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A look round my parents' garden & wildlife tips

Even though I've not blogged about it this summer, those of you who follow me on Instagram will be aware of my passion for urban/balcony gardening. Mainly my passion is just growing my own food, the urban part is simply because - when push comes to shove - I would always choose to live in a bustling city centre than a quaint village. In fact, the only thing that I dislike about city centre living is my lack of garden.

I grew up in an Aberdeenshire village and this week I've taken a week off work and headed up for some down-time. My parents own their house with a garden and I thought I'd take some time to show you what they've done with it.

herbs in Aberdeenshire garden

Herb and Vegetable Garden

You might have gathered that my parents were would have their own vegetable patch (though they began growing them when they entered retirement, also known as after I moved out). They keep their herbs in a three tiered containers as seen above. Inside of it is a mix of various lettuces, parsley, coriander, mint and fennel.

flower garden
Flowers for the wildlife

Something my parents always try to include in their garden are flowers which are good for local wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. As 2015's summer appears to be hiding somewhere a lot of these plants haven't quite sprouted through. If you're looking for inspiration on this topic the May issue of Vegan Life Magazine* has a two-page spread full of ideas. If you're wanting to help the bee pollution of the UK some good plans to include are mint, sunflowers and alliums. You can also help them get ready for their winter hibernation by sinking an upturned flowerpot into the ground near a fence out of direct sunlight and fill with dry moss or hamster bedding. Then create a hose for them to enter through before fully burying the pot under soil. 

If it's butterflies you're supporting then planting wild flowers is the best thing to do. Some nectar-rich flowers include coneflowers, zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers and daisies. And let's not forget the flying species of animals as Vegan Life magazine contains advice for attracting birds and bats! For birds its the obvious inclusion of a feeder and a bird bath but if you're wanting to help the bat population you can do this by including pale, night-scented plants (such as white lilies and white roses) which attract the likes of midges which are a bat delicacy (yum...).

african drum in aberdeenshire garden

An African Drum

As you may know, my mum regularly visits Zambia to say hello to her friend and offer up her hands for volunteering. As such my parents' home has developed a not-so-subtle African theme, including this drum which I found hanging from a tree (I hadn't spotted it before - the drum, I had seen the tree before). Whether or not you choose an African drum or not, try placing the odd personal relic into the garden (just like you would your house). 

If you have an actual garden, what do you do include in it?

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