The Wild Patch

The wild patch in my garden
The wild patch in my garden this afternoon.

As we are encouraged to do these days, my partner Jen (FCD) and I have set aside a corner of our garden and allowed it to run wild. We call it our wild patch.

OK, if truth be known, it is supposed to be our vegetable patch, but it has got a bit out of hand. The nettles run rampant, the bracken I dumped there last summer to rot away has taken root, and the pile of lopped branches we left there to tidy up later has disappeared under a jungle of grass and raspberry canes. The wildlife loves our wild patch, and so do I. It is my favourite part of our garden.

Peacock caterpillars exerging from silk
Peacock caterpillars emerging from silk.

This afternoon, as I was noseying around the wild patch, I noticed a mass of tiny caterpillars emerging from a protective silk tent at the top of a stinging nettle. A quick internet search led to Steven Cheshire's wonderful British Butterflies website, and revealed that the caterpillars were those of a peacock butterfly [photo].

Wild patches are the new black. Why not make your own? It involves (literally) no work at all, and is extremely rewarding. In fact, it's not entirely unlike being the Duke of York.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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