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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Reasons why Fran is nervous in the garden

We don't have an expansive garden. Put it this way, when Paul says 'I'm going out to mow the lawn,' it takes him longer to haul the mower out of the shed and plug it in than it does to finish the job itself. There's a zzsshh zzsshh sound for about twenty seconds and that's it done: tidy lawn, with its nineteen blades of grass short and neat.

He still indulges in a heavy self-satisfied sigh afterwards as though he's just mown the gardens at Kensington Palace or the Taj Mahal, but I'll allow him that, as I never offer to mow the lawn myself.

Sometimes I think it would be fun, though, while he's in the shed foraging out the mower, to run outside with a pair of nail scissors and do the job myself before he emerges. 'Da DAH! Surprise!'

We like to encourage the local wildlife into the garden but because of its size there are limitations. Bees, butterflies and tiny birds we can cope with. If a fat pigeon, a pregnant cat or even a particularly plump Queen Bee turns up it all gets a bit crowded and we end up having to go back indoors. Either that, or endure a claustrophic few minutes on our four-slab patio, wondering why we ever said we wanted to move from London to Warwickshire to be closer to nature. Be careful what you wish for, etcetera.

We hung a small birdfeeder out earlier this year on our pyracantha bush to encourage along the sparrows and the bluetits. One like this.


It's been very successful, so much so that sometimes there are seven or eight tiny birds balancing precariously on its edge. That's pushing it in terms of garden space. If the number rises to ten, I have to bring the washing in.

Despite that, without consulting me, Paul went back to the store last week and bought a bigger birdfeeder, more like this. The pyracantha can only just support it.

'What are you trying to do?' I said. 'Won't that attract enormous eagles and ostriches? Or dodos?'

In fact, what happened was that for a couple of days no birds came at all.

'I think they were a bit disconcerted by the change,' Paul said.

I told him I wasn't surprised. It would be like us heading off to one of these for a pint of milk or a packet of Digestives  ....



.... and finding it had turned into one of these ....




Gradually, the sparrows and bluetits are returning. I fear, however, that, finding such bounteous provision, they are going to tell all their friends. And then what? We'll have two choices: sit indoors, or stay in the garden, acting in our own version of Daphne Du Maurier's 'The Birds', flinching from feathers and ducking as sparrows, glutted and satiated on enough seed to feed the developing world, fly above our heads, grinning.


14 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Great giggle. Thanks. But I was a bit disappointed that, at the end, there wasn't a photo of your beautiful garden, which may not be huge, but is very pretty. Another time perhaps?

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    1. Make sure you take it right after Paul mows the grass!!

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    2. It is very pretty, but in a space two feet square, it's not hard to make a big impression with a couple of daisies :)

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  2. It's a pity this isn't the 70s. There would be room for a Pony. The bottles were very small.

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    1. You're going to have to explain that one. I am being dim ...

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    2. You're not the only one ...

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  3. Brilliant post.

    Be careful as the birds get used to your birdfeeder. I well remember one early summer day sitting on the patio reading with a small bird glaring at me from the empty bird feeder (I kept thinking, I'll give you some fat balls and seeds in a minute, while continuing to turn pages....). It stamped its little feet which I thought was cute. Disconcertingly, it kept its beady eyes fixed on me. Then without any warning it launched itself at my head. I got the message. I filled up with fat balls and seeds. Be careful Fran! x ;)

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    1. Thanks for the warning, Mandy! I KNEW there were risks from these sparrows!

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  4. I have the same bird feeder as your first one. The birds made such a mess that I bought a disc to fit on the bottom to catch the seeds. The birds still make a mess and now I have tiny sunflowers growing underneath.

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    1. In our garden, what the little birds drop, the big fat pigeons swoop in to collect. I prefer the idea of mini-sunflowers, though.

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  5. It was a bit like Cherry B, but with hooves. Oh, I'll get me coat...

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  6. Perched on my balcony beside my pot of lavender , I'm jealous .

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  7. You'll have to use an umbrella when they start flying overhead.

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  8. To bash them with? Okay. Will do!

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