Once surfing on the internet I read in a blog that gardening isn't a hobby, but an obsession. I couldn't agree more.
I became a garden enthusiast after the purchase of our first house. The previous owner was a gardener and he had made the most out of a tiny garden. That was inspiring!
In my actual house I'm constantly improving the garden design, adding new color and texture combinations and planning how I want the garden to look like on the following year. I normally add annuals and bulbs to my borders, so I can enjoy a long and colorful display during Spring and Summer. In addition I love taking pictures of the flowers, the colors and the birds.
Last update: 16-Apr-2014
Photos of the garden throughout the year
Even during thte Winter they bring life to the garden. The birds here in Northern Europe are very pretty and so different from the ones I was used to see in Southern Brazil. What I find most interesting is that birds here won't eat a banana. Place a banana for the birds in Brazil and it will be gone in the blink of an eye.
These are the most common birds in my garden:
Summer 2011, on my last vacation day, I saw a couple of birds on the lawn I couldn't really recognize. I managed to take a few pictures and I have now checked several bird databases, but haven't been able to find their species or genre for that matter. My guess is that they are some kind of starling (Sturnus vulgaris), but I'm not sure.
Summer 2010, a black bird decided to build its nest inside our shed. We usually hang our garden brush upside down, and apparently the bird thought the top of the broom was the best and most stable place for a nest. And that nest appeared overnight. I remember using the broom one day and on the next day the nest was there and the bird was already sitting on eggs. Impressive.
During Summertime we go to the shed several times a day and in the beggining the female bird got distressed with our presence and flew away cursing us. But a few days later she kinda got used to our constant presence.
She incubated the eggs for two weeks and after that we could see 3 open beaks waiting for food. After 1 additional week those 3 small beaks became three really large ones. The male bird fed the nestlings all alone. I've read that sometimes the female goes on and build a second nest in the season with a different male.
On the day the young birds were ready to leave the nest it was a Saturday and I was at home. I set two video cameras on an improvised table in the shed and got some good short videos of the feeding and droppings removal process. Later that day I went back to the shed and for my surprise there was only one bird left in the nest. The other two were making a mess.
Getting the birds out of there was torture. I left the door open but they had problems climbing the tall door step. I even wondered why on earth they were born with wings, if they did not use them! On top of that the cats of the neighbor were coming by all the time and tried to get in the shed. At one point one bird managed to climb the door step. It got out, took a good look at the surroundings and came running back into the shed and stopped right beside me. I had the camera in my hands and managed to get this on video.
Some minutes later I noticed that one bird got stuck between the lawnmower and some wooden boards and was screaming non-stop. How did it even get in there?
Very slowly I pulled the mower backwards, at the same time I could hear was bird shouts coming from the garden. It was the male black bird that was calling the chicks. All young birds were screaming in response. The one bird still in the nest was looking and screaming furiously at me, maybe concerned I was going to hurt his brother with the lawnmower? It was complete madness. When I finaly manage to free the bird that was trapped, I feel something flying over my head. It was the last guy from the nest. He got down over my head onto the improvised table supporting the video camera. Yes, the camera taped this first flight.
Now that all birds were down on the floor, either hiding under the shelves or flying at the tools, I left the shed as I thought my presence was disturbing them. From outside I could hear that whenever the male bird called the chicks answered and there was movement, but no birds were coming out through the open door. About 30 minutes later I got inside again to see how bad the damage was and if things were all covered in droppings. Then I could see why the birds were not coming out. They were positioned in a dead corner too close to the door step. Even though you have wings you still need some room to get thrust, right? So I had this crazy idea: lift the birds using my kneeling pad. And it was what I did. I placed it on the floor, let one bird at at time climb the pad and then I gave them a boost. Insane, I know, but it solved the problem. Next year I won't let birds build nests inside the shed. Too much trouble.
We live in the country side and our garden receives some rather unusual visitors: red squirrels, frogs, seaguls, hawks and even a pheasant has been here a few times.
One of my encounters with a red squirrel scared the bejesus out of me. I was in the backyard looking around, trying to get inspired when I saw the squirrel crossing the street and coming in my direction. It climbed on the fence and got through it passing between the wooden boards and then it came to a halt right in front of me. I thought it had seen me, but apparently it didn't. Suddenly it runs in my direction and it looked like as if it was getting ready to climb me. I almost panicked. Can you imagine those sharp claws on my bare legs? I moved backwards a little and this movement made the squirrel aware of my presence. Then it jumped on the closest shrub and ran out of sight. And I thought squirrels were very alert. Gosh, what a shock.
The neighbor's cats also like to stroll around the garden. I'm not fond of cats and I think it's a nuisance that they leave their droppings here and sometimes they don't even bother to dig it. Besides they disturb the birds. I try to shoo the cats away by chasing them. This technique works somewhat fine on older, lazy cats, but younger kittens seemed to think I am being playful. So they kept coming to pay me a visit whenever they saw me in the garden. Since I couldn't beat them then I joined them, and for some time they came here for petting. But this was four years ago. Now they are fat and lazy and I'm back to my old technique.