from The Round Hill Reporter December 2002
Jan Curry on her award-winning garden
The garden looks pretty awful - a neck-breakingly dangerous muddy path leads past the seemingly lifeless pond covered in thin ice, through the shrubs hung with a few brown and withered leaves, towards the bedraggled hens and empty vegetable patches.
Winter is here and this is the National Wild Life Garden of the Year—it has looked better! Roll on the Spring! Having said that, there are still berries on some of the shrubs and the winter-flowering cherry tree is in full bloom—what a sight in mid winter.
Two jays and a magpie (not the kindest of birds but beautiful to look at) joined the throng of visitors at the bird tables this morning. Sparrows are bathing in the bird baths (even on this, the coldest of days).
Last winter there were only five regular sparrow visitors to this garden; this year there are a dozen. Nationally their numbers have plummeted, so we are fortunate. Who would ever have thought that the London ‘sparrer’ would be considered ‘at risk’ in many areas of Britain?
A robin sits on a branch so close to where I am standing, I could touch him. Unlike most birds at this time of year, he is singing his heart out. No sign of the frogs, toads, lizards, newts, slow worms and hedgehogs. They will keep their heads down until spring.
A couple of squirrels, however, have decided not to hibernate and they visit the garden regularly.
Fun to watch, but I am glad they are not permanent residents because they will clear a bird table or peanut holder in a couple of minutes.
Thank you to all our neighbours and friends, who encouraged us to enter the Wild Life Trusts of Great Britain competition and who, I know, also provide food, shelter and water for the birds and creatures living in our back garden nature reserves, making the Round Hill such an interesting place to be.