Daily Archives: 3 September 2012

How to Create a Bird-Friendly Garden

How to create a bird-friendly garden

Having inherited a jungle when we bought our house, we are in the process of trying to tame it into something a manageable and pretty.

We have spent a lot of time thinking about design, plants and patios but to be honest it never occurred to us to consider the birds when planning the garden.

That is until we read the 2013 Dairy Diary! (I was on maternity leave when it was produced, so all the info is new to me.)

The 2013 edition of the
Dairy Diary shows you
how to transform your
garden into a ‘haven
for birds’.

The advice includes what food to put out, recommendations on what shrubs to plant, and practical tips on how to tend your garden with birds in mind.

Executive Editor, Nick Rowe, says: “One of the many pleasures of having a garden is it attracts birds, and watching them has become a national pastime.
“But did you know there are practical steps you can take to make your garden a real magnet for a variety of different birds?
“Most gardens, especially those with mature trees and hedges, provide all sorts of opportunities for birds to establish their territories, but you can encourage even more of them into your plot by growing suitable plants, by putting out food, and also by tending the garden with birds in mind.”

Five top tips for transforming your garden into a bird haven are:

Five top tips for a bird-friendly garden1. Choose your shrubs carefully
Seeds, berries and fruits are all important for garden birds’ diets. When choosing new bushes, shrubs or even trees, consider one or two that will provide food, refuge and nesting sites for birds. Climbers, such as honeysuckle, clematis and ivy fit the bill.

2. Pick the right flowers
Roses of all kinds, nicotiana, rockery plants such as alyssum, sedium and primroses, as well as daises of all sorts, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnia, goldenrod, cornflowers and foxgloves are all good in a bird-friendly garden because of the insects they attract and the seeds they produce.

3. Feeding time
Bird tables and hanging feeders are major attractions but remember that birds quickly learn where to find food and, if it’s provided, will come to expect it. So feed regularly and all year round – there’s never a time when it’s not needed.

4. Cleanliness
Cleanliness is vital to reduce the risk from parasites and viruses so clean feeders and tables regularly, and move them now and then to avoid any build up of droppings.

5. Water
Water is also important for both drinking and bathing. Replenish the supply every day and in winter check to make sure it’s not frozen.

The Dairy Diary is Britain’s best-selling home diary series, selling over 20 million copies since the first edition went to press in 1982. Described as a ‘compendium of practical information’, it contains helpful tips and advice on a range of different topics, as well as recipes for all occasions.

Buy online now at www.dairydiary.co.uk or put a note out for your milkman.

Irish Whiskey Cake recipeAnd after working hard to create
this haven you deserve a treat!
Try a piece of this delectable
Irish Whiskey Cake also from
the 2013 Dairy Diary.



Irish Whiskey Cake

A naughty but very nice cake for adults.

Irish Whiskey Cake recipeMakes 12 slices
Time 2 hrs, plus soaking
Calories 432 per slice
Fat 18.2g of which 8.5g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Luxury dried fruit 375g (13oz)
Glacé cherries 75g (3oz)
Irish whiskey 125ml (4fl oz)
Butter 175g (6oz)
Soft brown sugar 175g (6oz)
Eggs 4, beaten
Plain flour 250g (9oz)
Baking powder 1 heaped tsp
Mixed spice 2 tsp
Orange 1, finely grated rind only
Ground almonds 75g (3oz)
Demerara sugar 2 tsp

1 Soak dried fruit and glacé cherries in whiskey for 12 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8in) diameter deep cake tin and line with baking parchment.

3 Cream butter and brown sugar until pale, then gradually add eggs. Fold in flour, baking powder and mixed spice.

4 Add fruit with liquid, orange rind and almonds and mix. Spoon into tin; sprinkle demerara sugar over mixture.

5 Bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. Allow to cool in tin before turning out.

Recipe taken from the Dairy Diary 2013.

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