My large country garden is a five-star hotel for wildlife and the clientele is as unique as any hotel guest list.
A couple of wild ducks, who I call Heckle and Jeckle book in each spring, the swimming pool is their favourite facility. They stay in the more secluded rooms, nesting down in the wild garden.
I often see them on the observation deck-aka the roof of my house-where they prance up and down enjoying the view while quacking about everyone and everything.
The Rosellas make a group booking and arrive on mass. They’re a rowdy lot and on occasion I’ve had to ask them to keep the noise down. They like to hang around the side garden where they are close to the buffet when the fruit on the flowering Prunus ripens.
Lizzie Lizard has recently upgraded from her suite in the terracotta garden to rooms in the hibachi barbecue with a charming view of the pool.
Mr. Pobblebonk, the frog, enjoys staying in the damp leaf litter but occasionally has a sauna in the outdoor terrarium.
The magpies are suave in their penthouse trees, always dressed in their finest dinner suits. They prefer rooms at the top of the tallest trees and when they come down to bathe only the largest bird bath will do.
The pigeons don’t like height, they are strictly ground floor guests and have the run of the turquoise garden. They potter like a group of old women on a package holiday. Their heads bob up and down as if they are chatting and stepping quickly. No one wants to miss the tour bus. The pigeons puff out their chests, so their fronts resemble frilled shirts covering matronly breasts. ‘My dear, where is the Devonshire Tea?’ I imagine them asking.
Bees are the executive travellers, far too busy to lounge around. They are up and off at daybreak with work to do, gathering pollen from dawn until dusk.
In summer it really sizzles here, so I keep six bird baths and eleven water bowls for my guests. They all need replenishing often and everyday I trot around with the garden hose.
I’m happy to say, many of my guests are waiting for me as I deliver their room service.