Today is World Environment Day but in spite of the fact that we have, in the last two months, achieved unprecedented low levels of pollution and have witnessed a cheering revival in our desire to learn how to live with nature and to garden, I regard the day with mixed feelings. Which is a shame as here in Britain, at least, this year should … Read More In the natural world, no detail is too small
Today is May Day, one of my favourite seasonal festivals which, had it not been for the lockdown, I would have marked with a visit to Oxford this year, to hear the Choristers and Academical Clerks of Magdalen College sing their hymns and madrigals from the top of the Great Tower, and later, with a walk through Christ Church Meadows (below) or University Parks. … Read More Now is not the month to go a-Maying
Four weeks and counting spent cooped up in our homes and gardens (if you’re lucky enough to have one) has probably laid bare a nagging flaw or two in the way they function. It has almost certainly also inspired ideas for a more comfortable way of living too. For landscape designers such as Randle Siddeley, creating spaces that suit our lifestyle is at the … Read More Living in paradise?
With no cars on the roads, I’ve decided to switch off my ‘phone’s birdsong alarm as I’ve found that the real thing has become loud enough to wake me at dawn each morning, while the humming of bees has been helping to set my little grey cells working as the insects busy themselves in the eaves above my window. Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies … Read More Dancing with butterflies
The sights, sounds and smells of Spring lift my spirits at the best of times but in these lockdown days, as I’ve grown used to the blissfully deafening silence and reduced levels of pollution, the growth of the new season seems all the more thrilling. A sharp acidic scent of new-mown grass and blooming daffodils is flowing through my windows from the garden next … Read More Nature’s salve in lockdown days
Watching the still-winter-slim pigeons and ever-bold magpies swooping down to pick up twigs at the bottom of the garden, and then up again into the various tangles of bare branches they have decided to call home for this nesting season, it’s hard to believe we are living amidst a terrible pandemic. Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, the news pages report today that more than … Read More ‘The time of the singing of birds is come…’