David Beeson With good rainfall in the autumn and the pre-Christmas period, the local rivers are full and the chalk aquifers should last us until summer for our drinking water. Andover is surrounded by gentle hills and those are dotted with covered reservoirs. Irrigation is almost unknown in this part of the UK, with theContinue reading “Ecogarden in Early March, 2023.”
Category Archives: Eco-Gardening
David Beeson We have a wide variety of UK orchids in our garden. Most have arrived quite naturally and have increased in number. Others have been introduced by seed or with tubers. Not all those species thrived, as one might expect as the soil or climate was perhaps not ideal. For example, we had aContinue reading “Winter-green Orchids”
Our Approach to Eco-gardening / Wildlife Gardening
David Beeson, Winter 2022 / 2023 Annette and I believe that wild organisms have a right to exist. As such, they need places to live – a home range, some might say. We have just over an acre of land, so have space to share. In addition, we have big positives – we dwell onContinue reading “Our Approach to Eco-gardening / Wildlife Gardening”
An Eco-garden in Mid-Winter
David Beeson, 28th December 2022 A few hard touches of frost have killed off any tender non-native plants and the pond became a potential ice-skating rink for a while. The wild plants have ignored the weather and will be none the worse. The winter-green orchids, such as pyramidal and bee, have been above ground forContinue reading “An Eco-garden in Mid-Winter”
Our Wildlife Garden in late September
David Beeson We set out to make our 1.25-acre garden wildlife friendly. It was one of the first in the UK to ‘hit the media’ – and that was 30 years ago, and it is 20 years since being on the BBC, The Garden magazine and other major outlets. We feel we were part ofContinue reading “Our Wildlife Garden in late September”
Wildlife Garden in Late August
David Beeson It has been an indifferent summer in Hampshire. Yet we are hugely appreciative of having no fires or floods or plagues of locusts. I guess dampness is preferable to desertification. The cool rainfall enhanced grass growth by removing growth-limiting factors, so with some of the meadows now cut the compost bins are fullContinue reading “Wildlife Garden in Late August”
The Chemistry of Wildlife
David Beeson, late August 2021 It could be argued that wildlife enthusiasts spend too much time looking and too little in thinking. I bet you disagree! Sure, I do. The sights and sounds of the natural world is alluring and gives me a buzz. I am never more content than exploring for the unknown orContinue reading “The Chemistry of Wildlife”
The Eco-garden in Early July and the Problem with Clay Soils.
David Beeson Note: a garden meadow is a garden feature. It is designed as part of a garden and not as a wildlife reserve. The wildlife that comes with the garden meadow is a bonus. Our Summer Meadow is ideally only cut from early autumn and is part garden feature and part wildlife reserve. WithContinue reading “The Eco-garden in Early July and the Problem with Clay Soils.”
Carbon dioxide removal and no-cut May
David Beeson, 24th may 2021 Firstly, an article from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/24/trials-to-suck-carbon-dioxide-from-the-air-to-start-across-the-uk This looks at a trial, about to start across the UK, into the most effective ways of removing atmospheric carbon dioxide – critical in reducing Global Warming. Worth scanning to give your day some optimism. We fitted solar PV panels some 11 yearsContinue reading “Carbon dioxide removal and no-cut May”
An Eco-garden in Early April
An English Eco-garden in Early April David Beeson The garden at Forest Edge is around an acre or 0.4 hectares. It is longer than wide and ends on the very fringe of an ancient oak and hazel forest that has probably always been there. Our soil is clay-over-chalk and is sticky in winter and rock-solidContinue reading “An Eco-garden in Early April”
Photo essay – a frosty 1st January
David Beeson Bet you are as fed up with 2020 as I am. I want some sunshine and non-muddy trackways … and a tasty vaccination. Most of the plants are in hibernation – hiding their resources away from herbivores. Only the fruits, with the plant’s seeds inside, are being offered – and there is anContinue reading “Photo essay – a frosty 1st January”
Photo Essay – Winter and Summer in our Eco-garden
December 2020 Forest Edge is an eco-garden, in that we attempt to optimise the wildlife, whilst still delivering a beautiful garden AND a play area for the grandchildren. We cannot do everything in the area we have, so there are limits. We have had herds of fallow deer (30+) in the garden – that hasContinue reading “Photo Essay – Winter and Summer in our Eco-garden”
David Beeson 4th November Muscardinus avellanarius As I have mentioned before, dormice are declining and generally rare or uncommon in the UK. They are southern in distribution and have been one of the mammals I look out for more than most. Less than a month ago I found what I thought were dormouse nests inContinue reading “Dormice”
A Brilliant Day!!!
Dormice David Beeson Hazel dormice are not common in the UK, but they are slowly being reintroduced, with some success. My area is a comparative ‘hot spot’ for the species and I have found live animals and nests in the past. The nearest nests have been within 1Km, but species-specific nest boxes and searching forContinue reading “A Brilliant Day!!!”
This and That in the Garden
August always feels a quiet month to me. Yes, the wood pigeons are still flirting and the stock doves singing their cooing lullaby, yet the other birds are back into their teenage groups and flittering around the trees and shrubs. Gulls are around here in never-seen-before numbers, and flocks fly in to roost on ourContinue reading “This and That in the Garden”
Nectar, food of the gods?
Firstly, some questions. Now, no cheating and you really should write down the answers. Question one. (An easy one to give you confidence) Does nectar contain dilute honey? Question two. Are nectar and honey of the same composition, even if honey has less water? Question three. Where is nectar made? (Precision needed here!) Question four.Continue reading “Nectar, food of the gods?”
What do your insects eat?
A photo-essay 17th June 2020 David Beeson As you know Forest Edge aims to be an eco-friendly garden. It has a range of habitats that change through the year. It has a native and non-native flora. But, who eats what? Great project here for children? Our butterflies today are small, large and green-veined whites, redContinue reading “What do your insects eat?”
I poison myself
Euphorbias David Beeson, 12th July 2020 Now, I should know better. I write articles on plant toxicology and specifically know that euphorbias are poisonous … yet, I can be amazingly thick / uncareful at times. It was time to cut back some ‘spent’ plants in the garden. It’s a big area for the UK –Continue reading “I poison myself”
The most hated wildflowers?
Trampled, poisoned and mown to the ground. Are these the most hated wildflowers? Grasses and their allies David Beeson Delicately waving in the summer’s breeze, their leaves capturing the sun’s donated energy and using an alchemy to weave it into chemical bonds that trap the Kilojoules (Calories) into a usable form, grasses have a vitalContinue reading “The most hated wildflowers?”
No Cut (lawn) in May
Results from my non-cutting of my main lawn in May David Beeson 2nd June 2020 Sure, this is an eco / wildlife garden and we do attempt to be as positive as possible – yet, the flowers that have emerged this year have been a delight. The clay-over-chalk soil has been impoverished by cutting (andContinue reading “No Cut (lawn) in May”