an image of a child generating power on a bicycle

Pedal Energy – 13th April, 2024

A beautiful, sunny day for our Spring Celebration. There’s plenty of cakes, pizza, and drinks. We have done away with plastic cups, using washable ceramic, and today washable plates too. This takes more work to wash them each time, which is why throwaway cups and plates are so popular, but we must green our lives if we are to evade …

picture of a pregnant frog in the pond

Pregnant Frog

Along with a couple of garden visitors, I was looking at a stationary adult frog in the pond. Hey – said a woman, there’s an extra pair of legs, one frog is on top of another. What had seemed a single frog was in fact a breeding pair. Prior to fertilisation, the male gets on the back of the female, …

image of a squirrel

Sparrows – 4th Feb, 2024

Before the red squirrel became rare, it was regarded by hunters and farmers as vermin. They ate the seeds in the fields and grouse-feed too. And much less well known, they added to their diet with birds eggs and chicks, Game keepers shot and trapped the cuties. The grey squirrel was introduced from the US by Thomas Brocklhurst, a rich …

image of sparrows at a bird feeder

Sparrows – 28th January, 2024

On Sunday 28 January, we did the Big Garden Birdwatch. For one hour, over this weekend, the public is asked to spend an hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, and then send their results to the RSPB. We chose the hour between 11am and 12 noon on the Sunday morning. With 1 in …

image of Acanthusigloo

Acanthusigloo – 13th Jan 2024

2024 came in with rainy days that soon ceased, and the temperature dropped. The cold days have kept the garden quiet, but the low temperature is no bad thing. Frost kills bugs, such as greenfly, who would otherwise survive the winter and reproduce in greater numbers in the spring. Daffodils and our apple trees need a period of cold weather. …

an image of a wooden christmas tree behind a fence

Festival Countdown – Sunday 31st Dec, 2023

On Christmas Eve we had our last event of the year. A children’s event with a search game round the garden and art too, with Santa Claus in the book shed. Grown ups were invited too, for hot chocolate or tea, mince pies and biscuits, and a natter. It was also the culmination of Forest Gate Festive Countdown. Local residents …

Forest Voices – Saturday 16th December, 2023

It’s not quite the end of the year, but all the signs are there. Short days, bare trees, and few birds. Today, we have our mince pies, mulled wine and carols from Forest Voices who have grown in number from last time I heard them. Their volume swells through the garden with old carols and pops. We have a good …

Temperature – Sunday 10th December, 2023

It’s wet and its cold. We swaddle up to keep the heat in. We tell each other it is close to zero. That is the Celsius scale, formally known as Centigrade. The scale was invented by the Swedish Astronomer, Anders Celsius in 1742. 0ºC is the freezing point of water and 100ºC its boiling point. These keys points crop up …

image of vine leaves

Vine Leaves – Sunday 12th November, 2023

Another wet November day. Chilly but not yet cold enough to deter mushrooms. On the limit though, perhaps the ground is holding a little heat, as in a walk in Epping Forest yesterday, I saw more mushrooms than I’d ever seen in the forest before, growing on the ground, on decaying stumps, and growing off trees. Few visitors today. It …

Our Frog – 29th October, 2023

Sunday was our Welcoming Winter celebration. It came in with a blast of rain over most of the day. We put up three gazebos, one for the children’s area, one for the musicians and another for their audience. The food tables were under our pergola, which is sizeable and close enough for the music to be heard. Our musicians were …