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July 2017

Creating a wildlife Garden

Plant a large variety of trees, shrubs and grasses for the seed eaters. Choose trees and shrubs that will provide fruit, seed and flowers for the nectar lovers. The trees will provide protection from predators. The leafy canopy provides cover from the sun, wind and rain. Put up bird feeders, nesting logs, an owl house and bat boxes. Don't forget to provide water. Don't use pesticides and plant with organic compost. Mulch is important. A pile of old tree logs will provide a great home and feast for the insects as well as the insect eating birds.

How to keep the frogs in your garden happy

Frogs are an asset in the garden as they eat insects and mosquitoes. Make sure that you provide a pond and a wetland . The more secluded the better and keep dogs away. Provide some shelter for the frogs. Take a flower pot and put it on its side as this makes a wonderful home for frogs. Don't use pesticides and stick to organic fertilizer.

Creating an owl friendly garden

There are different owl boxes for various owls. The Barnowl prefers a closed owl box with an oval entrance hole whereas the spotted eagle owls like an open sided owl box. Do provide them with water and tall trees where they can roost as well as use them as a lookout point to search for food. Owls enjoy rats and mice so don't put out any poison to kill them. If you hear the owl at night you will know that you are privileged as your garden has passed the test!

getting rid of ants in your home or patio

1. Soak cottonwool buds in half a teaspoon of cinnamon oil in 1 cup of water. These can then be used to wipe down counters or left in corners where the ants have moved in. 2. Half a cup of vinegar mixed with half a cup of water is used to spray affected areas. 3. A few drops of lemon, peppermint or Tea Tree essential oil is added to a spray bottle of water. The ants don't like the strong smell. 4. Take chalk and draw a line across their entrance. 5. Rock dust, food grade Diatomaceus earth sprinkled will also deter ants as they don't like walking thorough it or chalk.

Dragon flies in the garden

It's wonderful to have a pond and bog garden to attract dragon flies as they are beautiful to watch and they eat mosquitoes. The pond needs to be at least 50 cm deep and would need some tall plants that they will use as a perch. The bog garden would need a damp, muddy area where the females will lay their eggs. They are sensitive to air pollution and poisons, so don't use insecticides. Make sure that you have a bench nearby so that you can sit and watch these beautiful creatures.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

This is an audio book written by Florence Williams. "For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature's positive effects on the brain.

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Ranchers Are Tending the Soil to Reverse Global Warming

This is an audio book by kristin Ohlson. "Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet.

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

This is an audio book by Thor Hanson. "We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies, and civilisations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and the humble peppercorn drove the Age of Discovery, so did coffee beans help fuel the Enlightenment and cottonseed help spark the Industrial Revolution. And from the fall of Rome to the Arab Spring, the fate of nations continues to hinge on the seeds of a Middle Eastern grass known as wheat.

The Reason for Flowers:Their history, culture, biology and dhow they change our lives.

This is another audio book, written by Stephen Buchmann. " Flowers and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. Flowers are used to celebrate all occasions, to express love and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy 10 million flowers a day, and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth 30 billion dollars annually. Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the role that flowers play in the production of our food, spices, medicines and perfumes while simultaneously bringing joy and health."

The Hidden Life of Trees

I've just finished listening to a fascinating Audible book. The Hidden Life of Trees, what they feel, How they communicate - discoveries from a secret world. By Peter Wohlleben. " How do trees live? Do they feel pain or have awareness of their surroundings? Research is now suggesting trees are capable of much more than we have ever known. The author puts groundbreaking scientific discoveries into a language everyone can understand". Look out for it.
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