Rustic Oasis (in a sea of farmland)

Priscilla Bacon Hospice - Planting for Priscilla
Priscilla Bacon Hospice - Planting for Priscilla

Submitted by: Jenny & Tony Smedley

Category: Large garden

We bought our house 6 years ago, and at the time it was a flat, green triangle. The only real features were several mature trees around the edges, no fences and no discernible wildlife.

We became inspired to create a rustic haven for wildlife, and ourselves, (and our 5 miniature sheep and dog!) We started with a large pond, using the soil to create banks around some edges, homes for voles etc.

The pond very quickly populated itself, including herons, ducks, frogs, grass snakes, dragonflies, damsel flies, greater diving beetles, (and many other water beetles and insects), and we imported some native sticklebacks for balance, which have thrived. We soon noticed bats flying over the pond at night.

We have planted almost everything that’s here now, done small amounts of hard landscaping, and created a large timber viewing pavilion. We now have changing landscape profiles, hedges, flowering shrubs, wildflowers and many arches and moongates. We have named all the ‘rooms’, for instance the bee and bird garden, the Hobbit Garden, Spinney, Orchard, and Wildflower Circle.

Wildlife visitors and inhabitants include hares, deer, hedgehogs, over 40 species of birds, foxes, squirrels, and 5 species of bats, (recorded by bat detector and include 2 rare species).