And I have now found an excellent book that’s a must-have for anyone with both a garden and a young family.
We are becoming increasingly aware of how fragile planet Earth is, and how we mortals need to change some of our selfish ideas to minimize the damage.
In the garden alone, if we can maintain a balance of nature, this will cut down (if not eliminate) our need to throw chemicals at every insect pest we find.
Frogs and birds control slugs –so if you encourage either or both into your garden, then it’s job done,and without using slug pellets. Ladybird and lacewing larvae are known to feast on aphids – so there’s another job done, or so it would seem.
But the question is, how do you encourage these good guys into your garden in the first place? I have found a brilliant way to tell you exactly how it’s done – and the instructions are so clear that a five year old will leap to the task without any persuasion.
It’s a brand new book called Wildlife Garden, by horticulturist Martyn Cox, published by Dorling Kindersley for The Royal Horticultural Society. So you see, it comes with all the right labels.
Author Martyn Cox has been growing plants since the age of four, and kept at it right through those teenage years where gardening was deemed un-cool. Now he wants to ensure that both of his young children experience the same joy of discovery that he had all those years ago.
Wildlife Garden is a collection of Grow It, Make It and Watch It projects, and where things might get a little tricky for small hands, there is a symbol for Ask an Adult for Help. All of them are easy to do and won’t take long.
Everything can be set up in the smallest of spaces – even a pot or window box. A list of equipment is given at the start of each chapter, and the instructions are well illustrated and captioned. The language is clear, and where specific plants are recommended, each profile includes sound horticultural advice on how to care for them..
And if you happen to have some wellie boots going spare, then on pages 60 and 61 there are some extremely clever instructions on how to make a nesting place for an owl!
© 2015 Valerie McBride-Munro