Roehampton Garden Society

Nesting boxes – specialist designs

Can you help a bird by putting up a nesting box this spring? You may welcome a DIY project this winter and our allotmenteers excel at creating items from spare wood or pallets. Nest box design is now an art – with specialist box shapes available for more unusual birds as well as our robins tits, sparrows.

robin and wren
barn owl
great tit

But – what type of birds do you see that might appreciate a warm roost – and do you have a suitable place to attach a box? Urban cats can make life a misery for a misplaced nest. There’s useful information available from the British Trust for Ornithology here, with instructions, cutting plans and advice – make a box for robin, wren, blue tit, great tit, and even 3 types of owl! They have produced a printable pdf all about beginning with nest boxes here.

There’s also much good advice on nest boxes available from CJ Wildlife here: – well worth a read.

The scents of Winter

One of the joys of a sunny winter day is to catch a hint of perfume from our winter flowering shrubs.
One of the most beautiful has to be the viburnum. This lovely, tall, but easily controlled shrub flowers on bare branches and is a joy both for us and early bumblebees – an excellent early source of nectar for them. Find out more about growing viburnum.

One of the best for perfume is a humble evergreen shrub called sarcococca. In general a spreading shrub, some varieties will survive well in a pot near a pathway. Here’s more about growing them..
If you’re looking to enjoy the scents of winter, both of the varieties below thrive in Wandsworth gardens, and Kew is famous for its viburnum collection…

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn
Breakfast for an early bumblebee
Sarcococca confusa