Birds, etc

This year’s Garden Bird Survey indicates that waxeyes (silvereyes) are disappearing – the numbers recorded well down on last year and in fact the lowest recorded since the surveys began in 2007.


A waxeye feeds in a persimmon tree. Photo: Sandra Simpson

But before we get too worried, the Landcare survey blog says several survey participants suggested the fall in numbers may be because the early winter has been mild, and birds have not come into gardens in search of food as much as they would when conditions are harsher.

The house sparrow was by far the most numerous species counted this year (average 13.2 per garden) but its overall numbers were also down on last year.

Sam van Aken is an American artist who has grafted 40+ different heritage stone fruit on to the one tree – not sure if this shot on his website is faked/enhanced but it’s stunning. He’s also given a Tedx talk about the project – the Tree of 40 Fruit (5 minutes 17).

Plantes pour Jardins Secs (plants for dry gardens) is a garden and nursery in the Languedoc region of south-west France. Simply dazzling. Read an article about it here.

Some photos from the International Garden Festival at Grand-Metis in Quebec province, Canada, open until September 28. Not so much gardens as conceptual installation art! More information about the gardens and their creators from the official website.


Wildflowers on a verge in the countryside north of Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Ever fancied being a guerrilla gardener? Well, going along with the military-type terminology, here’s a YouTube video on how to make seed bombs (6 minutes 52), which can be lobbed into areas where you’d like to see something growing – the clay protects the seeds from birds but dissolves in rain.

Guerrilla gardening takes place in urban centres all over the world – here’s a website by Richard Reynolds who started in London 10 years ago, and here’s an article about a visit he made to New Zealand last year.