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Hazelwood Bee and Butterfly Garden, Silverdale

We have been working here in Silverdale on a whole variety of projects for over 35 years! The owners, Glenn and Dan Shapiro, bred pedigree Blue Faced Leicester sheep and managed the land in an environmentally friendly way.  Our first job was clearing scrub to allow the flower rich limestone meadows to flourish.  Many dry stone walls have been repaired over the years to aid stock management but also they are a valuable habitat in themselves.  All the nooks and crannies give homes to many small mammals and invertebrates. Since the owners retired, the National Trust now manage most of the land which is a testimony to the valuable work which has been achieved.  However, Glenn and Dan still own a woodland and a wonderful garden, in part of which we have jointly created a ‘bird, bee and butterfly garden’. Look at the photos which prove that wildlife gardens are not all about brambles and nettles!  There are still walls to repair so we can keep up with the skills and teach others to tackle this intriguing art.

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A good day's work in the bee garden.  Lots done.

The garden in its winter state.  We needed to get rid of mainly spreading young red campion to make room for spring growth.  The seat had developed some rot but Pete was able to do a good job of reinforcing it for some of us to sit safely and admire our day's work.

There was much work to be done in autumn, removing dead plants to clear space for bulb planting and for winter and spring flowers to emerge

In winter clearing old growth to make room for new planting in spring

Plenty of scope for autumn work, clearing away plants which have become too prolific and apt to smother others, and making room for planting spring bulbs.

One of the three large compost bins needed a new post.  The amount of growth on the summer plants was amazing but in autumn it was time to remove prolific seedheads from such as buddleia and knapweed to stop them taking over.  Plenty of weeding to be done too.  

       Click arrows for the slideshow or click on image for portrait size and title

Scabious
Viper's bugloss

The garden in its summer glory.  The first picture shows Scabious, the second mainly Vipers bugloss and Lychnis chalcedonica

When we arrived at the garden the riot of colour hit us amazingly as we came through the gate.  Four of us had a socially distanced gardening session with our two wallers also keeping their distance. 

Although the group hadn't been meeting because of lockdown the garden came into bloom beautifully because our leaders popped in now and then to keep things ticking over. 

Click on the arrows to see how it looked at the beginning of summer and click on an image for a larger picture.

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Progress

This is how the garden looked in spring.  In the first picture the new path shows off the divided beds, with new fruit trees, greengage on the left and plum to the right.  Newly sown wildflowers are also clearly visible to the right. The second picture shows the new path with its fresh bark and the overall impression on a lovely spring day two weeks later.  Plenty of work still to do!

A wonderful summer display.  David and Pete improved the exit with steps to the field

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