The garden is becoming a little nature reserve

SOUTHSEA GREEN: With Irene Strange

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As I contemplate whether or not to pick my solitary pumpkin, I can seek solace in the fact that at least all the leaves that are falling continuously from the horrendous sycamore are actually providing a haven for bugs and creepy crawlies.

I’m happy to share the garden with spiders and insects and they provide a tasty and nutritious snack for the birds that visit.

For a while now I’ve had some bird feeders hanging up on a pole. Over the months they’ve been welcomed by blue tits, great tits, starlings and the occasional goldfinch.

Unfortunately the pigeons and squirrels took more than their fair share so I purchased, at great expense, some special feeders that promised to deter these larger visitors.

Maybe the small garden birds that visit my garden are not the brightest, but for some reason they have failed to figure out how to access the suet pellets and seeds.

All they have to do is pop through a wide ‘guard’ and help themselves. But no, they flutter up, look confused, then fly back to the tree.

So I have reluctantly set up some regular feeders, dangling from gardening string, from the sycamore, and they seem much happier.

The robin is happy to pick at any fallen seeds as well as rummage around the leaves for grubs, and the pigeons continue to munch on the brassica leaves. A steady supply of fresh water for them all, and the garden has become a nature reserve – with a pumpkin as centrepiece.