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20 Local Places


During October the children have been planting hyacinths to take home for Christmas. So far they have been kept in the old dark apple store adjacent to the garden wall. Don’t tell anyone, but I am led to suspect they may find their way to the school boiler room for a little help getting ready for end of term!

To help keep insects down a garden needs birds and wildlife. Wild flowers are going to be planted to encourage wildlife and, surprisingly, the garden hasn’t yet attracted too many species of birds. Pheasants visit every day with blue tits and sparrows, and butterflies flutter around which is a good sign. Logs with carved out holes in them

together with bird feeders have been placed in the garden to attract more birds. The bird feeders should attract a variety of birds and the holes in the logs have been filled with fat balls to entice woodpeckers. No mention of our much-loved bird, the robin. With Burnett’s novel in mind, where a lone robin leads Mary Lennox to discover the hidden whereabouts of the secret garden, I had to ask if robins visit the garden. I smiled upon hearing that just one robin had been seen but it has not yet chosen to enter the walled garden. It regularly watches Andrew work from an area just outside one of the doors along the wall. Burnett described the robin in her novel as being, “tremendously busy. He was very much pleased to see gardening begun on his own estate”. A century on from the book’s publication, one might imagine Burnett smiling at the sight of the Windlesham Robin.

Walled Gardens in West Sussex you may wish to visit include: Researched and written by Natalie Wills, freelance writer tel: 07957 198967

Only £95

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