Posted: Tuesday 28th March 2017 by CricklepitGardenGroup
Lesser Periwinkle at Cricklepit Mill
The Cricklepit Garden Group have been busy getting ready for Spring! Nearing the end of March, Spring has truly arrived with bulbs in flower, nest boxes in place, mallards mating and our wild flower meadow sown.
Welcome to the second quarterly blog by Devon Wildlife Trust’s volunteer group who look after the RHS award winning wildlife garden at the Trust’s headquarters at Cricklepit Mill in Exeter. The theme for this blog is spring, for many this evokes images of spring bulbs, with Snowdrops (Galanthus) and Crocus (Crocus vernus) to Daffodils (Narcissus) and Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta).
Cricklepit Garden is no exception, with a display of Daffodils in the Winter Interest Border, the bulbs being planted in the autumn at the same time the native shrub and tree whips were planted.
Elsewhere within the garden can be found Common Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) and Common Primrose (Primula vulgaris). Lungwort is attractive to bees, which at this time of the year are emerging from hibernation.
Creating a bog garden
As noted in the Winter Blog the Garden Group has been busy developing a new pond and bog garden within the wildlife garden. This is now more or less complete, with both the bog garden and the pond planted up with native British plants, further planting will be added during the spring when they become available from the supplier. This includes both floating plants and valuable oxygenating plants. We will also be adding straw into the pond as this also helps to keep the water oxygenated and keeps algae in check.
With warmer weather the plants will soon start to grow and fingers crossed we will get invertebrates and insects making use of the new pond. Also added is a small rockery on the other side of the pond to the bog garden planted up with alpine and succulent plants, making re-use of stones dug up when constructing the pond and bog garden.
For wildlife the arrival of spring starts off the breeding season, and Cricklepit Garden is no exception. The Garden Group have put up new nest boxes kindly donated to the Garden Group, and with the assistance of DWT staff will also be putting up two bat boxes within the garden. Members of the Garden Group have already witnessed nature in the raw, with our adopted mallard duck Daphne subject to the attention of the local males!
By the time this Blog has been published the Garden Group will have sown the annual cornfield bed with a mix of Corn Chamomile (Anthemis arvensis), Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), Corncockle (Agrostemma githago), Corn Marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum) and Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) which will provide colour in the early summer.
The next blog will be in the summer when the Garden is looking at its best with several annuals, perennials and shrubs in full bloom.
Cricklepit Garden Group
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