Attracting birds and other wildlife by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Blue Tits are a popular garden bird

The presence of wild birds are one of the things that many people enjoy about their gardens but what do these birds like and how can they be encouraged?
Feeding birds is a good start, especially during the colder late autumn to early spring months, October to April. Place a bird table where it can easily be observed, ideally close to a thick hedge or some dense shrubs. This will help small birds to evade the predatory patrols of a marauding sparrowhawk, expect a few casualties though as the hawk needs to feed as well.
Choose a variety of foods such as seeds and nuts and fatty strips of bacon or fat balls as these will help to feed a broad range of birds. Putting the food out in the morning and during the early afternoon will allow plenty of time for it to be cleared up, spilled feedstuffs left on the ground after dark will encourage rats so is best avoided. Cease feeding during the spring as nature comes back to life, the natural foods that a good garden habitat will now provide is far preferable for the birds and their young.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Sparrowhawks feed opportunistically around bird tables

Birds and other wildlife thrive in a litter free and slightly untidy garden. Variety is they key, areas of mown and unmown grass with an array of meadow flowers and clovers will be attractive to grazers, seed eaters and insectivorous birds which will feed on the invertebrates to be found there. Mixed borders of nectar rich herbaceous and flowering shrubs will attract a multitude of insect life too, whilst the damper environment of a decaying log pile will provide a home for creatures such as toads and woodlice.

Tim Brayford Landscapes- Hawthorn Hedges feed many birds

Thick native hedging like Hawthorn will provide both dense nesting cover for many birds and autumn berries for migrants such as fieldfares to feast on. Nest boxes of different designs and sizes are available to suit both small birds even for the larger species such as Barn Owls, as a rule of thumb sight these out of direct sunlight and away from prevailing winds.
Don’t forget about water, a regularly filled birdbath is good but a wildlife pond is even better. Insects such as midges, dragon and damsel flies will feed birds such as swallows and swifts, whilst surrounding vegetation can provide nesting cover for aquatic birds like moorhens.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A large skipper butterfly feeding on geranium “Wargrave’s Pink

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Artificial Lawns by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Artificial lawns are becoming more popular

The sight of pristine, green artificial grass is becoming a familiar sight, especially in domestic gardens but what are the benefits and are there any downsides?

What is it made from?

Artificial grass is made principally from a mix of plastics – polypropylene, polyurethane and polyethylene.

How is it laid?

The topsoil has to be removed and replaced with a compacted limestone base which is then covered by a weed suppressing membrane. If there are no firm edges to work to these must be installed. The limestone is then blinded in with sharp sand. The artificial turf is then laid on top of this, trimmed off and kiln dried sand brushed onto the surface.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Artificial turf laying diagram

Where can it be used to best effect?

Anywhere that it may be too challenging to grow natural grass such as roof gardens, balconies, over existing areas of concrete and environmentally difficult areas such as ground periodically flooded by sea water or in very dense shade.

Does it need mowing or watering?

The freedom from the twin chores of mowing and watering are amongst the greatest advantages that it has over natural grass.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – No need to mow, just sweep instead

How long does artificial grass last?

If neglected both natural and artificial grass will deteriorate very quickly, looked after artificial grass has an expected life of around 15 years, natural grass can last considerably longer.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A well tended natural grass lawn

Can it damage the environment?

Whereas natural grass assists in carbon capture the same cannot be said of artificial grass. Fossil fuels are used to make it, and at the end of its life it is yet another non-biodegradable plastic to dispose of.

Is it wildlife friendly?

The removal of existing topsoil and grass removes the habitat of creatures such as butterflies, bees, worms and garden birds and replacement with artificial turf creates a barren area for wildlife

Is it maintenance free?

No, unlike natural grass where mowing removes much of the debris that falls onto it, to maintain artificial grass in pristine condition you have to wash and brush it much as you would with a well soiled indoor carpet.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Old neglected weedy artificial grass

Do weeds and moss grow on artificial grass?

Yes, to prevent weeds or moss forming you will have to use garden pesticides, physical removal by scarification may cause more damage instead.

Can embers from a BBQ damage artificial grass?

Natural grass is a wonderful thing, if hot embers burn the leaves it will soon regenerate, unlike artificial grass which will be permanently damaged.

Can artificial grass be damaged by wild animals?

In gardens that have existing problems from badgers or moles digging it is possible that they will also dig up any artificial grass as well.

Laying artificial grass is currently a fast growing sector of the landscaping industry, the short term impacts are aesthetically pleasing and initially it is both durable and relatively maintenance free. However it is far more expensive to install than natural lawn turf, does not regenerate and apparently has negative impacts to both wildlife and the environment.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Mini-Tractor and Digger Hire by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Mini-tractor for hire

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Mini-tractor & digger hire

When to hire a mini tractor

Otherwise known as subcompact tractors they have the versatility of larger agricultural tractors on a smaller, lighter frame. They are generally a good choice for areas of up to five acres, especially for irregularly shaped gardens and paddocks or where the access ways are too narrow or the ground is too soft for modern farm machinery to use. A mini tractor can lift approximately half its weight, carry a weight greater than its own, and push or pull several times more than its own weight. Like bigger agricultural tractors they feature a category 1 three-point hitch, PTO shafts , an external hydraulic spool valve and four-wheel drive, they are diesel fuelled.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Rotary Cultivating

What attachments are available?

The range of attachments available for mini-tractors broadly reflects those available for agricultural tractors but in a scaled down form. We currently have both a rotary cultivator and light drag harrows available for hire – email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com for a quote.

 

When to hire a wheeled mini-digger

Wheeled mini-diggers bridge the gap between work previously done laboriously by hand and the heavy plant found on construction sites and civil engineering projects.  When access ways are too restricted or the ground too soft for larger machines is where these smaller machines are an advantage.  Compared to similar sized tracked machines they have a quicker work rate for grading off soil and moving earth or gravel around a site without the need of a separate dumper truck.

Tim Brayford Landscapes Mini-digger for hire

All our equipment comes with an operator, we are unable to offer self-drive hire at this time. NO VAT to add, no extra fuel or delivery charges, minimum charges apply – Please email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com to enquire about hire rates, availability and to make a booking.

 

 

Planning and Planting a Garden by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Country Garden

Planting is a very personal thing and here at Tim Brayford Landscapes we understand this. One client will love a neat scheme of box topiary whereas another will long for a coloured tumble of cottage plants. A lot will depend on the amount of time a client has available to spend in their garden which is why initial discussions are so important.

We are experienced in all types of planting from semi-mature conifer gardens to neat, colourful beds in a courtyard garden. All require a lot of thought and careful planning to succeed. Plants have differing needs and consideration is given to soil type and location before suggestions are made.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Rose Garden

We have undertaken a large cottage garden with a formal paving structure which contained herbaceous perennials, roses and shrubs to great effect. A back garden which had structured shrub planting with bark chip underlay closer to the house and a more naturalised wild garden further back. This had native trees and was under-planted with clumps of spring bulbs and wild flowers.

Most recently we planted an extraordinarily steep terraced garden with shrubs and perennials which would give cover for most of the year therefore reducing the amount of mountaineering necessary!

Hedging is an emotive subject with neighbours but there are alternatives to the dreaded Leylandii. We have completed successful projects using several different types of hedging in estate situations as well as mixed native hedging for those in more rural or spacious locations.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring Flowers

 

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 61 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Autumn flowers

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bog Bean

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Chicken & bird table

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring bulbs

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 60 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Iris & bee

Tim Brayford Landscapes – shrub rose Bonica

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Canada goose family

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Potato Plot

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 59 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Native pond plants

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Helenium & bee

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Natural Stone Paving

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Apples

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 58 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A bumblebee visits a flowering geranium

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An informal garden pond plays host to aquatic wildlife

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The bright blossom of a spring flowering Camellia

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An outstanding garden retreat

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Scented sweet peas on a summer evening

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 57 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Japanese Anemones provide late summer colourTim Brayford Landscapes – A lovely display of daffodils

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The vivid red stems of dogwoods in winter

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Combine spring flowering bulbs with summer flowering shrubs & herbaceous for a continuous display

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bees love marsh marigolds

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 56 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An apple tree in spring

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Late summer colour

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Raised herb & vegetable beds

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A July flowering clematis

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Late summer plums

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and recommendation report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918