From parking space to Wildlife Haven – Greening the Grey – Bernard Mills’ tiny miracle Garden in Station Road.
Bernard loves showing off his garden. He has transformed a pocket handkerchief space used for a car concrete pull-in, into a beautiful garden full of pollinator friendly flowers including lavenders, thyme and rosemary, heathers, forget-me-nots and honeysuckles, other herbs and vegetables in which he has created a wonderful wildlife haven where he sits in and spends time observing his wildlife visitors including, on one occasion a hedgehog and birds bathing in his bird bath.
After a varied career, which sadly left Bernard with an industrial illness needing a buggy, he was still determined to be active. His garden has provided an environment where the natural world comes to him. There are three bird boxes and two were used this year. The first box successfully housed a family of 7 blue tits who have now all fledged and Bernard took some snaps of the first fledgling clinging to his fishing rod. The second was used by a male wren to make one of his nests but the female rejected it – they are very fussy. The third is new and Bernard is waiting for it to weather in. Like everything in his garden it’s made from recycled and rejected items. His blue shallow water feeder was once a calling card holder. His new feeder for live meal worms was bought in pieces and very dirty from Campsea Ashe auction for £14. Bernard cleaned it, put it back together and painted it.
Birds regularly visiting his garden include tits of all sorts – blue, great, long tailed tits, gold finches, green finches, starlings, blackbirds, house sparrows, dunnocks, a thrush, collared doves, pigeons, robins and wrens,
Bernard’s son has a light box for moths and Bernard has seen 28 different species in his garden including the Humming Bird Hawk moth.
Bernard’s two wild life ponds are teaming with life – newts, tadpoles now mostly small frogs, common and Ramshorn snails, damsel fly larvae and pond skaters.
Bernard’s old compost bucket has been turned into a wormery with leaf litter being slowly transformed into rich humus. His water butt provides rainwater for his ponds and bird baths as well as watering his continuous supply of beans, cucumbers, various tomatoes and salad leaves each summer.
Wild life havens can be created like Bernard’s in any garden and he shows what can be done even after retirement and with ill health.. It provides, as well as the haven for wild life, a life-giving joy to the gardener.
This is Karen Austin's stunning garden you can only get to by Community bus on the half hour from the Station just up from Magnolia House.
TEAS AND PLANTS AT KAREN'S ALSO
Farewell to our wonderful Les Tennet star horticulturalist and nationally recognised floral arranger and a core team member for Halesworth in Bloom.
Les Tennet died yesterday in his garden where he spent most of his precious spare time. Award Winner of Best Front Garden in 2015 and seen here with his trophy he was a generous donator of stunning arrangements for the Church, for the Scarecrow Competitions and for all our HIB exhibitions.
He will be sorely missed for his joyful personality, warm heart and special Hurdy-gurdy laugh as well as his outstanding horticultural and floral skills.
He was 65.
While the sweet rain fell after Les died, I was reading this poem:
A Night-Rain In Summer - Poem by James Henry Leigh
Open the window and let the air
Freshly blow upon face and hair,
And fill the room, as it fills the night,
With the breath of the rain's sweet might.
Hark! the burthen, swift and prone!
And how the odorous limes are blown!
Stormy Love's abroad, and keeps
Hopeful coil for gentle sleeps.
Not a blink shall burn to-night
In my chamber, of sordid light;
Nought will I have, not a window-pane,
'Twixt me and the air and the great good rain,
Which ever shall sing me sharp lullabies;
And God's own darkness shall close mine eyes;
And I will sleep, with all things blest,
In the pure earth-shadow of natural rest.
We are in the Memorial Gardens from 7.00 - 10.am and in the Town Park from 10.00am
We want to put together a set of hazards and how we can manage them to ensure our safety and the safety of the general public nearby as well as children. Can you suggest any?
Nigel Boldaro our Green Flag Judge has given us the Handbook for his Local Park
In general be aware of:
Bring sun protection, waterproofs, or wellies, whichever is relevant.
Tree stumps and roots can be quite unforgiving to toes in open sandals.
If doing any sort of practical work - be careful! Be aware of your limitations
YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BACK.
Other Potential Hazards
Today we were presented with the Suffolk County Council Working Together Award in the Halesworth Town Park as it was for our joint efforts that we have been transforming the Park. A huge thanks to three people who made sure our bid was successful Giles Conneely, Liz Wooster and Karen Austin. We have earmarked seating for older people, signage and our wonderful new Park notice board, information boards as well as costs of hiring a digger to scrub out bramble roots at the unkempt boundaries of the Park.
Craig arrived at 6.30 am and got the hose going and began clearing. I arrived at 8.00am and Lisa, Tony and Jen and Stephanie shortly after. Litter removed, beds cleared, extensive watering, grass strimmed, cut and edged, ground swept and over 100 plants in place and watered and great a new recruit - welcome to Ann Talbot who will help us here. Great extension - the new beds outside at the other entrance to the churchyard.
We want Four Gold Awards in a row!
The Date for our Judging is Thursday 13th of July
The Judges are