Gimme Five! British bird handbooks

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Selection of 5 British bird handbooks | H is for Home

Have you seen any of this year’s fledglings yet? All along the Rochdale Canal which passes through Todmorden, there are lots of broods of ducks and Canada geese. In our garden this week we’ve had a baby robin as a frequent visitor.

Justin’s a long-time twitcher, but I’m a lot less knowledgeable ornithologically! We have a stack of British bird handbooks on our bedroom bookshelf; the latest addition being a couple of Matt Sewell’s beautifully illustrated guides.

We actually own copies of all the above – with the exception of Bewick’s – perhaps it will be in my stocking this Christmas!

  1. The Observer’s Book of British Birds: from £4, Amazon
  2. Our Garden Birds, Matt Sewell: £7.28, Wordery
  3. A Sketchbook of Birds, C. F. Tunnicliffe: £2.81, eBay
  4. Bewicks British Birds: £2.99, The Works
  5. RSPB Handbook of British Birds: £8.37, Hive

Gimme Five! Hibernation homes

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selection of 5 hibernation homes for garden wildlife

The weather has turned positively autumnal this week – and August Bank Holiday weekend isn’t even upon us yet! We’ve been seeing squirrels scurrying about busily collecting supplies for later in the year.

We regularly feed the avian visitors to our garden, especially hanging seeds and lard balls in the trees during the lean winter months. This year, we plan on doing a little bit extra. Erecting insect, bat and hedgehog hibernation homes will make our garden a veritable wildlife boarding house – the kind of lodgers we’d love to welcome! There are so many types of homes and shelters to choose from out there. And so many different creatures that you can encourage to over-winter and stay on year-round.

  1. Butterfly biome: £24.99, RSPB
  2. Wooden hedgehog house – £99.95, Notonthehighstreet
  3. The Birds and the Bees: £34.95, Etsy
  4. Double chamber bat box: £28.95, Ethical Superstore
  5. Ladybird house – £9.99, Crocus

A leaf out of our book

potato print of tree with birds

Our current series of blog posts is looking at the inspiration of nature on artists- previous themes being fish, birds and flowers.

leaf shaped glass dish

This week we’re putting leaves & leaf-inspired designs into the spotlight. Sometimes it’s the whole object that takes the form of a leaf as with the glass dish above, but more often it’s the decoration.

Cathrineholme lotus pattern enamel kettle Cathrineholm lotus design enamel coffee pot

Lotus pattern enamelware designed by Grete Prytz Kittelsen for Cathrineholm of Norway – produced in many colours including green, yellow, blue, red, orange and black.
Leaves lend themselves very well to simple, pared down designs.

detail of1950s waste paper basket detail of plate
1950s leaf detailing

The repeating pattern of leaves on a stem is very strong visually.

Iden Pottery vase Rambouillet plate
Iden Pottery vase :: Boch Rambouillet plate

tall jug by Villeroy & Boch
Villeroy & Boch jug

One of favourite designers, Stig Lindberg, used a very similar repeating leaf pattern to great effect in his Bersa collection for Gustavsberg.

Enamelware kettle designed by Stig Lindberg
Bersa enamelware kettle

Grete Prytz Kittelsen and Stig Lindberg along with many other influential Scandinavian designers are covered in a great book – Scandinavian Design, Charlotte & Peter Fiell.
Designs were sometimes more free-flowing as in this 1950s Wade Pottery cup & saucer.

1950s Wade pottery cup & saucer

All the pieces above date from the 1950s, 60s and 70s – here are a couple of older examples. We love these rustic iron candle holders and have got quite a collection!

leaf shaped iron candle holder leaf shaped iron candle holder
Victorian candle holders

PS – We’re not sure precisely which day yet- but the H is for Home website is going live next week. We’ll be doing our next blog on the day we go live- so stay tuned!