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February futures

Thoughts from our friend Dale Wood on improving the habitat in your garden, and learning about the wildlife on your doorstep.


I read somewhere that 40-50% of the population make New Year resolutions and... almost as many fail to keep them.

‘Self promises’ seem to be the predominant type. Things like health (eg. lose weight, quit smoking), finance/career (eg. save money, reduce stress) or generosity (eg. be helpful, donate to charity).

It would seem then, that if you made a New Year resolution of any type, the chances are that you have already failed. But never fear, in an attempt to help you retrieve the situation and offer you an achievable alternative, albeit in a blatantly-contrived way, I would like to suggest things you could do, that touch on all of the above mentioned types of New Year’s resolution ie. health, finance/career and generosity. Though you may need to bring in a bit of left field thinking in order to make the connection.

Of course, we can no longer call them New Year’s resolutions because it’s February.

‘Newish’ perhaps, or ‘February resolutions’. Neither work for me.

What about ‘February fantasies’, 'February features’ or ‘February failures’ to pre-empt the almost certain collapse of whatever the wish might be. I think I’ll go for ‘February futures’ - I like a bit of alliteration and it suggests looking ahead.

February futures No. 1

I will take more notice of the insect life in my garden.

A field guide might help with this, but you could have your phone with you, take a photo and research it later online.

Benefits - Expand your knowledge a little and maybe reduce stress by sitting still and quiet and allowing the insects to come to you.

February futures No. 2

I will encourage more insects into my garden by improving their habitat.

Restrict mowing the lawn (no mow May) - less exercise but more time to relax. If you insist on more exercise then turn the lawn into a flower meadow. Sow and plant native species.

Promise yourself not to use pesticide, herbicide, fungicide or get involved in any other type of cide (the ‘cide’ ending originates from the latin word caedere meaning kill).

Benefits – Some exercise, a feeling of kindness and goodwill when you desist from killing and poisoning things, encourages natural insect predators.

February futures No. 3

I will force myself to become a messy gardener.

Not to the extent that you should do nothing, he says, speaking from firsthand experience, because that results in loads of nettles and brambles and not much else. What I mean is, don’t cut back everything, don’t clear away everything, don’t deadhead everything, don’t sweep fallen leaves away. Allow things to decay. Allow things to grow where ‘they’ want to grow.

Benefits – No more panicking about how you can possibly find the time to keep your garden neat and tidy. Less stress. Feeling pleasantly surprised when something grows and flourishes in a place you hadn’t intended it to be.

So there we have it. Three achievable goals.

The insects and other wildlife will thank you for it and you will become increasingly grateful as you begin to observe living creatures you hadn’t noticed before.

Apiary man (Dale Wood)

February 2023

Why not join one of our Beekeeping for Beginners courses this year, led by Dale.

27th May, 3rd & 10th June (all Saturdays)

5th , 6th , 7th June (Mon, Tue, Wed)

16th , 17th , 18th June (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Contact Tamar Grow Local on 01579 208 412


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