Wildlife in the Garden: Squirrel in London

Squirrel in rose pot. He looks soooo guilty!

Squirrel in rose pot. He looks soooo guilty!

For March, Jude is looking for wildlife in the garden. These photos from when I lived in London (circa 2005 in this case) are pretty rubbish quality, but you can see the furry little devil in action. (This patio and the pot of mini yellow roses also appears in this post.) This squirrel and I had ongoing battles marked by offensive and counter-offensive. For example, I set up a feeder for the birds, which he promptly began to climb …

You have to admire his determination.

You have to admire his determination.

… until I added a homemade anti-squirrel device. Try as he might, he could not climb around that cone!

This is the pole after I added my nifty DIY squirrel defence.

This is the pole after I added my nifty DIY squirrel defence.


Click here for other Garden Challenge posts

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Gardens: Summit Gardens, Vanuatu

Entry to the gardens

Who could resist this enticing entry to the gardens, with its peek at what’s inside?

A stroll among the flowers

The Summit Gardens in Vanuatu perch on a high 200 metres above sea level. With lush growth and brilliantly coloured flowers, it’s a great place for a leisurely wander. You’ll find urns, mosaic, statues and other items tucked amongst the greenery.

“The 11 named gardens, spread over 10 hectares, are all distinctly different, unfolding as a series of surprises as you follow the meandering pathways. The designs have been inspired by the great tropical gardens of Asia, Australia and America. What started off as a hobby to its owners back in 2000 became a driving ambition to create something beautiful that would showcase the beauty of Vanuatu and its people. The owners were assisted by a tropical landscape architect called Adam Ehlmann who was resident in Port Vila at the time. Adam departed Vanuatu in 2002 and the owners carried on themselves with the assistance of teams of very talented Ni-Vanuatu gardeners. The gardens were opened to the public on 1 November 2011.” (source)

Vibrant exotic flowers jump out of the myriad shades of green.

Clever pathways draw the walker into the gardens and pique curiosity about what’s around the corner or though the hedges or beyond the arch.


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In one case, this is what’s around the corner:

Summit Garden "missionary position", Vanuatu

I did a double take. “Do they know what that refers to?” I wondered. It turned out to be a wonderfully witty interpretation on a “position” that no missionary (or anyone else) would want to be in!

Being so high, the garden offers some fantastic views.


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The progression of paths leads you (of course!) to the cafe and shop. You can have a light meal while looking out at the gardens, and treat yourself to an array of skin lotions and potions made with many natural ingredients sourced on the islands of Vanuatu. Products are available online, too.


If you have enjoyed this stroll, check out where other bloggers have been walking with Jo’s Monday Walk.

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Gardens: Shakespeare Gardens (New York City)

A subtle plaque set into a stone marks the entrance to the garden.

A subtle plaque set into a stone marks the entrance to the garden.

I have finally emerged from under the mountain of digital photos from my June trip to Canada and the US. In an earlier post, I showed you the Shakespeare Garden in Stratford (Canada), and here are photos from the one in Central Park, New York City. I was pleased to see that the Central Park garden does indeed have quotations linking plants to plays, which I thought was sadly lacking in Stratford.

“Shakespeare Garden is a four-acre landscape named for the famed English poet and playwright. The garden features flowers and plants mentioned in his poems and plays. Small bronze plaques scattered throughout the garden bear quotes from the Bard.” (source: centralparknyc.org)

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Gardens: Shakespeare Gardens (Stratford)

Sculpture of Shakespeare's head by Cleve Horne

This sculpture of William Shakespeare’s head by Cleve Horne has sat proudly in the garden since 1939. Who knows if this is what he really looked like?

I had the good fortune on my recent trip to North America to visit not one but two gardens with a connection to William Shakespeare. The first was in Stratford — did you know there was a Stratford in Canada? Indeed there is, about 150km (90 miles) west of Toronto.

Like the English town it’s named for, this Stratford also has a River Avon, and an annual theatre festival. The festival has grown from a handful of Shakespeare plays performed in a tent in the 1950s to a multi-month, multi-theatre extravaganza presenting more than the Bard’s works.

The town’s Shakespearean Gardens nestle beside the river and opened in 1936. The gardens are nice, with landscaped areas and many flowers, but I was disappointed to see no plaques explaining how the various plants figure in the plays.

Do these alliums look familiar? I used the photo for my allium rainbow post.

Alliums

Alliums

What’s a garden without a bench and a view?

I was there in late May, and summer comes slowly to Canada. Spring flowers were still in evidence.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

A single poppy bud.

A single poppy bud.

The second garden with a Shakespeare connection is in New York City’s Central Park. Check back for a post soon.