The Juliet balcony doors are open but the curtains are closed.
I reluctantly come to, half awake I open my eyes just briefly enough to realise that it must be very early in the morning. Not even the birds are up but there a noise. I’m not impressed and if I get my hands on the one responsible for the noise that woke me up, they will be very sorry, just as soon as I finish my beauty sleep.
It’s no good, I keep hearing it and now I’ve got to find out what it is.
I lurch out of bed, stumble across to the curtains and tentatively pull one aside, letting in the cool morning air. It is refreshing but I don’t want to be refreshed, I want to be asleep.
My eyes slowly focus on a pair of red-brown things in the garden below.
Oh my gosh! Call the police! We’ve got coyotes! No, hyenas! No, wilder beast! No, it’s actually a pair of foxes, playing around on the landscape fabric that marks out the borders. This one seems particularly interested in something underneath the fabric. As I watched it stuck its snout under the folds between an overlap and pulled something out, ran across the grass where it devoured it and then seemingly bored of this garden, ducked underneath the beech hedge and through to the neighbours.
Foxes are rather common but it was the first time I had been woken up by them. They visit quite often as the black landscape fabric is covered with muddy paw prints. My guess is that the hot sun on black fabric makes the perfect place for grass snakes and slow worms to hide under, it is these that the foxes are probably after.
We’ve yet to see other garden wildlife such as hedgehogs, moles and badgers etc, some we would like to see, other we’d rather they stay away. As the garden gradually changes and the monoculture of grass is inexorably replaced with bio-diverse borders, I hope more wildlife is attracted to the garden. In a way it feels like I am setting the stage for re-establishing the natural food chain on my plot of land. The grass gives way to border plants, which attract pests, which attract insects, which attract birds, which attract larger birds and so on.
A garden without the sound of buzzing bees, chirping crickets and bleating birds feels sterile and artificial. Gardens should be noisy with wildlife, humming with activity and the sounds of countless creatures going about their business. This hubbub is evidence that all is well with the world – at least where the garden is concerned.