Sefton Park in Liverpool

Sefton Park, Liverpool 2013

I was looking through some photos with a friend tonight when I spotted these photos that I took when me and Michelle went to feed the ducks in Sefton Park in Liverpool. We love it at Sefton Park, it’s such a lovely place to go for a wander after work or on a sunny Saturday afternoon 🙂

Sefton Park was opened on 20th May 1872 by Prince Arthur. He dedicated it “for the health and enjoyment of the townspeople”. I hadn’t realised that it will be 144 years old next month!

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Helping bees in our garden

Our garden is, admittedly, a bit of a wild garden. I like the fact that it’s a bit crazy because we constantly have insects buzzing around and I love being out there. They don’t even care that you’re there so you can literally spend hours watching them.

I was out there today and I noticed a bee who looked like it was on its last legs. I learnt years ago that you can revive bees with sugar water, so I rushed inside and got some sugary water on a teaspoon and rushed back outside. I got the bee onto the back of my left hand while I held the teaspoon in my right hand, and I offered the teaspoon to the bee. Success! It drank from the spoon and then flew off! I then noticed another bedraggled bee, so I did the same thing and success again! The bee drank and flew off.

I had a look online to see if there was any way that I could make a more permanent ‘sugar station’ and I found a great idea on the RSPB website: “Simply mixing around two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and placing the mix in a small container like an egg cup among bees’ favourite flowers, will provide them with energy at this busy time.”

So, that’s what we did! I made the mixture up and filled 4 eggcups (though my advice would be to wait until your eggcups are in situ, as I ended up with sugar water all over my hands when I was moving the eggcups!).

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We took old thermos flasks and placed a garden cane in them. I then used pieces of broken terracotta pot and stones to fill the flasks and make the canes stable. You could use gravel, soil or marbles, we simply used what we had handy at the time.

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We then secured the egg cups around the canes using elastic bands.

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We then placed the canes amongst the flowers as little feeding stations 🙂

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As you can see, we do have various bee and butterfly visitors, and I am so happy that we could help them in such a simple way 🙂

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Lily-watch: the update

I recently blogged about the lillies in my garden starting to bloom and I realised that I hadn’t followed up with photos of them since they have bloomed: so here they are! I haven’t measured them, but they are fairly large. We even have a baby stalk which grew late on and hasn’t flowered yet, bless!

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We also have rose bushes in our garden and I took this shot at the same time 🙂

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I think the sun was too bright for my phone to take bright pictures, hence the “dull” appearance, but I think you’ll agree that the flowers look lovely anyway 🙂

Lily-watch

Each year, beautiful white lillies grow in a long tub in our garden. They were planted by my late father-in-law over 10 years ago, and have flowered every year since. As soon as I see them starting to grow through the soil, I keep a vigilant eye on them, as lily beetles (as pretty as they are), have in the past killed off lily flowers before they’ve even had the chance to grow. I’ve tried looking up online what the point of lily beetles are, and I can’t find any positive reason for them. They seem to exist simply to kill off the lillies, which makes no sense to me at all!

I’ve been reading online about lillies (as, before I moved in with Michael in 2009, I really didn’t know much about flowers) and apparently, lily flower stems can grow up to 2 metres (6ft 7in) high, though typically grow up to 1.2 metres (3ft 11in) high. Once ours have fully grown all of their stems, I’ll measure them, but so far they are quite high already.

Lily buds and Willow tree

Lily bulbs and Sky 1

Lily bulbs and Sky 2

National Wildflower Centre in Knowsley

Recently, me and Michael went to the National Wildflower Centre in Knowsley. It’s such a lovely place to visit, and we’re so lucky to live so near it. This is from their website:

The National Wildflower Centre is a seasonal eco-visitor attraction in Knowsley – You’ll find us 5 miles (8 km) from Liverpool city centre. We showcase our natural wildflower heritage and inspire you to create new wildflower landscapes wherever you live. Our seasonal nature displays and creative community projects raise awareness about the importance of wildflowers, and encourage people to learn about creative conservation.

All the money we raise at the Centre is put back into our creative conservation founding charity Landlife. We particularly work with people with poor access in their communities to our natural environment. Just by visiting us, you can be sure you are making a valuable contribution. We are working in close partnership with Knowsley Council ‘The Wildflower Borough’, making new landscapes for communities.

Landlife’s trading enterprise Landlife Wildflowers also grows and sells native wildflower seeds, grown on its own farm. To buy online visit Landlife Wildflowers. All proceeds from the sale of goods online also support creative conservation.

We’re a creative bunch of people – And welcoming with it! Our Centre is a mix of refurbished old buildings and new architecture that look back to our conservation past – and project positive action for now and into the future. We have a lovely Cornflower Cafe, Shop and Conference venue too, amongst historical courtyards and a former walled garden space with seasonal displays.”

It really is worth visiting, and we’ll be going again soon 🙂

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National Wildflower Centre
Court Hey Park
Roby Road
Knowsley
Liverpool

L16 3NA

A great way to recycle your Halloween pumpkin

I know that Halloween has long passed now and that Christmas is homing into view, but I figured it was still worth sharing this from Twitter. I hadn’t really thought about how to recycle my Halloween pumpkin, (though to be fair this year mine went to a cubs, beavers and scouts Halloween party so I’ve no idea where it ended up!) but next year I will definitely recycle it by making it into a bird feeder 🙂