Nature watch

Day 20 of #65daysofsummer

We continued with our garden project today; clearing more flower beds, tidying the wood shed and planting a few more of the plants we bought yesterday. I am often quite torn when gardening as I am a nature lover and I feel as though to create a garden you have to destroy a wee bit of something that is already thriving. For example, we had to clear away leaves that were naturally composting into the ground, move wood into the woodpile that was already home to plenty of bugs and tear ivy and creepers away to make room for new plants. However, at the same time I want a beautiful garden and I do enjoy getting out there putting in the work to make it so. I know that the new plants will attract insects and the cleared leaves will continue to compost in another spot in the garden and may even become a cosy home to a hedgehog or two some day. If I leave the ivy to it’s own devices then that’s all there will be growing out there so a bit of maintenance is a good thing.

What’s more, all the digging and clearing made for a brilliant bug hunt. There were so many insects to spot that we shall be consulting our books to look up a few. We also saw the biggest and fastest slug any of us had ever seen. I also enjoyed the quiet moments when the robin and the thrush noticed all the turned-over ground and came down to join us to see if there were any bugs going free.

Bug hunts are great fun and you don’t need to do anything other than lift a rock or two. If you want to go fancy though why not place an old white sheet or piece of material under a bush or shrub and gently shake some branches to see what you can catch? For the maths-lovers, why not measure out a sample square of ground and do a count of different species then work out how many bugs there might be in the whole garden based on what you find? Grab a book to look them up and a sketch pad to draw them and you should be able to cover-off a variety of ages and preferences all at once.