Spring delights: Mathlin Cottage, Somerset

Set on the edge of a historic village, Mathlin Cottage in Somerset is a cottage-style garden abundant with the colours of spring.

Behind the cottage seasonal crops grow in the vegetable plot, whilst established beds filled with spring bulbs bring a splash of colour before the views looking out to the Mendip Hills.

Garden Owners, Sally and Tony Harden moved to the garden with their young family over 34 years ago, and it has evolved from the inevitable sandpits and footballs to a sanctuary for local wildlife. Full of bees, butterflies and even the occasional family of hedgehogs, thoughtful planting has ensured the garden is a welcoming place for all creatures great and small.

Take a closer look…

Sally kept her own bees for several years and made the conscious decision to plant plenty of bee friendly plants around the garden. Early in the year snowdrops provide much-needed pollen and nectar for early foraging, whilst; amelanchier, pittosporum, hellebores, perennial cornflower, Centauria, and clematis montana’ Elizabeth have the bees buzzing in spring.

The surrounding wildlife has discovered the garden for itself, with Sally and Tony leaving dark corners unattended, areas of grass left uncut and installing bird boxes. The bug hotels around the garden are already filling up this year, with new solitary bees arriving daily.

Feeding stations are dotted throughout the garden, and two hedgehog houses offer shelter for nesting families. Their presence is evident in drier seasons when crispy grass and borders reveal their crunchy footsteps…

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