Book Review: The Garden Jungle

One of my (not very subtly requested) presents for Christmas 2019 was ‘The Garden Jungle or Gardening to Save the Planet‘ by Dave Goulson which has now become the first book I have read in 2020. The author is a Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex but don’t let that put you off: this is certainly not a dry scientific treatise. It is instead a heartfelt plea for us all to engage with and appreciate the fascinating eco-system existing right under our noses in our own gardens. Yes, we all love an Attenborough documentary showing us the wonders of the natural world in often remote and exotic locations, but what about the fauna outside the back door?

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Our Tiny Garden: January 2020

#ourtinygarden2020

I imagine I am not alone in finding January the least appealing month of the year. Although this year it has been mild by comparison to some, the short days and cool weather make it all feel like a bit of a struggle. Like many keen gardeners, and especially those with an allotment, there is also the massive impatience of wanting to get on and sow some seeds for the forthcoming season. Frustrating though it is, I know from experience there is little to be gained from giving in to that impatience. Instead, this time of year is all about planning and preparation.

Although January is a pretty quiet month in the garden, there can still be features to enjoy. This blog includes twenty images from our own tiny garden capturing a few of the details that have caught my eye in January 2020.

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Our Tiny Garden 2020

To start the year I’ve set myself a little project for 2020. I will aim to publish 20 photos each month of our small city garden on this blog. I hope that this will allow me to appreciate the details of our little green space and capture the way it evolves and changes through the course of the seasons. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how the plants I have added to the garden during 2019 establish and mesh together. It will also provide a record of any new features added to the space so I can see what I actually achieve in amongst the juggling of everyday life. Finally, it will hopefully provide a connection to the bugs and beasties I am trying to attract into the garden.

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Chester Supertrees

A few weeks ago the fam and I got involved in a bit of community gardening at the Chester Supertrees project, about which I thought I would now belatedly blog. The Supertrees project was inspired by the ‘Gardens by the Bay’ attraction in Singapore, which feature a series of man-made tree sculptures. Singapore is a world leader in urban greening and the Gardens by the Bay are used as a vehicle to raise awareness of the impact of dramatic climate change and the need to promote biodiversity.

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Child’s Play

Bee

What makes a garden ‘good for kids’?  This is something I’ve been pondering since becoming a parent almost two years ago.  Disclaimer: this isn’t going to be a post on ten steps to making your garden child friendly.  It’s more of a personal musing on what value our tiny urban garden could have to our little boy.  The received wisdom on designing a garden with kids in mind is focussed on removing hazards, ensuring your child is contained, and finding sympathetic ways of incorporating play equipment into the space.  This all assumes that you have a large enough area to be concerned about these things.  With a garden which is less than 30m² there isn’t enough space for running around and playing games, let alone accommodating swings and trampolines!

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