Over the past couple of weeks whilst working in isolation and social distancing, I have been working at Willsbridge Mill continuing with constructing their fairy woodland.
This nature reserve is a public right of way and cannot be closed to the public. The cafe is of course closed, and there are less people around, but the odd dog walker wanders by every so often and gives me a wave or a thumbs up. I find this very encouraging in these uncertain times.
Sicilan Honey Garlic Glade – before clearing work.
I carried on clearing a section of the site that had been marked out for planting up Sicilian Honey Garlic (Nectardoscordum siculum). The majority of Ivy and Brambles were taken out – with plenty of Ivy remaining on the site for wildlife. Trees were thinned out, and any rubbish removed.
Sicilan Honey Garlic Glade – after clearing work.
Sicilian Honey Garlic has been chosen for this glade closest to the fairy grotto as the flowers look like little fairy hats! The flowers are magnets for bumblebees and other beneficial insects and they dry well, making them perfect for flower arrangements.
We will plant the bulbs in the autumn, with flowering May to June. It is possible to sow these from seed, but they would take about 6 years to flower.
The delivery of materials for the pathways from Fountain Timber marked the start of hot weather. They are based out by Bristol Airport and are our long time supplier.
They are working with a skeleton crew, and are only doing minimal deliveries, so we were appreciative to receive this order.
We had 5 cubic metres of timber chip delivered with 4×1 timber for the edges, and bundles of short stakes. We will order more timber chip as we progress through construction.
It was beautiful working in dappled sunlight next to the bluebells gently bobbing their heads in the breeze. I cut the timber to follow the meandering pathways edges. The stakes are cut off once solid in the ground and screwed to the 4×1.
During these unsettling times of worry and anxiety looking out on the beauty of nature at Willsbridge Mill really inspired me. Nature isn’t cancelled and will carry on blooming…
By the start of Easter weekend I had the timber edging up to the top of the site, where the fairy grotto will be made. I was hot and tired but very happy, and looking forward to continuing with this after Easter Monday.
Have a look at part 1 of Creating a Fairy Woodland on our blog here.