At this time of the year many people will be thinking about placing nest boxes in their garden. As David Hall points out, there are several rules to follow if you are going to be successful in attracting birds to use them.
Can you discourage foxes from your house and garden? Nathan James Dodd provides advice and guidance on how to keep foxes in their natural habitat rather than your home.
Every so often a fox hits the headlines by gaining entry to a house and gets the nation talking about the merits of this beautiful but sometimes controversial animal.
Some say that foxes are a menace that needs to be controlled as they can live under sheds, make awful noises during the night, foul the lawn, dig up plants and turn over bins before eating the contents.
However, others blame humans for encouraging these animals to make the urban environment their home, by leaving out food and destroying hedgerows in the countryside where they normally live and forage.
There are several ways you can discourage foxes from coming on to your property by:
There are several products to deter foxes that can be obtained online or from a garden centre. One of the most popular products is Bayer Cat A Pult Animal Repellent. It works by confusing the animal's sense of taste and smell and is effective against cats, dogs and rabbits as well as foxes. Other products, including several cat repellents, can be seen here.
Recently we received an email from a customer in Glasgow who had purchased a highly detailed Vivid Arts life sized fox that she put in her garden. As a result the local fox was discouraged.
"...it is now in the garden in the pouring rain and looks SO!! realistic, so much so, that at lunch time our resident fox appeared and obviously thought it was real, he circled and arched his back at the ornamental fox, but was not brave enough to approach...". Dilys from Glasgow
Making cat, bird or other food unavailable to foxes will make a garden less attractive, and by using fertilizers that do not contain fish, bone or blood products will stop foxes from digging in flowerbeds or lawns in search of a non-existent carcass.
If there is a den under your shed, just soak some rags or straw with a deterrent such as Cat A Pult and loosely block all the holes, which are the entrances to the den.
Do not block the holes with bricks as this will prevent the female from getting to the cubs and they will starve to death. Each morning replace the rags and straw in the hole. Once the rags or straw have not been moved for a couple of days, there will be no foxes left under your shed and you can permanently block the holes.
Spring flowering bulbs brighten the garden from when snow is on the ground right through to the sunlit early summer. Here is David Hall's guide to achieving a marvellous display of colour to herald in the new year.
Although slightly disappointing at the moment, the summer may well heat up over August, and Dan Everton says this is a time when you must keep checking the health of your pond and aquatic plants.
As closely run as any Olympic event, Martyn Loach saw how the 2016 Shed Of The Year was won by the 'West Wing' Eco Shed, the perfect hideaway at the bottom of a Berkshire garden.
After the frenetic growth of spring and early summer you may feel like sitting back and enjoying a more restful August in the garden, but as always there are lots of jobs to be done as Nathan James Dodd explains.