. It came near to our front door and I think it would have even come into the house if we had let it !
If you have a house plant like this Canary island broom, it should be ablazed with colours right now and giving off a gentle fragrance.
This beautiful plant flowers from January to April, which makes it a very popular bloom during Easter time.
This plant can grow into a robust shrub, which makes it ideal for cutting it into a topiary, in variety of shapes.
To encourage bushiness, pinch off new shoots, while cutting back old growth.
Though Canary Island Broom makes a lovely house plant, ideally it should be planted outside where there is a lot of direct sunlight. It would really very good for your potted houseplant to be put outside during the the summer season. It would benefit from the chorophyll giving sunlight. 😉
You can rely on a Bead plant to produce masses of bright-orange berries during the summer and early autumn, in the right condition that is.
Bead Plant (Nertera Granadensis)
These little button beads can last for months as long as they are kept in a cool place, i.e. they are an ideal house plant. High temperature would encourage the green shoots to over-power the berries.
To position bead plant as a house plant, it is advisable to locate them in the east or west facing windows where they will thrive. They need a cool place which should be no more than 15 degrees centigrade and yet they also need light.
Bead plants are perennials but with proper care they will give you years of bead flowers for years.
Refuse,Rubbish & Recycling not to be ignored now. From being a young child many moons i.e fifty years ago ! I remember early morning rubbish/garbage (trash) collections from our outside house during the work week. In those days 1960s-80s the collection was once a week and only general household rubbish was collected. The round bins we had were galvanised metal dustbins. They were about half/three quarter the size of the black plastic so called ‘wheely bin’ that came in 1980s onwards.
We never had the ubiquitous plastic bin bags to put excess rubbish in. Many homes had gardens whether small or large and of course garden allotments. All vegetable & fruit peelings & waste where thrown on the compost heap or put in a special bin we kept . Anything that would burn such as old news paper was put on the open fires (before gas or electric central heating) in our homes to save coal or coke (cheaper processed coal).
The bins would become battered over the years but were sturdy. The dustbins had handles, which the ‘bin men’ as we called them carried to & emptied into the collection bin lorry. The lorries had a crew of about six and who were regulars on their routes. At Christmas time in the evenings, we waited for our bin men to knock on the door of the residents they collected from to ask for a ‘Christmas Box’ a tip of cash. We tipped our ‘dustmen’ or ‘bin men’ as they were called. They worked hard in all-weather with low wages relying on overtime or the Christmas box.
1960s etc well used household type dustbin
Example 1960s-rubbish collection lorry
Friendly ‘dustman’ or ‘bin men’ of the 1960-80s
From the 1980s as landfill sites were filling up fast due to increase in population and rubbish produced by us, recycling was introduced and is still evolving.
For a few years local councils etc., decided to save on bin containers and replaced the bins with the ever-present and still multi used black plastic bags.
The ever about black rubbish refuse sacks
So called ‘Wheely bins’ were introduced to make collecting rubbish easier and reduce the number of crews we guess for councils to save money. Wheely bins come in different colours now and are also used for recycling, logically green garden waste is put into a green bin. We all now know the urgent importance of recycling as our precious little earth may become one polluted planet. We all rubbish producers must do something now!