Sunday, 22 August 2010

Embrace your Weeds

This is a picture of the field just the other side of our garden fence. You can now see why we are fighting a losing battle with weeds in the garden. I would like to complain to the farmer but I am worried that he may use a herbicide which would get rid of the invasive weeds but would also destroy the orchids and other chalk downland flowers that are now appearing after years of it being set-aside land so instead I try to embrace the weeds as wild flowers...which I suppose they are really:-)

I find that if I zoom in on the weeds the photos often show that they are actually very beautiful plants. Here are some examples of self sown incomers to our garden:

One advantage of lots of weeds is that the insects like them and this in turn attracts the birds. I am pleased to say that friendly Robin has raised his/her brood and is back to following me around the garden. The first picture was taken before the breeding season and the second after. She looks a bit the worse for wear in the second picture but then raising offspring can do that to you (you should see my before and after pictures...not a pretty

When all the garden work gets a bit too much to enjoy it is lovely to be able to go up on to the North Downs to do the stock check of the sheep but, unfortunately, the last time we went we found one of the sheep had been attacked by a dog. Poor thing was in a sorry state and as a consequence the flock have been taken back to the farm so that the injured one can be treated and the others checked for bites. This leaves us with no stock to check as the ponies are still grazing another site quite a long way from us. I think we are going to be given 16 sheep to check on another site but it isn't quite as nice as it adjoins rather a rough estate and is notorious for vandalism and dog attacks. I have heard that Lamas and Alpacas are good at protecting sheep from dogs...maybe I should suggest that The Old Surrey Downs Project should get some of them:)


Orchids and Nature said...

I'd love the wild area you have at the other side of your fence at the bottom of your garden. If Orchids are growing there the seeds will probably transfer over into your garden in time, providing the soil conditions are right.

Helen said...

Hi David...the field is on a hill and unfortunately the orchids are near the top where it is dry and sunny and more open and we are at the bottom where it is sheltered, shady and damp hence we get the invasive weeds and they are so dense no orchid would get a look in.