Monday, 22 April 2013

The AirSpace Bird Yarden - The Final Stretch

There's still a bit more to do in the Yarden before launch day on May 4th.

Last week we offered members of Airspace the chance to choose the colur of the plant beds and seating. We offered four choices, Moss Green, Pale Blue, Terracotta and Black. In a close run race conducted under a first past the post, one meber one vote system,, terracotta and Yarden democracy won out.

And so, at the weekend, the planting bed, and seating area were duly painted in as near to terracotta as we could find - in truth it is more an AirSpace orange than a terracotta, but we think (hope) it will age darker, as you need sunglasses to look at it at the moment!

Right from the startof the design process, we identified the need and desire to have a mini-beasts wall or bug hotel! as a centre-piece for the Yarden, not only as an essential wildlife garden feature, but also to act as a screen dividing the yarden from the Gallery driveway.

In natural habitats there are endless nooks and crannies where mini-beasts, properly known as invertebrates, can shelter. Crevices in bark, holes in dead wood, piles of fallen leaves, gaps between rocks, hollow plant stems, spaces in dead logs – all these can provide a home for the myriad small creatures that need somewhere tonest or to escape from predators or bad weather. Established gardens can also provide lots of hiding places, but gardeners often like to tidy away the debris where invertebrates might live.

A surprisingly wide variety of invertebrates including nesting mason bees and leaf cutter bees, woodlice hiding from the sun – and woodlice spiders hunting woodlice, earwigs hiding their babies from predators, ladybirds and lacewings hibernating over winter, beetle larvae feeding on the dead wood, funnel web spiders spinning their traps and centipedes hunting down their prey.

Our Mini-beasts wall consisted of all of the left-over materials from the Yarden build, including rubble, bricks, discarded timber etc. To this we added some reclaimed ceramic tubes, the hay that our frangula Alnus was delivered in, some moss, and some bamboo canes which we hope will provide the perfect place for the odd solitary bee.

To finish the wall, we constructed a planter for our orange-berry rowan tree, and a picket gate.

That means, all that's left to do before May 4th, is to install the water feature, and the specially designed yarden gate, through which the public will get access to the Yarden. More details and pictures to follow.

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