One Year Garden Nature Study: Introduction

Welcome to the start of our one year Garden Nature Study.  My plan is for it to be much like our pond study but I will probably only post once a month, mid month.  I will, as always, include lots of photos as well as telling the story of our garden.  Let me introduce you to our garden from a few angles.

The first is the view from our front gate into the back garden, with the house on our right:


The next is moving up the path and standing next to our wood pile viewing across the garden:


This one in standing at the back gate looking towards the house:


And finally one taken from the Little House looking over the garden:


As you can see, we have a lot of work to do.  We do have one lovely area where the children are not allowed to build wigwams, set up archaeology shops or take their friends:


This is where we eat and take our friends!

This month we are concentrating on clearing the garden.  Last year we had a rather large tree cut down due to the excessively strong winds making it a potential hazard to our cottage.  This wood has been left at the side of the garden to season for a year.  We happen to know already that we have a resident hedgehog and also a family or ten of frogs/toads which have made their home in said wood pile, so we are needing to proceed with care so as not to disturb them too much.  We intend to leave a small log pile to encourage such animals as well as various insects.

In our first session we decided to divide and conquer.  I was on clean up duty whilst taking photos.  The plan was that I would go around the garden picking up any rubbish and putting toys away.  Not being very green fingered this suited me fine.  C12 collected the large logs and took them to Gary:

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Gary, with his trusty chain saw would then cut them into manageable pieces:

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T13 would then take the smaller logs and chop them into logs small enough to fit into our burner:

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Next these would be collected by L12 and A6, who took them and placed them on our old rabbit run:

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Once on the run they would be moved by B3 to a small pile just in front of the covered log stock pile:

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And there they would stay until one or other of us threw them under cover:


Of course boys and their toys have to be, well, boys playing with their toys with a bit of good old-fashioned rivalry.  It all began when T13 had attempted to split a log a few times with Gary teasing him in the back ground.  T13, soon became tired of the taunts and seeking to get the upper hand he challenged his father to split it in one.  I’m thinking he hadn’t put much thought into the practicalities of a challenge like that, given this is part of what Gary does for a living.  It wasn’t looking good for T!

And, as expected Gary easily split it in one.  T held his own though, saying that Gary had only been able to do it so easily because he had helped weaken the log with his many attempts.  And so it went on….

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Whilst all this was going on the girls quietly got on with their work (okay, so the older girls were neither quiet nor working particularly hard.  They were laughing hard at the antics of father and son).  Conversely the little ones were actually working and doing a great job.  It was quite cold and we had plans for a family night of a Poirot, some lovely food and a roaring fire.  The girls were helping collect stuff for the roaring fire.  A6 took in any bits of wood she found lying about:

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Whilst B3 had fetched her wheel barrow and was collecting kindling (with the help of Oscar) to put in our kindling basket:

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Once full she asked one of the boys to take it inside.  And so they (T and G) started again.  Gary, though, being older, wiser and knowing how important it was for T to show him that he was strong also, allowed T to carry it through to our living room:


Everyone brought in a few more logs, with B3 really deserving some sort of reward for her efforts.  She carried logs in her wheel barrow, took them to the front door and just hurled them into the kitchen:

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The next session was all about the compost.  You know the compost heap Gary made a couple of summers ago out of pallets?  Well, we have been filling it with absolutely anything and everything.  Last year we were a bit disappointed with the quality of the compost as it hadn’t fully rotted down.  This year we covered it with Oscar’s old duvet and it must have warmed it up sufficiently as to aid the compost process.  C was rather unimpressed by the whole heap:


That said she got stuck in and thoroughly enjoyed working alongside her daddy:


There was much to be impressed by – look at how rich it is right at the bottom:


Whilst Gary sorted out the compost L was given the litter picker to do a bit more rubbish collection, T cleaned out some flower pots and C collected kindle for that night’s fire:

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Once Gary was ready everyone grabbed whatever containers they could from wheel barrows to baskets and collected compost for T’s herb garden, our fruit beds, T’s vegetable patch as well as all the other non producing beds which are there to look beautiful.  T and B began out the front with the herbal garden:

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And Gary and A joined them and then moved on to the fruit beds:


The girls did the vegetable patch, whilst I did the beds:

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The chickens and Oscar joined us in our endeavors and the cats stayed inside:

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We all worked really hard and C, on going to bed that night, made the comment about how good it felt to be physically exhausted and how she couldn’t wait to go to bed!

Next month I will post an update of all our projects and maybe some of it will be nature related!


  1. I love the way your family is working together! I´m sure the result will turn out very beautiful! (We are not so motivated in gardening, because we have a “grumpy neighbour”, that´s how the children named him…)

      1. We only use the garden near our house for gardening and the children avoid to play near his garden. But for me it´s enough to know that he doesn´t like children at all…

  2. I love your garden space. It is so large. It looks like a lot of hard work, but it is so nice to see everyone working together. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

    1. It is large but it needs so much work done to it. Having said that we are all on board to do that work this coming year, and I really look forward to seeing it all come together!

  3. Such fun! And so incredibly productive! I’m really looking forward to this series, and hoping it’ll inspire me to revisit my neglected garden this spring 🙂

    1. I’m not sure they get much more neglected than ours but I shall do my best to inspire. Either that or I’ll regale you with stories about my own complete incompetence in the garden….we’ll see. Maybe I’ll find my green fingers under a stone somewhere and surprise everyone!

    1. No, I think there is something going on with my blog at the moment – a technical hitch or something (not a clue – all I know is that it is not working like normal). Sorry ’bout that!

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