Sunday, 30 June 2019

Water for all the creatures in the garden


Life throughout the garden is very diverse so when it comes to providing water I use a variety of systems. All systems need to be in a shaded area where water can be easily accessed.

Auto fill using a plastic bowl.
The best birdbaths are those that automatically fill as evaporation rates are very high in summer. I have several around the gardens and also in the orchards. These are fitted with a float valve connected to a water supply. Just drill a hole to fit the float valve I have used terracotta, ceramic and plastic for these.
terracotta auto fill birdbath

Auto fill bird bath in the orchard with shade to keep the water cool.
The geese, chooks and dogs all are in the gardens at some time each day. Their water containers are simple, usually large cooking utensils minim of 10 litres just placed on the ground that is easily accessed and close to a tap for refilling.
There are some simple bird/insect baths that consist of a bowl usually sitting on a frame so as they cannot be accessed by the poultry and dogs. This one is a ceramic bowl on a frame used to hold a garden pot. It has a rock in the centre so creatures can land. It needs to be near a water source for refilling .I also use a series of bowls on the ground for the skinks and other lizards.
A simple series of bowls on the ground.
a bowl in a pot frame
The fun bird baths are made out of vases, bowls, plates-really anything that takes your fancy. I usually find these in local op shops. Having fun  I’ve added a plant level .These are all just glued together depending on the materials ( I have been guided by our local hardware shop  which are very helpful) Some have drainage holes but some glass is hard to drill but the plants seem to be doing well in both systems. Here are a few I’ve made the small birds love them all as do the bees.





Tuesday, 16 January 2018

ELDERBERRY and HONEY CORDIAL




Elderberries de-stemmed
Raw honey
Water
Lemon/lime sliced (2 per Kg berries)
Ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves (optional)
Put elderberries, lemons, spices, into a pan and cover with water. Bring gently to simmering point, crushing and stirring frequently. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain. Measure juice adds an equal amount of raw honey. Stir to dissolve, bottle into clean jars dried in the oven. Seal and process for   20 min in hot water bath/ vacola preserving pan.
The addition of the spices enhances the flavour. This can be used to make either hot or cold drinks.