Editor’s Diary: Garden Wars!


Shutterstock / bearacreative © garden birds

This week’s Editor’s Diary is about the battle going on in my garden. It’s between the birds and me. And the birds are winning!

I love my garden. And it seems my feathered friends do, too.

Most of the time, that’s completely fine with me. I’m a big nature lover and put considerable effort into attracting wildlife into my garden.

I put out food for the birds all year round and love watching their visits to the feeders.

So do my cats, Zorro and Matilda! One of their favourite pastimes is mounting their own version of “Springwatch” from the kitchen window.

We regularly see blackbirds, blue tits, great tits and coal tits. There’s a robin, of course, and the occasional thrush. There’s a resident pair of fat wood pigeons and a cackle of noisy jackdaws.

My favourite visitors are the fickle long-tailed tits, which drop by occasionally to raid the feeders and then head off on their way.

But by far the most numerous birds in my garden are the house sparrows.

There are dozens of them! And they’re the ones causing problems . . .

Hanging baskets

You see, I recently planted out my hanging baskets. They look lovely, full of lobelia, petunias and fuchsias.

The sparrows love them, too. Or, to be more specific, they love the basket liners! They are busily and systematically stripping them to feather their nests.

If this carries on, my poor plants will be left hanging on by their roots.

I’ve tried to offer other options. I’ve placed flowerpots stuffed with soft moss, shredded basket liners left over from last year, and even cat hair groomed from super-fluffy Zorro, around the garden.

No, thank you very much, say the sparrows. We prefer to source our own.

I’ve now resorted to swathing my hanging baskets in torn food-waste bags in the hope of affording some protection. Which isn’t really the colourful, flower-filled look I was going for . . .!


For more from Angela’s Editor’s Diary, click the tag below.

They’re not quite garden birds, but we think you’ll still love this article on “hoolets”, but renowned nature writer Polly Pullar.

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.