Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Interesting Creepy Crawlies & Some Extra Space

Another Day for Shorts, T-shirts and Factor 50

For those of you who have followed the Frugaldom story over the past few years, you'll know that space has always been at a premium while we rented an assortment of cheaper properties while pursuing the goal of saving to buy a place to call home.

Where we are now is ideal. It has a long, walled patch of land, plenty of space for the feathered friends and a stream running through the bottom of the garden. But what amazes me the most (I'm incredulous, if truth be told) is the huge difference in climates between here and the previous house, less than 20 miles away.

I do realise that many parts of the UK are currently being bathed in scorching sunshine, but Scotland isn't particularly prone to extended periods of blistering heat: the novelty of photographing the thermometer by the back door, which isn't in direct sunlight, hasn't worn off, yet.

So here we are, stewing in 28C without knowing what the temperature is in the exposed part of the garden, not a breath of wind and a sky so blue that it looks like a well painted ceiling. The house has an easterly aspect to the front, so gets plenty of sunshine from just after dawn until early afternoon. I have a couple of pots and window boxes out there, but have been quite reserved in creating anything more, as the house sits right on the main street with no garden to speak of. Or so I thought...

Today I mustered up the courage to phone the council and roads department to clarify the situation and have now had the call back to confirm that we DO own the front patch of land that stretches the width of the house out to the main road.

This is BRILLIANT news! We now have another 28 (or thereabouts) square metres of space to call our own. This provides quite a large area for transforming into a potted garden - pots, planters and troughs - and maybe even some trellis for honeysuckle or climbing roses. (We could use part of it for off road parking, but that's not an option I want to take.)

This 'new' garden. actually goes out a bit further than can be seen here, but I couldn't be bothered moving the car to take a wider angled photo. :) Now another challenge begins - to create something worth looking at on a budget of not a lot. I've already got the seats and a couple more planters at the door and I now have all sorts of plans for creating a much more garden-like look. But I'll be needing some bulbs for all the planters I'm thinking of moving there soon. I could probably grow some edible stuff in this extra frugal space.

Our 'tropical' weather seems to bring out all sorts of creepy crawlies. There are plenty of lizards that sunbathe on the walls and fences and we've all moved away from the assortment of bees and biting 'things', but the arrival of the woodwasp that decided to hang around the back garden for a bit sent everyone running for cover, even the cat! These things are HUGE! At first we thought it was a giant wasp of the nasty, aggressive type but a quick search on Google confirmed its identity as a wood wasp.

Today's flying visitor was some sort of dragon fly. It's been hovering around the garden for the past day or two, looking like a remote controlled micro-helicopter! I haven't got too close to it but it looks to be about 7cm (ish) in length. If anyone knows what type of crittur this is, please let me know.

There have been several different dragon flies around, some of the blue ones, red ones and now this monster. It seems to like sunbathing on the garden wall but I'm wondering if us having dug the pond will encourage anything more 'exotic' into the garden.

The heron has been back for another look in the pond, must be hoping we stock it with fish! There have beem no further problems with the hawk since we relocated the quail from their outdoor run and, so far, the foxes have stayed on the other side of the wall, or else across the road in the field.

This morning, I reintroduced a couple of the male quail to the females - one male to 3 females. This should ensure I have a few fertile eggs for going into the incubator next weekend. There are already eggs incubating, but these were just what was collected from the hens when they got brought inside from their run. None of the eggs were weighed or candled, it's too difficult to see through their dark, mottled shells. I'm not expecting too many (if any) to hatch, but it would be nice to get a few.

Project Quail has well and truly begun. The new egg boxes have arrived, so the labels now need to be designed and printed for future use. I'm hoping to have this all up and running within the next couple of months, when I'll be able to offer surplus quail eggs for sale in the hope that the project becomes self-sustaining. If anyone is interested in buying fertile eggs, let me know and I'll list them in the Frugaldom store on eBid. Planning on selling them at £1.95 per dozen (plus p&p).

Well, that's about all the news for now - I'm popping back out to get more weeding done at the front, as I'm determined to clear out the ancient cobbled gully. There are a couple of tiny pansies (are they?) growing through, so I'll rescue them before hauling out the rest of the grass and weeds.

Daily updates are posted in the Frugaldom Forum, HERE. All comments welcome here and please feel free to make some suggestions for the frugaldom front patch.

Please correct me if I have the wrong names for any of the wild birds, flowers or creepy crawlies I write about - it's mainly guesswork.


  1. ooh fab news on the land at the fron to of the house, I will be over to frugaldom forum this week to catch up

  2. I think those little flowers are violas not pansies, the flowers look a lot smaller than a pansy.

    I put some in a trough in the spring and they have gone mad, such pretty little flowers and they will seed just the same as Pansies.

  3. I have a few violas like yours, and they are self-seeding - they come up every year and I just love 'em! Free flowers!

  4. Violas, they are - micropansies. :)

    I lifted 3 plants and now have them in one of the window boxes beside the nasturtiums. It would be nice if they continued to grow.

    After a bit of searching, I found photos of a 'golden ringed' dragonfly, so I think that's what we have in the garden. I suppose the pond will attract all sorts of creatures once it's completed but I really need some plantlife about it to make it look more natural.


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