5 ideas for your Christmas tree in January

Come January, one by one, our once pride of place Christmas trees will be left out in the cold to await their fate. This sorry sight of branches spiking from wheelie bins will soon be a thing of the past if we all choose to follow one of these 5 ideas.
Around 6 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK each year, and the Local Government Association estimates that the …Read More

How to tame a Robin - Birds - Bakker Holland

How to tame a robin in half an hour

Last weekend I realised a long-held dream: taming a genuinely wild creature to eat out of my hand. I’d like to say it was a carefully thought-out process, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve always seen robins around on the allotment. I love them for their beady-eyed, inquisitive nature – looking at you as if bemused, cocking their heads to one side, as if to say “are you …Read More


Blue tit blues

It was TV gold – and probably the main reason I could never even contemplate becoming a wildlife TV presenter. Chris Packham (naturalist of Springwatch fame) last night uttered the immortal phrase ‘and now we’re going to look at a lovely pair of great tits’…
I’ve been paying more attention to tits than normal of late. My handsome Bakker Spalding bird box  – hung up last spring and forgotten about – …Read More

Robin - Birds

Twitching and tweeting – the Big Garden Birdwatch

Although beds and borders are quiet at this time of year, close your eyes and listen for a moment and a whole different dimension to the garden will open up. Birdsong, well known for cheering people up, is especially noticeable at the moment, as hedges and evergreen trees especially are alive with the sound of birds, both year-round residents and winter migrants who head from colder climates to our (relatively) …Read More

Christmas cake for Birds

Christmas cake……. for birds!

What a fun afternoon we have just had! Isaac, my very capable assistant and I made a real treat for the garden birds. Following the RSPB website, we mixed together seeds, nuts, raisins and good old fashioned lard! In a mixing bowl we softened the lard and added the nuts, we gave it a good stir and added the seeds and raisins. Once it was all mixed together we spooned the mixture …Read More


To Pot Or Not To Pot?

“Can I grow it in a pot?” is possibly the gardening question I get asked most frequently of all. As gardens get ever-smaller and people get ever more keen to do a bit of grow-your-own, patio plots become ever more popular.

There are plenty of reasons why growing vegetables and fruit in pots makes sense. Not only can you fit more in to a tiny space, but growing in pots …Read More


Feathered Friends

I was sat in a sad old garden chair on my allotment late on a Sunday afternoon in January, looking at my piles of apple tree prunings and the soggy remains of last season’s growth as the sun went down. A melancholy moment – which was suddenly shattered as songs burst forth from the stillness of the gathering dusk. Robins, defending their territory, song thrushes looking for a mate, tits …Read More