This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
LIFESTYLE: Gardening Gold by Teresa Verney-Brookes of www.rspb.org.uk


Whilst the rest of the country settles down in front of their televisions to watch the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics – I plan to sit in my garden of an evening, (small glass of red wine in hand) celebrating the joys of nature in my small, urban back-garden in the middle of Reading watching the sun go down……


This time of year birds can be seen feeding and heard singing until dusk …and beyond. I tend to feed birds all year around, as even during the summer months, they require high protein foods, especially while they are moulting.


Temporary food shortages can occur at almost any time of the year and if this happens during the breeding season, extra food on your bird table


84 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


can make a big difference to the survival of young.


However, only feed selected foods should be put out at this time of year – such as black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, good seed mixtures (without loose peanuts which can choke young birds). Soft apples and pears cut in half, bananas and grapes also receive 5 Michelin Stars in the bird-world! Dry food, such as stale bread, should be avoided as these can cause dehydration.


In hot weather, it is really important to put out water for birds and other animals. With my usual “Make Do and Mend” head on – I use an old upturned dustbin lid filled with water (from my water butt) or a


flowerpot holder - which can also double-up as a birdbath as well as a drinking point.


If you are kind enough to provide food and/or water for birds - good hygiene is vital, or it may do more harm than good. Thus, cleaning feeding stations regularly with a mild disinfectant is really important.


One of my favorite creatures is the majestic stag beetle – an increasingly rare species, which we are really lucky to have somewhat of a stronghold of here in Reading. They lay their eggs in dead wood.


The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species have some wonderful tips about how to encourage them into your garden – including some wonderful designs of dead wood


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