Archive of posts from April 2009

Building a Testudarium – stage 3

Following on from stage 1 and stage 2 of the Testudarium project, I’ve now completed all the brick work and have two distinct enclosures with completed walls. Inside: Outside: Obviously I’ve still got a fair amount of work still to do. For example both enclosures need mesh covers and I’ve also got to build a door so Hermes can go in and out. Should be fun though. Read on

D,E,F – Damselfly, Eft and flowers

Whilst working on stage 2 of the testudarium today I had plenty of time to look out for interesting things in the garden. The first things I spotted was the first damselfly of the year. This is a Large Red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), it was probably a female and had only recently emerged from the pond as it was rather reluctant to fly (which meant photographing it wasn’t too tricky): Whilst clearing a bit of... Read on

Building a Testudarium – stage 2

Having already started building the outside section of a testudarium for Hermes I thought I’d focus on building the inside section today. We’ve quite a few old bricks in the garden so I’ve decided to use these for the remaining walls of the testudarium. Obviously from a recycling perspective it’s great to reuse bricks and they also have a rustic appearance. The downside of using old bricks is that you need to spend lots of... Read on

First Rose chafer of the year

I was doing a bit of weeding today and unearthed a Rose chafer (Cetonia aurata). Our garden attracts quite a few Rose chafers each year and we often have the grubs in the garden too. I assume this adult had developed in the garden as a grub and then pupated underground before being unearthed prematurely by me. Read on

Shelled-slug blows bubbles

Whilst building the Testudarium I found one of my favourite slugs, Testacella maugei. This is one of the shelled-slugs (you can see the shell in the picture) and they are carnivores preying on earthworms and other slugs. I moved the slug out of harm’s way but it then blew a large quantity of mucous bubbles at me – which seemed worthy of a photograph: I also found this fantastic slow worm (Anguis fragilis) which I... Read on

Building a Testudarium – stage 1

I’ve started work on a Testudarium for Hermes. This will comprise an outdoor area and be connected to the greenhouse. Inside the greenhouse I’ll build an enclosure and Hermes will be able to move between the two via a small swing-door. The plan is for Hermes to be outside for most of the summer and he’ll be able to go in to the greenhouse at night or if it rains. Stage one of the Testudarium... Read on

Bird bonanza

The garden is slowly coming to life after a rather cold winter. Encouragingly we’ve had a lot more birds in the garden recently. In fact, just now, we had four species at the same time: Dunnock (Prunella modularis) Collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) It may not seem like much for those who live in the countryside but for a city garden that used to be very barren I think... Read on

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policy…. if you want some really attractive early flowers that is. We’ve got both pink and white Honesty (Lunaria annua) growing and flowering in the wildflower meadow as this photograph just about shows: We’ve also got lots of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) growing under the plumb tree and I’m hoping it will attract Orange-tip butterflies (Anthocharis cardamines) as I’ve seen them in the garden before. Read on