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Posts Tagged ‘fungi’

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Insect Zigurrat takes a bow !

Ron and Libby our lovely ,loyal and stalwart Sussex Prairie volunteers have made us the incredible wheeled insect ziggurat which has now been  wheeled into  place and  populated with insect friendly home fodder  this week. Not only will it be a living home to many insects but should prove to be a talking point at the entrance to the Sven garden (mini prairie).

What is a Ziggurat   ? A massive structure having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding storeys or levels.

Why is it in our garden ? why not .. it deserves a place in our hearts ! and it will be a multi storey home to a world of insects from bees, to lacewings , to miner bees .. and anyone else who fancies a deluxe condominium. It also provides a bit of a diversion for the eye from  the more than plastic unfantastic  digesting septic tank. I only hope the residents are soothed by the bubbling , burbling mechanisms machinating below .They can think of it as musical interlude.

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Wildlife Friendly ! why ? because invertebrates can shelter there and lay their eggs and it can be a feeding place for insects, reptile s and small mammals (if they can clamber up there !)

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Climate friendly ! why ? because it can provide cools , shady places  and extra nesting materials when natural alternatives may not be readily available .

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How did they do it ? (Ron and Libby I mean !) .. well , they collected all manner of materials which could be used to create dark, deep ,mysterious nooks and crannies in the gaps between the artfully stacked pallet structure. Old pine cones, stalks, sticks, wood , old terracotta pots, bundles of twigs , grass seed heads.

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What ? ….Dead wood : good for wood boring beetles  eg. stag beetle and larvae, can also support fungi. Centipedes and woodlice can burrow under the bark.

Hollow stems : ideal spots for solitary bees to lay their eggs

Stone and tiles : provide cool conditions for frogs and newts

Dry grass : give a place for insects to burrow into

Dry leaves : ladybirds might hibernate in here during winter and they are great for eating aphids in the garden.

Rotting wood and bark : is where beetles , centipedes ,spiders and woodlice love to be

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And did you know….. there is actually a living library in the Zigurrat for creatures to enjoy and enrich their brain power and a great many hearts and a lot of love  hanging on it !(literally)

Thank you Ron and Libby for indulging our ever more crazy ideas and schemes !! Next idea : the wildlife matrix ….. coming soon ! Why not come and see the Zigurrat for yourself. It is open for business for wildlife 24 hours a day and open for human kind during our opening hours, daily, 1pm until 5pm from 1st June until 13th October 2013.

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Brunnera Mr Morse : looking for Lewis !

Big brassy and buxom , autumn is like a swaggering pirate woman all gold teeth , spotty handkerchief and swirling skirts and at least a cutlass or two. Here in the garden the colours are looking like a bad case of piracy ( too much Johnny Depp I think , that’s why am I obsessed with pirates !) on the high seas. Today it was a glamourous garden still full of colour with spectacular colour in the Amsonia hubrichtii, all gaudy tints and scorching bronze.

Amsonia hubrichtii in full flow

Creeping under the persicaria polymorpha there are beautiful pure white fungi like second magnitude stars as Paul would say, and out on the woodchip paths there is a motley crew of toadstools each one more lush and sweaty than the next. It is all heading for the big showdown at the next big frost when the swashes will be well and truly buckled !

And of course there are leaves .. thousands nay millions of them washed up around the house like an unruly beach combers dream. But not crisp and crunchy anymore .. just a thick wet sludgy mass , most unattractive and not at all kickup-able . So it was time to build a leaf collecting cage …Paul obliged with the four corner posts and then it was down to Tara and I to nail on the wire netting. Now why does hammering look so effortless in the case of Paul and I am still licking my wounds after a run in with the hammer and wire cutters ! My thumb looks like I have got a nasty case of the Black Spot and I might as well have been blind Pugh for the state of the staples and wirenetting. But the leaves are now safely coralled away and can begin their leaf mouldering business !

sun,grass,sun again

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