This weekend I have been mostly thinking about the birds and (as an offshoot) the bees.
I’m talking about a bird feeder, for the garden. I was inspired last weekend when the cheekiest little Robin Redbreast perched itself on the front garden fence as I was pottering about, obviously watching me, very interested (makes a change in this household). Then it flew over to the opposite fence and did the same.
I felt sorry I didn’t have anything in the garden for it to eat, as I assume that’s what it was after. I’ve seen it a few times since too, although not in the last couple of days, which is starting to concern me. I do hope none of the local cats have got hold of it already. I was looking forward to a winter and hopefully a Christmas of robin watching. I was going to think of a name and everything …
Anyway, I decided the front garden and the back yard both needed bird feeders, because I’d like to entice this robin back and maybe attract other birds too. But I certainly didn’t want a nasty plastic and wire tubular thing, which seems to make up the majority of garden bird feeders.
First stop, I went to Crimple Hall Garden Centre – www.crimplehallgardencentre.co.uk – and found a decent selection, at various price ranges. I especially liked one that costs £19.95, below, a blue and white simple wooden hut, but felt it was a little too large and white for my outdoor spaces, although it would suit somewhere with clean modern lines.
I noticed that there were bee houses too, little ones, made up of hollow reeds within a hut-like frame, to give bees little spaces to do whatever it is that they do. I intend to read up about them and they may well become my next purchase and project.
I’ve also found a very stylish bee house that looks really good, from www.thegreatgiftcompany.co.uk and it costs just £11. I have no idea where the correct positioning might be for bee houses, and what time of year is best to try to attract bees into the garden, and I certainly have no idea how to entice them, but this sounds likes a great field to explore. If you have any advice, please let me know.
Anyway, back to finding the perfect bird feeder. In the end, I found what I was looking for at trusty old Homebase. I bought a wicker woven hanging bird house which looks very in keeping, restful and bucolic, hanging from our apple tree in the front garden garden (see at the top of the post) – I love looking at it from the front room window. I’ve put peanuts in it, so I hope Mr Robin approves (probably doing it all wrong – again, please let me know if you have any advice).
I found a simple wire bird feeder too at Homebase for £4.99 – again, I have filled it with peanuts. I’ve put this in the back yard, although I’m not hopeful, as I have never ever seen a bird in there. Perhaps it’s the cats again.
I also bought a couple of half coconuts filled with fat and meal worms (sounds revolting). Homebase have them on at buy one, get one free (£1.79). One of them I have hung from an old ceramic hot air balloon. I’ve had it in a cupboard for years and I think it was originally from Habitat. The little ceramic basket and its occupants vanished long ago, but I didn’t want to throw it away, so here it is, at the bottom of the garden, hanging from a tree with a half coconut of meal worms beneath it. Such is life.
Now I am waiting for the birds to come, although, oddly, I haven’t seen or heard a single bird all day. Still no sign of the robin. Maybe I just have to be patient. But I will have my camera at the ready if they do come. If you have any advice about the birds and the bees, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.