The Wildlife In My Garden

Bumble bee on a buddleia in my garden

I’ve had three requests from my lovely readers to write a blog about my rather wild garden, so here it is. It will be primarily photos rather than writing, so I hope you won’t be disappointed. I’ve lived at my house in Essex in the UK for over thirty years. The railway runs across the bottom of the garden, and a river runs at the bottom of my road. I cannot get out into my garden now that I use a wheelchair because there is no access apart from on foot. Most of these photos were taken before the accident that left me with a disability and before I badly fractured my pelvis a few years ago. The garden is mainly grass in the middle but has dozens of wildflowers growing through it (some people may call them weeds, but I disagree). Nothing in it is cultivated. Everything has seeded itself naturally. These are just some of the wildflowers growing in the grass – daisies and buttercups, wild violets, forget-me-nots, orange hawkweed amongst some dandelions and a photo of a single buttercup.

At the back of my garden is a steep bank full of mature trees of various types. I have elm, ash, sycamore and others including hawthorn which has white flowers. There are also bluebells there in the very early spring.

At the side of the garden are some shrubs that have come under the fence from my neighbour’s garden, which I was delighted to see. These were (on the left) euphorbia, some unknown yellow flowers and green alkanet. There is also (on the right) a yellow forsythia bush, an elderberry shrub with black berries with which you can make delicious elderberry juice or wine and another unknown shrub with yellow/orange berries.

Finally, I have taken some shots of plants and trees triumphing over adversity. These are proof that nature will always find a way, whether it’s a wildflower growing through concrete or a tree that was once chopped down to near the base, which is now producing branches and leaves.

We must protect all these wildflowers and trees as they are essential to insects, butterflies and bees. Trees are being chopped down, and small creatures are now in decline in our world, and without them, humans (and many larger animals) will eventually be unable to survive. Nature without the human race would do very well, but humans cannot survive without nature.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed your time in my garden. I realise I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place in the UK, where there is an abundance of trees and plants to be seen. The pictures I’ve included in this post are just a few of them. I’d be pleased to hear your comments and perhaps, suggestions as to what else I could add to my garden. Thank you so much for reading and viewing my photos.

We could die, and nature would almost certainly be fine. ButΒ humans cannot survive without nature. Our culture, everything that makes us human, cannot survive without nature.

Harrison Ford

Author: Ellie Thompson

Writing my memoirs, musings, a little fiction and a lot of poetry as a way of exploring and making the most of my life ... ... Having had a break from writing my blog for more than three years, I decided to return to write my memoirs, some day-to-day observations, views and feelings. My passion is non-fiction poetry. I have a disability and use an electric powerchair called Alfie and let nothing get in the way of living life to the full. I believe that you can never do a kindness too soon and should give credit where credit is due. A smile or a kind word could make the difference between a good or bad day for a person - we never know what's going on for another soul. Those little things, perhaps, practised daily like a mantra, could mean so much to someone else. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading a little more about me. Please, make yourself at home here. You are very welcome. Ellie x 😊

42 thoughts on “The Wildlife In My Garden”

  1. I just replied to your comment on my blog. . Haha
    And received notification about this blog. πŸ˜›
    Lovely pics
    Love them, you have so many beautiful flowers. Your garden is colourful. My garden is only different shades of green.
    In the name of flowers, we have only lilies.

    1. Ha ha, I think our comments must have crossed with each other. I’m glad you like my garden. It is such a joy to me even though I can only see it from my window now. Take care 🌞

      1. I replied there and just then I got notification of this post. I was like I should have waited.
        Well imagine yourself in the middle of that beautiful garden.
        Best wishes

    1. Thanks, Granny. I am very lucky and I’m so grateful to have all this in my back garden. I would love to still be able to walk around out there, but I’m very fortunate that I have this view from my window. Xx 🌞🌷🌼🌹🌻

  2. Beautiful garden, just like what I imagined when you described it before. Wild gardens are a lot of times better than man made. I tried multiple times unsuccessfully to grow Forget- me- not? That’s the little blue flowers right? It just doesn’t grow or maybe seeds were bad. I know UK has beautiful landscaping, so much green and colorful flowers. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. I hope your day is not too bad .

    1. Thank you, J. You were one of the people who inspired me to write this post so I am thankful to you for your suggestion. Yes, the forget-me-nots are the tiny pale blue flowers. They grown everywhere in my garden although I don’t know why they haven’t been successful in your garden. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit to my garden. It’s very hot here today, 33C and it’s going to be even hotter later in the week! Phew. It’s almost too hot to move. I expect your temperatures are much hotter than ours out there in Florida. Take care xx 🌞🌷🌹🌼🌻

      1. You are correct about the weather here. It was unbearable at 8 am with 93% humidity. I mean the orchids love it but not me. July and August here are brutal, and I’m in N Florida. I love mountains so one day I hope to move away from here. I like the sunny days and palm trees and hummingbirds but there are also lots of snakes,.spiders and weird insects. I am lucky to live in a decent neighborhood on a little man made pond with lots of wildlife. I’m originally from RomΓ’nia so a little far from my native land. I’ve been here for over 20 years so I feel like home but not the weather πŸ˜„ too hot. I stay in most days during the summer, I am learning how to animate, I’ve always loved cartoons as a kid so I want to make my own one day. Who knows 😁

        1. The weather must be unbearable over there then. We have high humidity but not as high as yours is. It must be lovely to see hummingbirds although I think I’ll give the snakes and spiders a miss! I expect it would be lovely to move nearer the mountains. How did you end up in Florida all the way from Romania? It’s a long way from your natural home. Twenty years is a long time to be in America.

          I wouldn’t know where to start making a cartoon. It must be quite a skill. The library in town here is teaching children to do very simple animation. You should share some of your examples on your blog. I’d love to see them. Take care, J. X 🌞

  3. Ellie, your garden is an absolute wonderland. I am taking such joy in these photos. Not surprised a bit that such abundant life would gravitate toward the vicinity of your nurturing spirit! I especially love how you name the plants and flowers in the photos. My grandmother could do this so well, and I’ve always found great peace in being around someone who can. I also love your illumination of the hearty growth in the face of adversity. A brilliant reminder. So much love.

    1. Aww … thank you so much, Stacey. Your words are so kind and mean a lot to me. My dear Mum used to be able to name virtually anything that grew. Gardening was her passion right up to when she had her stroke. She needed her garden like other people need company. She was much happier out there than anywhere else. She had both wild and cultivated flowers. We used to have a pear tree in my childhood home, and where I am now, I used to have an apple tree. It died decades ago of some disease that I couldn’t get rid of. I never take for granted that I have such a plethora of wildlife so near to me.

      Triumph against adversity is one of those important phrases to me that have a lot of meaning. I like to think that, along with those trees and little plants surviving against all, so have I. I feel that since I first acquired my disability, I have fought every step of the way to become the person I am today – nothing special; just me. I feel very blessed in my life and hold dear every person and everything that I’m lucky enough to have around me. Much love to you also, Stacey. Xx πŸŒžπŸŒΉπŸŒΌπŸ’š

  4. Given the variety in your garden, I think you must have 5 acres, but I’m guessing that isn’t true. Good points on the importance of our personal spaces to the environment. Of the 7 mature trees on my property when I bought my house, four have died, two are distressed. I’m might be due to climate change or possibly the age of the trees, but my once very shady yard is now reasonably sunny.

    1. My garden is definitely a lot less that five acres. I think, without the bank of trees at the back, from the house to the end of the lawn, it measures about sixty feet. I did have more elm trees than I have now, but many of them died of Dutch Elm Disease which wiped out more than half of the elm trees in the UK. What a shame your trees died and two are poorly. I feel, very strongly, that climate change is responsible for this and a whole lot more. The temperature here today are just proof of that, too. It’s been 33C and will be over 35C by the weekend. It’s unbearable – we’re not used to it, although we’re going to have to learn to cope with it because the planet is gradually getting hotter and hotter. I could write a whole other post on that topic. My house was built in 1967 (before I moved here) and the trees were here a long, long time before that. Thanks for your comment, Jeff. Take care 🌳🌿🌴🌡🌞

  5. That does indeed look a lovely garden, Ellie. And we have trouble growing forget-me-nots as well – I think they just get swamped by lots of other things!

    1. Mick!! What a wonderful surprise to see you back again. You’ve been in my mind and thoughts a lot.

      I am very lucky indeed to have my garden. I have to confess I’d love to be able to get out there and walk around but, on the other hand, I’m very grateful that I have a lovely view to look out at. It’s strange about your forget-me-nots not seeming to want to grow for you. Mine just appeared out of the blue and have multiplied every year. I could ask my friend to dig up a clump for you to send your way, but I doubt they’d survive the journey.

      Great to see you again, Mick. You’ve made my day! Take care x πŸ€—

      1. Hi Ellie. Yes, back again. The break was quite important and although I’ve not come to any Earth-shattering conclusions it has helped me clear my mind a little about what I want to do with my blog. So there’ll probably be a post or two along fairly soon (like buses – you wait ages for one, and then…).

        We’ve planted forget-me-nots a couple of times and they just disappear under all the other plants. I guess it’s our own fault for letting them all get rather out of hand, but we rather like the overgrown look!

        Glad you seem to be doing okay. You take care, too.

    1. Thanks, Sam. Elderflower cordial is particularly delicious. You can buy it in Tescos but the homemade stuff is definitely better. I forgot to mention, in my post, that I also get animal life in my garden, foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, birds, and the odd Muntjac deer that come up from the woods down by the river at the bottom of my road. I am very lucky. Nature is truly wonderful. Xx 🌹🌼🌷🌻

    1. Thank you, Butterfly. It was fun to write although I had really frustrating issues getting the photos to upload onto my laptop. It took me a whole day to get it right! I felt it was worth the effort, though. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Xx 🌞🌹🌼🌞

  6. Beautiful photographs, Ellie! Loved how you included those wild ones thriving in unusual places too – they all deserve nurturing πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Tom. Thanks so much for stopping by at my blog. It’s much appreciated. Thank you for reading and enjoying my post. I think the flowers (and the one tree) that are triumphing against adversity are my very favourite plants. I agree wholeheartedly in that they all deserve to be cared for and loved for what they are. I’m the same with animals – I always go for the runts and the last in the litter. My cat, Peanut, who you can read about in previous posts of mine, was both the last of the litter of kittens that needed rescuing from a home where they weren’t being looked after properly and she was also the runt of the litter. She’s doing really well now and I love her to bits. Do you have any pets?

      I went over to your blog to see what you write about but had a problem reading your ‘about’ page as it seemed the black text was against a dark background so I couldn’t read it properly. Are you aware of this, or is there a magic trick to enable me to read it πŸ˜‰? I also couldn’t see a ‘like’ button either and I’m sure I will want to like some of your posts when I’ve read them. Thank you for looking into this for me. Take care. Ellie 😊

      1. Some lovely insights here, Ellie! Yes, I’ve changed the font so it’s clearer to read & kept the comments/likes for my separate stories rather than general pages. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Ann. It’s completely left to be wild apart from my garden man cutting the grass every 2-3 weeks. I’m not able to access it, so it’s just doing its own thing. Just how I like it. I noticed, this morning, that I’ve got a Buddleia growing out of my chimney post on the roof! I’ll have to get that seen to as it won’t be doing the bricks and mortar any good at all. There’s always expense with owning a house 🌞

  7. Wow you are so lucky to have such a beautiful space! I love wildflowers, I find them so much more relaxing than manicured gardens, and I love bees so anything that helps them out is a bonus! You’re so right that we keep on encroaching on nature’s territory.. Here I volunteered for the wildlife group and the sheer number of calls regarding animals in people’s homes (just looking for shelter because their trees are being chopped down at an alarming rate) was astonishing. And sad. Everytime I coaxed out a possum with a piece of banana I felt guilty on behalf of the human race.

    Maybe you could put a hive in your garden? Something easy to use and low maintenance like a flow hive, the one that just has a little tap? I’ll try to post the link here, not sure will it work..

    1. Thanks, Quinn. What a wonderful job you are doing. What the human race is doing to our precious and much-needed nature and wildlife is heartbreaking. I’ve never seen a possum and am never likely to, but my sister lives in Australia, just outside of Melbourne, so she is familiar with them, kangaroos and other species living there.

      Trees being chopped down, mainly in the name of infrastructure, is a real bugbear of mine. I’m a member of a local organisation that campaigns against such trees being needlessly ‘slaughtered’.

      Thanks so much for the link about beehives. I’ve taken a look at it, but I would find it impossible to get out into the garden to take care of it and make sure the bees are okay. Lovely idea, though. Thanks. Xx 🌞

  8. A beautiful garden! Is there any way of making it accessible for you? I don’t get out in mine as often as I would like, but I have put a nature camera in the garden so I can watch the birds and hedgehogs from afar.

    1. Hello. Thank you, and thank you for taking the time to read my post. It’s much appreciated. Unfortunately, short of paying for a large ramp to be installed, there is no way it can be adapted for wheelchair use. I would love to have a nature camera out there. May I ask where you got one of these, please? Do they have to be wired up to the house? I do get hedgehogs and foxes at night. I sometimes see them from my bedroom window. They can move a lot faster than I thought they could. I do get some birds, but my cat, Peanut, tends to chase them away. It’s a shame, but I guess it comes with owning a cat. Thanks again for visiting my blog 😊.

  9. Beautiful!!!! There are bees and butterflies all over our garden too. Now we have a resident hedgehog. She must really like it because she keeps coming back even though the dog barks at her.
    Your wild garden is very inviting!!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I’ve been putting out bowls of water and cat biscuit, too, for the hedgehogs in case there are any about. It hasn’t been touched yet, though. Hopefully, if I keep doing it, one little life will find it soon. I can only put the bowls just outside my back door as I can’t access the rest of the garden in my wheelchair. I don’t know if they’re too close to the house for the animals to come to. It’s so important to help our wildlife and especially in this heat. Not sure where you are, but it’s 42C today in the UK! X 😎

      1. I always feel it’s an honour when wildlife visits your garden, you know you did something right and it feels like nature is thanking you.
        Hopefully a little hedgehog will spot your offerings soon.
        I don’t think it’s too close, our hedgehog wanders along our terrace, even when our door is open and the TV is blaring.

        Good luck with the heat today. Stay well hydrated and remember to eat salty things too. We’re in southern Germany and we get hot summer days a lot. There’s talk about some areas going over 40C today, but I don’t think it will be us. Thankfully!
        The milk woman dropped off the milk yesterday and I asked her if she was doing OK in the heat and of she needed a bottle of water. The least I felt I could do when she’s braving the elements for me! We all need to look after each other.

  10. *zunzuncito: bee hummingbird. (you’ll understand)
    there was a program on Japanese TV the other day, that featured a lovely woman in UK whose garden is phenomenal in that it attracts all kind of wildlife. Kate Bradbury is her name. She mentioned being on instagram so I started following her there.
    She has wonderful photos:

    and shares generous photos and suggestions on what plants to include to attract what.
    She might be just the one to ask.
    Her profile:
    Kate Bradbury
    Wildlife gardener, writer, author πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ How to Create a Wildlife Pond:
    Why I mentionn this is because she might just be your neighbor there in London.
    she is mama to hedgehogs. You should see the photos she posts. I like them amd I’m sure you will too.
    as for your lovely post. Yellows and purples… My fave! Thanks, you’ve invited me to share, so I will:
    My Salvias Superba Merleau Blue ( I just looked it up).– this is what mine look like but they grow taller than in the pictures–
    But on second thought, they do have a scent I like, so perhaps they’re the anise scented Sage (still looking it up): black and purble blooms. lovely.
    anyway, they bloom but never all at the same time. I just love them. the ones that share a space with my blackeye susans are ready to bloom. And so are the susans. That will be a sight. I’ll take pictures.
    My fuschsia colored Myrtle are ready too. I noticed them today when I hung out the wash (it had been raining)
    I adored the photos and words you shared. So happy to know your yard. Thanks for sharing. Be well, my sweet. Stay cool. I wish you miracles.

    1. Oh, wow, Selma – what a lot of lovely information and advice. I appreciate it very much. Also lovely to hear about your garden and which plants or flowers are your favourites. I love Salvias, too, and also Black-Eyed Susans. I haven’t heard of flowers simply called Susans, though. What is the difference? Perhaps, I should google it.

      Thank you so much for the introduction to Kate Bradbury. I’ve followed her on Instagram although I rarely use it; just occasionally. I’ve also found and followed her on Twitter. You are quite right, she shares some wonderful photographs on both platforms. I love the fact that she’s so good with the hedgehogs, too. I love them and have been leaving out large saucers of water and food for them, especially in this last heatwave, but also in general as hedgehogs, like other forms of garden wildlife are becoming rarer and more threatened by man’s interferences to their habitats. It’s the same with bees; there is a huge decline in numbers, namely because of the pesticides that are still used by many farmers and gardeners alike. They should ban the use of such chemicals as our wildlife is so precious and crucial to the survival of the human race in the long run. Last night was the first night that I found all the hedgehog food gone which is wonderful. However, whether it was indeed the hedgehogs that ate it or rats or squirrels etc, I don’t know. Whichever it was, they all deserve a life in my opinion. Sorry, I’ve rather gone into a rant about the threats to nature – I am passionate about all wildlife as you know. Xxx 🐝🐞🌼🌷🌳❀

  11. The response I just sent has two links. Sometimes, WP filters responses like these as spam. So ifyou get this one but not the first one, please go to your spam folder and pull it out. I want you to know I responded. Be well. I bless you.

    1. Thank you, Selma. I received your first response and will respond very soon. I’ve been out for much of the day today. Nowhere special, just getting some fresh air after the last two days of intense heat over here. Xxx

    1. Thanks, Cherryl – I will do. How are you doing? I haven’t seen any of your posts for a while. Are you okay, or perhaps, you’re just busy like all of us. I’m overdue a post, but have been too absorbed by the unbearable heat to be able to concentrate on writing. Hope you didn’t find it too awful, too. Xx πŸ’–

  12. These are amazing pics, Ellie! The write up as well as your garden is gorgeous!

    You’re right! Humans can’t survive without Nature ❀

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