Author Archives: wildlifegardening

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at www.wildlife-gardening.co.uk and her bird food company at www.JustAddBirds.co.uk

A butterfly’s nightmare…..

With the weather continuing to be wet and cold the wildlife in the garden here is struggling.  Butterflies in particular are few and far between and I am amazed that ringlets and meadow browns appear over the meadow at all.  … Continue reading

Posted in Butterflies, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Meadows, Wildflowers, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expect the unexpected………

Every garden has its daily wildlife – insects, birds or mammals that you tend to see on a regular, though seasonal, basis, and then the occasional more unusual visitor will pop up from time to time.  For me the thrill … Continue reading

Posted in British birds, Feeding Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, hawfinch, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When the sun shines……

After such an optimistic couple of weeks around the garden, the last week (and several to come it seems) have changed the mood.  Cold weather, wind and torrential rain have made life difficult for a lot of the garden wildlife, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beautiful by name, beautiful by nature……….

This is such an exciting time of year for our wildlife ponds.  Suddenly there are dragonflies and damselflies everywhere including a good number of Beautiful Demoiselles this year.  This graceful and colourful creature, with its transparent brown wings and bright … Continue reading

Posted in Dragonflies, Garden Wildlife, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unexpected visitor…..

Every time a new species of bird or butterfly appears here I quietly congratulate myself, even if technically it has nothing to do with how I have designed and maintained this garden!  Sometimes specific things do produce desired results – … Continue reading

Posted in British birds, Butterflies, Garden Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Learning curve…..

A trip to the beautiful county of Devon, and to several amazing gardens full of wildlife, has once again made me think about the differences between our gardens depending on location.  The wonderful garden at Coleton Fishacre on the south … Continue reading

Posted in British birds, Feeding Birds, Garden Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Spring on hold…..

The last week of March, a week of hot summery weather, was wonderful if a little on the odd side!  Gardening in jeans and a T shirt instead of a warm fleece reminded me of how nice it is to … Continue reading

Posted in British birds, Feeding Birds, Garden Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Meadows, Primroses, Wildflowers, Wildlife Gardening | 1 Comment

Happy Toads………

It will soon be six years since I moved to Shropshire and five since the ‘Big Pond’ was created in the new part of the garden.  Back in Oxfordshire our wildlife pond was mostly home to a huge population of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Back home to The Crib…..

The first bumblebees of spring are always a delight.  These queens have spent the harsh winter months under the ground, usually in a small chamber which they excavate in the autumn, and they are awoken by a rise in temperature.  … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Wildlife Gardening, winter gardening | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Iconic Spring Flowers…….

Although March can be a cold, windy month it can also dazzle us with spring light, birdsong and warmth – a real hint of things to come.  Plus of course we have the excitement of spring flowers bursting forth, and … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Primroses, Wildflowers, Wildlife Gardening | 1 Comment