With Father's Day approaching at Pig Row. I have to consider what makes a good Father's Day gift for a male gardener and more importantly a difficult male gardener, me. Carol believes that I am awkward, she may be right and that awkwardness seems to be inherent in our son, Little D. However, a gardener and his tools is a deeply personal thing. The buying of a fork or spade is not a 'quick rush in and buy it from a store' thing. Any gardener who works with the soil day in, day out will tell you that there are a number of excellent forks and spades on the market, and then there is their's. It may be inherited, or bought first hand, or seen with longing looks at a car boot but the upshot will be that the tool will fit the gardener. It doesn't matter what it costs or where you bought it. There is a fast and hard rule though that gifts bought for gardeners are always welcome, though a vast majority of gadgets end up in the shed covered in dust.
There is one place that you can't go wrong with a gardener and that is with bird boxes. Birds are a delight at any time of the year, as long as they are not wood pigeons, here on Pig Row the Swifts, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Lapwings, Black Birds and Sparrows are a constant source of joy to everyone in the family. At Drovers we had one bird box and due to the garden being small and constantly baked, as many south facing gardens are, it did not last long. However, birds came and went, fed and roosted in our old garden. At Pig Row, the hedges have been planted not just as wind breaks but as a home for birds. Birds are a gardeners best friend, the Robin, which we have here is always the first to turn up when I turn the soil. I regularly see Magpies picking over the beds after the rain. This is a sign that the soil is fertile. No birds often means no fertility in the area. There is simply nothing for them to eat. That is why gardens are vital as wildlife corridors, we should plant for insects, for bees, for butterflies and birds.
The hedges have yet to grow and but I don't want to wait, I want to get more birds in the garden now. So when we were given the option to review a bird box from Sparrow & Finch I jumped at the chance. The box we received was the most lovely example I had ever seen. The one pictured here is The Grosvenor (at the time of publication this was at a RRP of £39) and is well constructed piece of carpentry. Sturdy but beautiful. It is the little details from the shingle roof and coppered ridge that shows that this is a product built to last. The roof is built of oak, and oak lasts. The decor, and who'd have thought a bird house has decor, is also hard wearing. Sealed, undercoated and painted twice it has been shown more love and attention than I did when I decorated the spare bedroom. Prefect for a Father's Day present, this is a product aimed at Sparrows and Tits and unlike some of the cheaper alternatives is actually easy to clear out thanks to the plug in the back. Now all I have to do is find a home for it ...
We were given all products mentioned free of charge for review.