Eight years ago, one of the most popular features on the early Naturenet was The Urban Gardener, written by Ruth D’Alessandro. Her column is archived here, and server logs show it is has remained well-read even after all these years. So it is with great pleasure that The Ranger is able to reintroduce Ruth with a new regular column on a similar theme – this time, to be presented on The Ranger’s Blog. So, without further ado, Ruth writes: Notes From A Wildlife Garden Greetings! The Urban Gardener has evolved into the Sub-Rural Gardener following an eight-year absence (authorially, never spiritually) from Naturenet, two children, three funerals, two house sales and a move to the edge of the rolling North Downs. Not quite rural (the Ranger would call it suburbia) but in no way urban either, our new place came with an established wildlife garden along with a vegetable patch the size of our old and beloved London allotment.
This south-facing Garden of Earthy Delights also contains a 170-year-old oak tree with a fish-free pond fed by a natural spring beneath it, both thriving in perfect symbiosis, two apple trees, mixed hedgerows, a ramshackle greenhouse and shed and plants grown specifically by the previous owner (a moth enthusiast) to attract moths, butterflies and other insects and birds. The place is A Project. The house is perfectly serviceable, although a study in various hues of beige, but that can wait. Veg needs to be grown, a cottage garden established, a children’s garden complete with tallest sunflower and biggest pumpkin competitions to be dug as well as maintenance of all the feed plants for many species of creature. The Wildlife Garden will be a study in trial and error, and each month on the Wildlife Garden Blog I’ll lay bare our successes and failures and hopefully encourage you to do some wildlife gardening of your own, however small your plot. Of course, I’ll welcome any comments and suggestions, and may well be asking for solutions to problems we encounter! Nothing can be planned, nature resists planning, so anything could happen! (Going to snow tomorrow!) Anyway, I’ve kicked off my return to Naturenet with an exposÃ© of the dastardly goings-on around my bird table. See Doing Bird for Ruth’s first post.