Day 4 Open Garden Visit

For Sunday 4th June I’d noted a few possible gardens to visit under the National Garden Scheme. As the weather was rather threatening I opted for the nearest – one near Hampstead Heath. Also decided to go straight there after lunch rather than wait for the 4.30pm music or delay with a walk the long way round via the Heath.

We’d been promised “cakes incl lemon drizzle made with lemons from the garden” and “teas incl rose hips from the garden”. In a serious lapse so early in the #PlasticChallenge month, I’d failed to take either my EcoCup or my water bottle with me. There was no coffee on offer and it would, like the tea, have been served in paper cups. I was given a plastic cup of water with my lemon drizzle on a large plastic plate. I did, however, take this plastic home to ensure it wasn’t thrown away after a single use.

My first stop in my slow wander round the garden wasn’t the colourful flowers by the pond but a dark gap under hedgerow trees and bushes. Bird noises had caught my attention and, sure enough, I spotted a young Robin on the ground and 2 squeaky baby Blue Tits on a branch. Looking round I saw a Wood Pigeon on the chimney pot.

After my garden visit, I walked to the end of the road and onto the Heath turning left to avoid the busy path by the playground and running track. It was then I noticed the lowering skies of the picture below before turning onto the hedge bordered path one level up from the main path.

Taking a path down towards the cafe, I noticed the lace-covered bushes of the picture above. I might not even had noticed it if it hadn’t been explained on Springwatch in the week. Spiders’ webs? No. Sadly can’t find the details now but they’re caterpillers and don’t harm the tree – though it looked pretty bare with lush green foliage either side.

I’ve only recently discovered that the green space opposite the cafe and bordered by the path to the Lido and Gospel Oak Station is the “Cricket Pitch” where Whitethroats and Redstarts have been reported on London Birders wiki. Failed to see either when I tried to follow up on these reports but I now check out the Cricket Pitch whenever I’m in area. On this occasion, however, it was being used for a cricket match!

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