• The Blooming Old Gardener

The Early Worm Gets Caught

‘The early bird catches the worm, but it is the early worm that gets caught.’

A 17th century proverb meaning that to succeed, you need to put in some effort. Unless you are a worm that is. In which case, make sure you are not the first to emerge from underground in the morning. Bloomers volunteers make an effort, alongside nature, to make the garden somewhere that people like to visit.

Personally, I like to visit early morning when it is quiet. This way you get to watch the birds hopping round the garden looking for food. They don’t seem bothered about me being there if I just sit and watch. We have regulars like the blackbirds that live locally. And there’s a robin who visits too. These are normally ground feeders. So they are looking for creatures and seeds amongst the grass and in the piles of wood and leaves we leave in the garden. Untidy areas encourage creatures to shelter there. A good thing to have if you want to create different environments. The robin is particularly interested in Bugingham Palace. We also leave on seed heads and berries for other birds to eat during the winter.

I’m mentioning birds this month, as it’s the Big Garden Birdwatch soon. You can take part any time between 28th and the 30th Jan. Over a million people took part last year, myself included. You just watch for birds in a garden, or local green space like the Old Town Bloom garden. You just record the number of different birds, by type, that you see in an hour. Then send in your results. If you register now on the RSPB website, you can get a free guide which shows you the more popular birds. I would recommend putting food out in your garden now so that birds get used to coming there. And be an ‘early bird’ and watch in the morning, as it's getting light. One of the best times to watch. It’s all dependant on the weather though. I’ve put a few guides in the book tree to start you off.

Happy new year, by the way. I know it’s a new year as we have been taking down the |Xmas decorations in the garden. We still have our Xmas tree though as it’s a growing one and will hopefully survive to be our tree for next Xmas. We have left some of the cones and other natural decorations on it though. These provide food for birds. New Year also means new growth. So if you look around you will see some bulbs starting to poke through the soil. And even the odd spring flower coming out.


Other things are growing in the garden too. There are clumps of fungi growing round Bugingham Palace. In the ground as well as in pots.

And the strangest growth in the garden at the moment are the dinosaurs. We always have a few in the tyres and on the landscaped top of Bugingham Palace. But they all seem to have grown over Xmas. The cake and chocolates seem to have swollen them up to five times their normal size!

The Blooming Old Gardener

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