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Three children (17, 15, 12)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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In the wild patch

Each year, we leave areas in our garden untamed. Other wild areas border the woodland behind us, providing a corridor for the wildlife. Inviting mini-beasts in. More than we knew existed.

Cardinal beetle

The grass grows tall. Perfect for flying insects to land on. While a slight movement of the grass gives away something winding its way through. A frog, a toad or maybe a mouse. Once a newt. Sit still for long enough and you spot something making the most of the wild areas. I’ll find a child lying on their tummy, waiting for it to appear.

One thing I’ve noticed is that not only does it attract insects and other small creatures, but also children. A cry will go up that a slow worm has been spotted and children will appear from no where. Torn away from screens, in some cases.

They can’t wait to hold a slow worm.

Sometimes I worry that phones and screens are taking more and more of their time, when we’re at home. We restrict the time, but is it enough? Then I remember hearing them discuss the different ids of plants, or the life cycle of the ladybird, and I think that maybe I shouldn’t be so concerned. Like nature, they will find the balance.

(They all turned up separately to join in the roost count last week. We counted 151 bats coming out of our attic.)

ladybird larvae

So if we keep leaving the grass to grow, then I reckon the children will carry on finding nature more interesting than a screen, even if it’s not for long each time.

Still tempting them to discover more.

blackbird egg shell

This evening, I sat watching a gold crest in our yew tree.  Trying to take a photo. My nine year old joined me and asked what I was doing. I explained.

“Ah. That’s the one who sounds like your sewing machine. Where is it?”

I really shouldn’t worry.

(not a wild area)


Country Kids

28 Responses to In the wild patch

  • Your wild area looks stunning. What is the secret to beautiful wild flowers and grasses and nor the nettles and brambles that dominate our wild areas? With such wonderful finds and a growing knowledge I don’t think you need worry about your children, they have been brought up to appreciate nature and will keep coming back to it, between games on their screens! I’m really impressed with all your finds and so beautifully photographed.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids 😀

    • Craft Mother says:

      Not sure of the secret. Best guess, I think, is probably the timing of strimming of the areas early in the year. Nettles and brambles have their place in the wild garden, but strimming knocks them back a bit and give the rest a chance. I’m working on the floral part and gradually winning. It is a compromise sometimes.

  • Your pictures are amazing. I’d be a bit freaked out though if I saw the slow worm, it really wouldn’t be my kind of thing. Mich x #CountryKids

  • Emma T says:

    I used to belong to a local WATCH group/BBOWT and knew so much about nature and wildlife at not long past N’s age. Considering he’s outside so much it amazes me how little he knows. But when they’re not listening to your prompts and ideas it’s hard to get them interested.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a slowworm before. Interesting to see one. #countrykids

  • Helen B says:

    What a wonderful idea, it is fantastic when you get so much wildlife in your garden and the children appreciate it too, lovely pictures.

  • I love the idea of leaving a part of the garden overgrown as a wild space. I can imagine my children would love to discover wildlife in such a place. I too worry about screen time. My children don’t have computers or games consoles but they do watch TV and I try to limit it to a reasonable amount. I would prefer them to spend the time outside rather than in front of a screen. #CountryKids

    • Craft Mother says:

      I think it is easier when they are younger to restrict computer time. Once they hit secondary school, homework is set and submitted via the computer. We’ve kept away from games consoles, but access to computers was inevitable. I’m glad that they seem to be finding their own balance too, which is a skill I would like them to have.

  • I’d love to have a ‘wild’ area in our garden, great for the wildlife!

  • mummy here and there says:

    Fantastic pictures, not sure i could hold a snake they make me so scared X #mmbc

  • Christine says:

    Your garden sounds amazing -particularly the bats, wow! I’m excited to see one bat flying around our house let alone 151!!

    • Craft Mother says:

      They only stay in the attic for a couple of months. It’s a maternity roost. They use the warmth of the aga to keep the babies warm, while the mothers hunt. Once they can all fly, they decamp to the woods. The rest of the time, I’m excited to see any bats flying above the house.

  • I always worry about finding the balance too but it sounds like you have it spot on as your children clearly enjoy being outdoors and taking a closer look at nature. The overgrown areas are always so interesting for spotting different creatures. I’ve yet to see a slowworm in our garden though. #countrykids

  • Helena says:

    It’s fantastic that nature pulls them away from screens. My girls love to get out into the garden more and more. #CountryKids

  • you have some amazing photos here of the things they found. The slow worm pictures are especially beautiful. I know what you mean about screen time which is strictly limited in our house. I find winter time can be the hardest. #CountryKids

  • My Two Mums says:

    I love the idea of a wild patch is my garden. If we had a bigger one this is something I would consider.

  • aly says:

    I’ve left the bottom of our garden’s grass long this year.Next year I want to plant a wild meadow in front of it.I’m hoping it attract insects to pollinate next year’s fruit and vegetable crops.

  • Elaine Livingstone says:

    How lovely that you leave wild areas. Your children sound like that have a brilliant lifestyle. Imagine knowing one sounds like a sewing machine.
    Oooowww at the slow worm, never seen one of them before.

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