A Word In Your Ear - June 18, 2015

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A host of sparrows are back at Edmonds Towers after my annual renovation of our gardens.

The little fellows now outnumber resident blackbirds, blue tits, robin and wren. We are also regularly visited by starlings, cooing ring-necked doves and greedy wood-pigeons. They all exhibit differing behaviour, if you’ve time to watch.

Unexpected blooms are springing up, too, in those pots I’ve not yet replanted; various saplings emerge in unexpected corners, and some sprouting bushes I’m still to identify.

It was She Who Knows who prompted this transformation from a once-barren car port and bins area. Since early retirement I’ve learned to identify trees and invested more time in gardens, parks and country lanes.

This pays off with a wealth of inspiration and fresh knowledge. Like our sea, the land is ever-changing if you have eyes accustomed to see. However, you won’t notice much – or feel close to nature – in a motor.

More than anything in recent years, the automobile has changed our outdoor environment. Formerly tree-lined avenues are now all paved and double-parked with vehicles, illuminated by towering street lights.

As I stroll round old Great Marton heading for Stanley Park, or perhaps wander from Lowther Gardens into ‘leafy’ Lytham streets, there are more front gardens being paved over for parking.

St Annes has always been popular with elderly wanting ‘low-maintenance’, concreted gardens. However, even there, a passer-by sees islands of bushes, trees and tubs to house flora and fauna.

Sadly, the typical modern home sacrifices its garden to four-wheel-drive monsters, with no shady space for our sparrows.

Through groups like the ‘Friends’ of parks, or by planting a tree or, even, simply filling a window box, we can all stay better rooted in the real world.

That’s much preferable to one of our own making.

l For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.