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Posts Tagged ‘christmas gift ideas for young gardeners’

A 'Christmas' Robin

As I sit writing this blog I can see a Robin in the garden perched by the bird feeders, we do not get many Robins in the garden, they tend to appear when the weather turns colder and there is less natural food available, on the allotment though they are about throughout the year often watching and waiting for insects and grubs that have been disturbed whilst digging and sitting on the handle of my spade when my back is turned.

The Robin has long been associated with the festive season, this could be because we see them more in Winter but it may also be because the Robin, also known as the ‘Robin Redbreast’, gave its name to the first postmen who wore red jackets and became known as ‘Robins’, some suggest this is the reason why Robins appear on Christmas cards.

Robins sing all year round, they are one of the few birds that can be heard singing during winter, both the males and females maintain territories for feeding during this period, these may be later become their breeding territories.  Robins can be quite tame during the colder months and with a lot of patience they may eat out of your hand, but despite their cute appearance they are quite aggressive with intruders who enter their territory. Around Christmas-time they begin looking for a mate, by mid-January they will have paired up and the females then stop singing. Male and female birds look identical, young Robins are spotted with golden brown they do not have a red breast until they are 2/3 months old, Robins eat insects, worms, seeds and fruits and are very partial to mealworms.

Open Fronted Teapot Bird Nester and Nest Box

Robins are well known for nesting in unusually places including sheds, greenhouses, plant pots, hanging baskets, under car bonnets and in farm machinery, to encourage Robins to breed in your garden put up an Open Fronted Robin Nest Box or a Teapot Bird Nester, they can be sensitive to disturbance whilst nest building and laying so it is best to stay away at this time, they will lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs, which once incubated by the female will hatch in 13 days, both parents feed and care for the chicks that then fledge at 14 days old even though they are still unable to fly for another couple of days, the parents will look after the chicks for another 3 weeks, Robins normally have two broods a year.

This year for the first time the people of Britain were asked to vote for Britain’s National Bird, it may come as no surprise that the winning bird was the Robin; in total more than 224,000 people cast their votes, the Robin came out top with 75,623 votes, followed in second place by the Barn Owl with 26,191 votes and the Blackbird in third place with 25,369 votes.

This Christmas why not give someone a gift of a Nest Box for the Robins in their garden?

Gill

P.S. Don’t miss out on our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website in the School Zone and the Family Zone, for a chance to win some bird feeders for your garden, the closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

 

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When I was a little girl my dad gave me a small vegetable patch in the garden, I remember growing lettuce, beans, radish and carrots, it was my very own garden where I sowed, planted, weeded, watered and picked my precious vegetables and flowers, I can still picture it now although the garden has changed quite a lot.

This was the start of my love of gardening; my dad was my inspiration and my mentor, as I got older I outgrew my vegetable patch and was then able to help in the ‘big’ garden to grow the vegetables that we regularly picked, cooked and ate and to tend the flower beds.

 MyReal Potting Tabe/Raised Bed Combo

If you are looking for a Christmas gift that is just that little bit different that will last for many, years instead of just a few months like so many of this years ‘must have’ Christmas presents why not treat that special person to a Raised Bed, whether it’s for a child or an adult gardening is a hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, when they unwrap their present they may not get excited at the sight of wooden posts and boards but once assembled and filled with rich compost when those first few shoots start to appear I can guarantee they will be hooked, as their interest in gardening flourishes and grows, one raised bed can become two, three, four or more by simply adding extra modules, don’t forget those all-important garden accessories, quality raised bed tools, a good pair of gloves, a watering can, seeds, labels, a gardeners note book to record the gardening year and cloche hoops to support fleece, film or netting to protect plants from bad weather and unwanted pests. Wooden Raised beds are available in different designs, sizes and depths if you want to grow a variety of different crops I would recommend a depth of 45cm.

The Economy Plot Wooden Raised Bed

Children love being outdoors and getting hands on, gardening helps them connect with nature and teaches them where food comes from and how it grows, nothing beats the taste of freshly picked produce, as well as the health benefits of fresh food gardening can help keep you fit both physically and mentally.

Carrots

When I visit my dad he is often in the garden, we always talk ‘gardening’ discussing plant pests/problems/diseases, which crops have done well, are tasty and worth growing, gardening ideas and new gardening products that we have seen, there is always something new to learn, discover and grow – gardening is a wonderful hobby.

Why not inspire someone you know this Christmas, click here to have a look at the full range of Raised Beds.

Gill

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