Welcome to our home. As you walk along the road, ours may seem like just another ordinary bungalow, but once you go through the gate and up the steps (only a few), you will soon see this is a wonderful space for me and some of my friends. If it is hot, you may see me flying around gently perching every now and then on a flower to gather nectar or pollen (my favourites at the moment are anemones) or stopping at the bird bath for a drink of water. My human guardians have planted a large range of early flowering trees and shrubs, perennial plants and bulbs that flower just about all year round as the winters are quite mild here in Swanage. This helps us enormously as we can forage close to home.
We do however like to go into the neighbours gardens too and you may find us near the Downs or at Durlston Country Park. Did you know there are 18 different types of bee in the United Kingdom and we can fly up to 3 miles if we find a food source we like. It isn’t just bees that live here though. We are visited by many birds; our owners like to help them too by providing thick hedges they can nest in and around the garden you will see some nesting boxes for those birds who like something a little more luxurious.
Our owners help by feeding them bird seed and suet blocks during the colder months. Nothing too grand but they seem to like it. In the garden you will also see two houses for frogs and toads. This is called a Frogilo. You will find them situated in a quiet, cool, shaded area. It keeps the frogs cool in the summer but warm in the winter. Last year they had a pond built for them but they haven’t used it yet. We however like to drink from the muddy area where the water forget me nots grow, we also had our first waterlily flower which was wonderful to see. This year the humans have created a living roof on the garden shed and the summer house. There are approximately eight different species of sedum which will provide us with a source of nectar during the summer. We are told it requires very little watering during the summer and is easy to maintain. Our home is not very tidy so please don’t expect manicured lawns and weed free borders. We like it like this. It gives us places to hide and we can pop up in places you don’t expect to see us.
For this years open event, it is hoped our humans can show you some of their honey making equipment and you can also enjoy a slice of honey cake and a cup of tea or coffee. At the moment as it’s so cold and wet, we are still making the honey but there is still time for us to seal the honey so it is ‘just right’ and for the humans to extract it, filter it and put it into jars.
Our owners also like to help the environment by looking after their own house. They do all the usual stuff like recycling just about everything and they have water butts to catch the rain water (and they use ‘grey’ water too) so they can water all the pots and container grown plants which are kept in trays made from recycled plastic. They grow vegetables in containers too but these are all finished now. They also have solar panels to generate their own electricity. They look very smart but you can’t really see them from the road so please come and have a look from the garden and enjoy a cake and cup of tea. You can say hello to us too as you go past. We hope to see you soon.
There are 2 Open Greener Homes that can be accessed from Southcliffe Road. Park in Bon Accord Road then walk down Southcliffe Road, which is unmade-up, and visit Farndreg (please book) and Knap (drop in). After passing Osmay Road, Knap is the third bungalow on the left. Come up the path and ring the doorbell. If you have mobility issues and need to drive, turn into Osmay Road and park on the right past the trees with metal tree guards. You can enter the property though the wooden gate.