The story of two bird boxes

A few years ago hubby built two bird boxes with entrances designed to fit different birds – a robin and a blue tit.

The box for the robin featured here when I wrote about a wasps’ nest (or bike). That is the only use the box has seen in its current location. At first it was lower on the garage wall and a field mouse possibly used it.

The blue tits’ box has provided night-time accommodation for one bird at a time during a number of winters. It has never been used by a nesting pair.

This year the wasps used the blue tits’ box. They do not return to the site of a previous nest, but this was very close. After all the wasps’ activity had ceased, hubby dismantled the box.

We had been able to see the nest through the entrance, and the wasps entering and leaving. The entrance to their nest was at the bottom, so they had to make their way around the outside to reach it.

By the time we examined it the papery construction had become food for woodlice.

The clean nest boxes are now ready for their next residents. For completeness I really should mention the snails, which climb high ahead of rainy weather and have been seen under or even inside one of the boxes.

Hostas

Hostas in pots
Hostas in pots

Hostas are perennial plants with attractive foliage and mauve flowers. They would be easy to grow if they were not the favourite food of some garden pests! We have tried various deterrents. Placing a pottery tube with a copper band around it seemed to be reasonably effective. Growing them in pots may also work better than putting them in a flower bed. Once the plants reach a certain size they seem to be able to hold their own against attack. Ours grow in semi-shade.

During lockdown I took a series of photos of one of our hostas. It has been attacked and has holes in leaves, but we have not been able to find the culprit!

Garden flowers in May

Whatever else has been going on in the world, plants have continued to grow. As April and May were unusually dry hubby used rainwater from our butts to prevent them drying out completely. Here are a few of our garden plants, which flowered in May. Elephant’s ear is Bergenia. There are a few varieties. One flowered in March and was over before May.

The clematis looks and smells wonderful. It is still flowering in June.

The hebe and honeysuckle were the first flowers on those plants in our garden. The aquilegia or columbine made its way into a poem in a challenge on Sue’s Trifles. Please scroll down on the linked page to find the photo and poem.