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My own Blue Planet II moment.


I suspect some of you are think how does Blue Planet II link to gardening. Let me explain and show you.

For the last couple of years there has been a mixed hedge between us and next door and we keep it trimmed etc. Well hubby keeps it trimmed. There was a self sown yew in there and he has left it alone but on Monday I decided it had encroached too far into the border and was swamping a couple of roses. Hubby kindly got the hedge trimmer out and cut it back by about 3ft.

I then started removing the material and tucked into the hedge were 3 nests. One however made me very sad and cross too.

Can you see that sheet of plastic woven into the nest.
Plastic! Rubbish that has been blown around picked up and woven in by blackbirds.

So plastic in this nest is my Blue Planet II moment.

But thinking about it I do, do my bit for the environment.
plastic plant pots are washed and reused over and over again. I take pots from other gardeners in our group and reuse them.

Any plants that are staked are with ‘pea sticks’, or metal rings. Those that need tying in are done with natural fibre twine. I stopped using insecticides/pesticides several years ago and I do get much more wildlife in the garden as a consequence. Funnily enough the plants look healthier too.

I compost as much as possible, shredding wood for mulch and storing leaves in empty compost bags. These plastic bags get used over and over again too. Some get turned inside out and used as liners in hanging baskets and wall mangers. There they will last for about 5 years before I change them.

I recycle as much household rubbish that I can in the council bins and have been buying less and less in plastic. Our local animal feeds suppliers lets me take my glass sweet jars for refilling with bird seed, fish food etc as I don’t want the plastic bags they use. The feeders are metal or ceramic, not quite squirrel proof but the squirrels are fun to watch.

So lets have some plant photos that are ‘happier’ to look at.

You could hear the buzzing from 3m away. This mahonia had well over 30 bees foraging on its flowers.

The autumn colours are developing nicely on this Cornus mid winter fire.

I hadn’t realised that this dahlia ‘Park Princess’ had survived. It has been planted directly in the ground and didn’t show last year.

This persicaria has decided to flower again. I love the way it scrambles through the shrubs.

I wonder if any of you have had such similar experiences.

More blog posts by seaburngirl

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Hi Eileen, like you I try to recycle as much as I can, and have been putting plastic food trays in the recycling bin for several years, no problem, that is until last week, when everyone got a letter from the council, addressed to ''the occupier'' saying that the recycling bins should only be used for aerosol cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, aluminium foil, and cans and tins, now I don't know whether this is just coincidence or not, but there was a programme on tv a few weeks ago, that said some councils will only collect the things they get the most money for, which just happen to be, guess what, the things on their list, so it appears to me, they're not really interested in recycling, just making more money, Derek.

7 Nov, 2018


Just a contrast with a nest we found in a gooseberry bush in the 1950s. Mum and Grandma had been making a wool rug with "thrums" - bits left over from factories making large carpets. You had to cut you own wool to the right length so there were usually lots of short bits left over. The nest was lined with a bright woolen layer of mixed colours - must have been quite cosy! We had never heard of plastic then.

When we had a cat I used to put the combings from the fur out on the bird table for nest lining - it always disappeared promptly!

7 Nov, 2018


Hmmm...plenty of plastic blowing in the fields around here. Occasionally it gets to me and I go put and pick it all up from the fields around us. I have a happier story about a nest we found this spring. It was lined with our Willow’s Labrador fur! It was beautiful to see. I have been trying to ditch plastic at home. I have gone back to good old fashioned bars of soap instead of handwashes and shower gels. I do recycle all the plastic take-away trays and use them for the freezer. But it feels quite overwhelming doesn’t it. Rescuing our Oceans feels like an almost impossible task even if there was the political will across the globe...which I doubt there is. Its depressing. But we keep on doing our best. If everyone did the same......

7 Nov, 2018


yes I agree with you all. We can still recycle food trays providing they are not black. the sorting machine cant 'see' them.
our youngest girl has long blond hair and we have found that in nests before. I remember cutting wool/rags for rug making in the early 60's.

The youngest is doing wildlife conservation at uni and has stopped buying clothes of manmade fibres as she read that small fibres have been found in the poo of walruses in the artic. they get it from eating filter feeding shellfish that filter fibres out of the water. they get there from the washing water we use. I prefer natural fibres any way but growing and processing cotton has such an impact on the environment too.

grim isn't it but as you say we need to keep trying.

7 Nov, 2018


I've never seen anything like that. The bird couldn't have known how dangerous bits of plastic can be.

I have been recycling yogurt pots as flower pots, instead of buying more plastic ones. They are great for potting up cuttings and seedlings. Also I use plastic trays that come with food in them as saucers for under pots, or as seed trays, or for standing little pots in them to be watered.

I like your Mahonia. It's nice to have flowering plants at this dreary time of year.

7 Nov, 2018


Sbg I dk if you remember my blog about Baby wrens being caught on blue nylon rope which the nest builder dad had used to line the nest. It is on page 4 of my blogs. '999 emergency for the wren family'. It was horrific. I read that a blackbird got caught on plastic in her nest but thanks to vigilant gardeners she was freed and managed to raise her babies. We try not to use plastic and I was pleased to see some motorway coffee shops offering a discount if you bring your own cup. My grandchildren attend swimming galas and I was pleased to hear the pools are providing water to refill bottles instead of selling yet more plastic, obviously glass would be dangerous in that situation. It might be slow but there is change and it is lovely to see that the young are very aware and leading the way.

7 Nov, 2018


OH uses terracotta pots to try and do without plastic. We had hundreds and have sold the surplus to people who confessed they bought them as they wanted to avoid plastic ones. Not easy as there must be millions of the latter around.

I remember those rugs. Stera. I hooked a tiger one and thought I was very clever!! LOL

In the Spring I put out fluff from the tumbler dryer and hair our visiting hairdresser snips off. We've found both used skilfully when we clean out the nesting boxes. Some nests are little works of art.

We have seen birds entering the boxes recently. Can only think they use them to avoid the rain!! Certainly birds, especially the nuthatch, are carrying off seeds.

8 Nov, 2018


We are not connected to the sewers here. All our waste water goes through a septic tank and then filters through a whole field of soil before it enters the burn and goes out to sea about 3 miles further down. I hope that means that any polyester fibres are in the soil and not in the sea. But I have started buying natural fibres as much as possible. It is so worrying isn’t it. I fear for the generations to come.

8 Nov, 2018


I also try to do my "bit" for the environment & try to recycle as much plastic, metal & glass as possible. We live in a block of flats & there are no wheelie bins for us to put our rubbish in. Instead we have been given transparent bin bags in which to put our recyclables. These then go into the big communal bins at the back of the building.

I sometimes try to put out our bags in the street so that the actual bin lorry that picks up people's recycling bins will pick them up rather than put them in the general waste collection bins. Since they have changed the days & times of the collection I now find that much more difficult.

My OH & I are always at odds over recycling as she puts everything in the general waste bin & I have to "fish" them out again later. She just can't be bothered to do anything about it saying it all probably ends up in the landfill anyway whatever I do! I hope she isn't right!

I first began recycling in Spain, more than 30 years ago. They put out big communal bins in the street to collect cardboard & paper as well as glass. Back the they didn't collect plastic for recycling. This has been done for at least the last 40 years. The UK is far behind Spain at least!

8 Nov, 2018


My daughter lived in a rural village in Germany for a year in the early 1990's. She had 7 different coloured wheelie bins for each type of waste being recycled in the area. We were very pleased when our council decided to supply wheelie bins. They are so much better than having an assortment of metal bins and black plastic bags, which often get burst open by foxes or cats, lying around littering the streets.

8 Nov, 2018


I do my bit, recycle as much as I possibly can but admit to getting frustrated at the fact I'm only a drop in the ocean, I guess every little helps though, it annoys me immensely driving around and seeing plastic trapped in the hedgerows, especially bad near retail premises and the factories, why oh why are we still seeing lorries packed high with the loads and plastic flapping in the wind as they drive along, what held the contents in place years ago, we are made to feel it's our fault, we have to change, about time somebody targetted the big conglomerates that still insist on using these materials, the excuse always comes down to the expense of changing their equipment as it does with the councils responsible for our recycling efforts....

10 Nov, 2018


We used to have wheelie bins, but...the council bought some new waste trucks, and then found the bins we had didn't fit we are back to plastic bags at the gate...Makes you wonder doesn't it?

10 Nov, 2018


Oh dear! Did the guy responsible retire on a big severance deal?

11 Nov, 2018


We must all continue to do what we can and teach our children and grandchildren to do likewise and not get too despondent, Rome wasn't built in a Day!

11 Nov, 2018


Lol Scotsgran. I expect so...

11 Nov, 2018


Oh Stera it really beggars belief doesn't it..
Dd you are right, thank goodness my family including the grandchildren are on the right track and actually do encourage their friends to think likewise...More and more people are refusing the plastic wrappings as well now when shopping, that is a step in the right direction...

12 Nov, 2018

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