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  1. TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_26Regular readers will know we have spent a lot of time organising our garden in order to make it functional as a family but also somewhere where the children can explore and develop their love of wildlife. We've worked really hard to encourage wildlife into the garden from Charlie's many bird feeders to his wildlife pond (aka two old washing up bowls) and the girls Fairy Garden filled with wild flowers, juvenile tree cuttings, decorated stones and mushrooms.

    This year we decided to put our garden in for the Dorset Wildlife Trusts Wildlife Friendly Garden Competition and this Monday the team came to judge us. There is a list of criteria (see below) and your garden must cover at least 6 of these.

    wildlife garden criteria

    The judges assessed our garden looking at how much effort you put in to creating wildlife habitats and what we do to attract wildlife into the garden. We had already sent in a selection of photographs but with the sunny weather so much in the garden had already changed. The veggie patch and sweetpeas are in bloom, the boys trimmed the willow and repotted the cuttings and Charlie planted some seeds.

    The children were sadly at school during our alloted judging period and not trusting Daddy Moo and I to ensure everything was mentioned they wrote the judges a letter (which I forgot to take a photo of before the judges took it home with them but it detailed everything that have worked on).

    dorset wildlife trust

    So the hard work is done the judges have been and now we need to wait until July 19th to find out if we have won. Whatever the outcome I'm super proud of the children and I'm quite proud of us parents too. It can be easy to say no to children because something is time consuming, doesn't look pretty or doesn't fit with our scheme, but the joy a pile of logs, a bug book and a microscope brings the children it's a no brainer.

    If you are looking to add some wildlife friendly areas to your garden check out our previous blogs :

    30 days wild

  2. TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_25I might have mentioned before that Daddy Moo is a gardener and the children love developing our wildlife friendly garden. This year we have added the veggie patch too and can't wait to eat some of our own grown potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. But what I might not have mentioned is that Daddy Moo is keen on Bonsai. We have quite a collection of trees in our garden and at his yard, maples, willows, silver birch and pines. Whilst personally I don't always get the appeal or even think they are that attractive (or worth the stupid money the sell for!) they keep him happy and Daddy Moo's love has transferred onto Charlie. Charlie loves pruning trees and last year he cut down a load of willow branches, instead of disposing of them he placed them in empty milk cartons full of water, willows are super thirsty which is why you see them growing on the side of rivers and lakes. After a while buds started to appear and before you know it you have a twig full of roots.charlie willow forest

    Charlie planted some of his willow cuttings in a waterlogged tray and is trying to create a mini willow forest (Bonsai size).

    About Trees Kit :

    Charlie was keen to get his hands on a kit because he loves silver birches and the idea of growing one from seed really enthused him.About Trees Kit

    • Includes 24 tree identification cards showing the tree, leaf, fruit and bark, these are super cute and come on a handy silver ring so you can either pop them in your pocket or connect to your rucksack.

    • A tree height measure, this is a great piece of kit again small enough to stick in your pocket yet light enough to chuck in your rucksack. (If your child is anything like Charlie he can't go on a simple walk without a rucksack filled with books, insect collecting jars etc ...)

    • A real skeleton leaf with instructions on how to make your own, (which involves boiling water so needs adult supervision) can't wait to try this. The skeleton looks amazing under the Pocket Microscope

    • 3 different tree seeds with growing instructions and details of how every part of a tree is used commercially. Charlie has planted silver birch, alder and spruce.planting tree seeds

    Growing the seeds : 

    We've been using a propagator to get our seeds going. Will let you know how they turn out. Our neighbour has a maple tree which hangs into our garden and the maple seeds have a habit of self seeding in the girls fairy garden. Daddy Moo and Charlie gently move them into pots and trays to grow.

    I adore that Daddy Moo and Charlie have a hobby they can do together, they both know so much about trees. I also love that tree growing is so easy even for children. Will let you now how Charlie's trees do. The Flights of Fancy About Trees Kit retails at £12 from Green Board Game Co, Ltd.charlies trees

    Charlie was sent this kit in order to review.  

     

    30 days wild