03 June 2011

Bird Gardening

At Marsh Hall today, thinning beetroot mainly. The beds in the walled garden are becoming more full, with diagonals of cutting flowers looking confident (cerinthe, sweet william) or a bit lost (cosmos - it will happen). And there are rows of vegetables which need their first thinning. 'You could let the birds do that,' Sharron says. She's right, and I'm not thinning too much so the birds can do their own bit of editing too.

Birds as gardeners are not as interested in straight lines as people are and they tend to focus on one area, which can spoil the final effect. Many people put up netting, fruit cages or a rustic cloche just to stop the birds from interfering. But sometimes a rogue flower pops up, which may have had something to do with a bird, and it looks perfect. This wild lily is growing amongst trees just beyond a sign that says No Entry, at Marsh Hall. So, nobody sees it except the gardeners and volunteers. Great! But speaking as a human, I just wish that whatever wild thing put it there could have dotted a few more around.

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