Even without Summer you can get the children involved
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
The time for playing outdoors has passed as the cold weather increases. But there are plenty of ways to get the children involved and busy in the garden. One of the best is to keep the birds happy!
A bird cake is quick and easy to make. For this you will need bird seed, lard, grated cheese and raisins. Also a mixing bowl, yoghurt pots, string and scissors.
Let the lard warm to room temperature, cut into small pieces and place in mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients and knead together until it resembles cake mix. Take the yoghurt pot and pierce the bottom to thread string through and tie a knot inside. Leave the string long enough to be able to attach to bird table or tree. Then fill the pot with the mixture and place in the fridge for approx 1 hour to set.
Bird feeders can be quite expensive but you can make your own. For this you will need plastic drink bottles,scissors,string and bird seed.
Wage war on slugs and snails that love to munch on tulips and young shots. Use pet friendly slug pellets, pot bands or liquid slug killer, especially around hosta. Pick of snails. Birds will enjoy eating them so place flat stones in the garden for them to hone their skills.
Make new borders and flower beds if required, plant out sweet peas, clean and repair garden tools. Fences and wooden furniture can be treated with preservative.
Log pile in garden. Look after wildlife in the garden. Keep the birdbath topped up with clean water and use bird feeders or a bird table for food. Do not place on the ground as this will attract vermin. Hang up a bee nesting box and replace worn bird boxes. Use logs, rocks and twigs to create a shelter. Plant seeds, annals and perennial plants that will attract insects and butterflies.
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