THE herring gulls are back at Casa Buckland, many from a migratory winter break in Portugal, Marbella or even Morocco. With their tans topped up and maybe a souvenir henna tattoo, they are now staking claim to the town’s rooftop eyries.
Herring gulls are big – 2ft (60cm) long with a 5ft (1½m) wingspan – and possess an entitled disposition that would make a hereditary peer seem humble. One even waltzed into our house to raid the cat’s bowl. Had my daughter not scooped up and ejected the bird (she’s an expert chicken handler), I’ve no doubt that it would still be in the lounge with its webbed feet up on the sofa.
Gulls have adventurous appetites and everything, from sausages on the barbecue to bin bags left beside the back door, is fair game. But if they do have a favorite, then it’s got to be takeaway goldfish from the pond.
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Learning to love Green
Forget the razzle-dazzle of brazen yellows, blazing reds and shocking purples, the colour of sophistication and quiet beauty is green, says Graham Rice
Getting your roses ready
Planting, pruning and feeding are all done now, says Ruth
Back to life…
Val anticipates the joys of newly awakened butterflies
It’s rare in horticulture that something with strikingly-good architectural looks is also a joy to eat, but artichokes are just that says Camilla Phelps
A day to remember
What a difference a day makes! Toby explains how to capitalise on the extra daylight the spring equinox brings
Slugs? Hosta la vista baby!
Hostas are slug magnets aren’t they, so why should we bother growing them at all? Well, there is a bit more to it than that, as Graham Rice explains
Banned chemicals are causing havoc with bees, says Val
Plan for more toms
Follow these simple tomato tips and you’ll be inundated with more tangy fruit than you can handle, promises Bob
Climbing the walls
A troublesome vine gives Toby pause to ponder why what grows up doesn’t always come down quite so easily
Tubers and cuttings
Make more plants for the summer ahead, says Ruth
HYPER REALISTIC ART A deep level of communication
Big Time Dinosaur
In general, sauropods rarely appear in dinosaur model collections due to their size and scale but not due to a lack of interest. In 1/20 or 1/15 scale, the average sauropod measures between 45 and 60 inches and is priced like a mid-range laptop.
The size, style and color you want—for less than the cost of plastic shutters
One BIG happy family
When Michelle Doran, 46, and her husband overhauled their lifestyle, their kids got involved, too
Easy-care rhododendrons and azaleas make a splash in spring
CLASSY CURDS? YES YOU CAN!
Cauliflower has a reputation for being a tricky plant to grow but with careful preparation and a little TLC, says Rob Smith, you can be assured of a good crop
HIGH STAKES winner
Train your garden to grow up with this elegant frame
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES-Eradicating fountain grass
A popular garden plant, Pennisetum setaceum has escaped cultivation and is today a declared invader throughout South Africa. Mechanical control is currently the only way of removing it.
ONE OF THE EASIEST OF THE BRASSICAS TO GROW, BROCCOLI IS ALSO ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST TO EAT
It was all or NOTHING
Hurtling towards a health crisis, Elaine Watson took drastic action