On the weekend of 30 – 31 January it will be your chance to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. David Hall was one of half a million people who took part last year, recording a vital snapshot of nature in the UK.
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.
Whether you believe that roses are named after Eros, the god of love or that they are red due to the blood shed by Aphrodite when her lover Adonis was killed, they are intimately linked to St Valentine's Day according to Nathan James Dodd.
With the arrival of 'Storm Imogen', many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite can help you with making a claim for damaged garden structures such as sheds, greenhouses and fencing.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and Spring is just around the corner. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Dan Everton helps you look after your pond during the February with some tips on the precautions you can take to avoid the water freezing over, and advice on keeping fish at this time of the year.