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Climate Emergency: Bovey and Heathfield - wildlife gardening advice for January

Tue 11 Feb 2020

Cold winds, frost & heavy rain can often make it seem like there is nothing to be done in the garden but there can be a hint of optimism in the air as the days begin to lengthen. Food can be in short supply and keeping an active supply of bird feed can literally be a life-saver for birds struggling to keep up fat reserves in the winter.

Scent can be a bonus of winter – Saracocca (Christmas Box); Daphne; and Hamamelis (Witchhazel), are all winter gems, and will pour out fragrance, carried on the cold air. Seeing insects on winter flowering plants will give you a real sense of achievement, not only are they hibernating in your garden but by providing winter food they stand a much higher chance of surviving to breed next season.

Don’t forget to recycle that Christmas tree, chopping off the branches, logging the trunk and artistically arranging in a quiet corner can make a cosy spot for bugs, beetles and small mammals.

It’s a time to admire the silhouettes, bare branches and the textures of bark and enjoy this gentler, reflective time of year. Maybe a time to think differently about your garden and view it as a dynamic, living eco-system. Nature is a wise teacher, and by observing its patterns and working in harmony with it, we can minimise any negative effects on the world around us.

Follow CEBH on Facebook for more detailed monthly advice on climate friendly gardening or take advantage of their free site visits offered monthly – general horticulture-based advice, ideas and inspiration. Contact Dartmoorgardens@hotmail.com to arrange these or for answers to any of your garden related queries.

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