Welcome to my evolving Urban Wildlife Garden. I am Ruth and this is my first attempt at serious gardening and at blogging too. I hope you enjoy finding out more about what’s behind my garden project, and following its progress as – with willing and thankfully knowledgeable helpers – my outdoor space is transformed into a haven not just for me, but for birds, pollinators and all kinds of wildlife! I’d like to thank Liz Hughes for her vital blog expertise, my niece Beth Gunns for her exquisite art work, my mum for bankrolling my first batch of plants and Stewart, a roller up of sleeves and fount of wisdom on all things horticultural.
Why a garden blog?
Following on from a successful community gardening project in my local area in 2013/2014 which was inspired by a small but growing group of residents determined to reclaim some of our common green areas for wildlife and pollinators, the search was on for a way of spreading the word and encouraging our community to consider how they as individuals could provide a more hospitable environment for wildlife.
I was happy to offer up my garden as a pilot project. As part of a seventies housing development built on a steep slope backing onto Beechen Cliff but very centrally located in Bath, Somerset, my back garden is a bit of a postage stamp – measuring just 8.4 x 5.1 metres (see plans). Although it has a southerly aspect it’s overshadowed from above by the houses of Calton Gardens, which means shade from October to the end of February. In summer, it enjoys all-day sunshine from around 9 a.m. until the last rays are blocked from view at around 6.30p.m.
Since I moved in back in 2002, I had been happy to maintain the existing bank of conifers and simply swap bulbs for summer bedding plants for instant colour year after year. By 2013, the time had come for drastic action, as the conifer stock had become overgrown, and I had become very aware that as far as wildlife was concerned, my garden had very little to offer.