Paula is not a professional gardener. She is a work colleague who just enjoys her garden and all things in it! Here is a little snippet she has written which sums up a 'normal' garden in an average town or city and what she loves about it.

If you have something you enjoy in nature then why not send it to us?

Now, if you drove past my house in the little Pennine village where I lived you would think "now there's minimal"!! I have the most beautiful flowering cherry tree which I adore in all its changing mantles and two little "clipped" bay trees in pots! But my back garden is a different animal (pardon the pun!)

I have let the back of my garden go "wild" so to speak and it is festooned with flowering blackcurrant bushes, elder flower bushes, a huge hydrangea, and two lovely buddleias, and gorgeous black ash tree, plus lots of bits in wheelbarrows!!!

I am amazed and always feel it is a great privilege to have my "wild friends" come to eat each day so have provided the little loves with a state of the art bird feeder apparatus! It holds fat balls, bags of nuts, dispensers with seed, a plate on which I put "Bill Oddie's Special Garden Mix" complete with dried worms and the fights that go on there for this delight is so funny!!! The starlings are such personalities and give hours of fun to watch. There is a bird bath too but, whether they are very modest birds I don't know, but they never bath when I am watching! The next step is buying a pair of binoculars and a good illustrated bird book so that I can identify all the fab little chaps that feed each day.

Every morning I put out my cat's leftover biscuits (tuna of course!) and I have two resident magpies who watch for the kitchen blind going up and then wait on the tree for me to throw out their breakfast. Now, occasionally, a local cat will get in there first and the performance is laughable. The magpies caw and parade and fly over the cat to distract it but to no avail and they get really really annoyed. I tend to buy extra so that on these occasions when the cat has fed and fled, I throw more out for them. Oh and when they have their chicks in the summer they are brought for breakfast too!

Last but not least…………..I have a hedgehog living in my garden too!!

A couple of years ago my black ash was slightly diseased and needed some radical pruning so with the branches that were taken off I made a "den" inside the body of the blackcurrant bushes. I kept hoping that a hedgehog would take up residence and I was rewarded a few weeks ago by a brown shape in the twilight walking towards the French windows. I put more cat biscuits out and I saw her (we call her Doris) a couple of nights later making her way into her new habitat!!! I was thrilled.

Paula Hargreaves