Miranda Hodgson

Garden writer and gardener

I love just watching my garden: look closely and you can see activity at all levels - beetles scuttling around on the ground, butterflies in bushes and the birds high up in the trees.

I am a garden writer and gardener living in Witney, Oxfordshire. I am lucky enough to look after two beautiful gardens in Witney, where I spend much of my week, tending to the plants. My own garden is very much a wildlife garden, and I get a lot of pleasure looking out for birds, bees and bugs.


** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **

Miranda's posts and conversations

  • The Changing of the Guard

    The denizens of the warm months have left the stage, but a new cast of characters is stepping f

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  • Taking on the 'Soil my Undies' challenge

    Finding out how much life is in garden soil can be done by burying a pair of cotton pants and s

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  • Gentle giants and flying humbugs

    Hornet colonies decline in autumn while honey bees form their winter cluster

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  • Autumn birds and hedgehog highways

    The birds have new feathers and we've created access to the garden for hedgehogs

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  • The all-you-can-eat fuchsia buffet

    Re-locating elephant hawkmoth caterpillars to a disliked fuchsia 

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  • Looking at slugs

    I've been trying to see slugs in a more kindly light - close-up, they're really quite i

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  • July - the view from here

    My wild, untidy and flower-filled courtyard is becoming an insect haven

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  • How many mealworms can a blackbird pick up in one go?

    The blackbirds make great efforts to pick up as many mealworms as they can cram into their beak

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  • New bees on the block

    Honey bee swarm season is here and the bees are busy!

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  • The birds go into high gear to feed their young ones

    Feeding young nestlings is busy work, so we're helping them out with mealworms

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  • The robin finds a lucky mate

    As breeding season gets into full swing, the birds show us some of their quirks

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  • Birds, bees and butterflies on the wing

    As wildlife awake we see flurries of activity in the woods and in the garden

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  • Word recognition for the birds

    After years of talking to our bird visitors they are now reacting to a particular word

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  • Tracking bird activity through the winter woods

    Light snow cover brightens a winter woodland walk by letting you track what birds have been doi

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  • Happy new bee year 

    Bees have emerged from the hive and are busy foraging amongst our spring bulbs

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  • Who's watching who?

    If you look carefully you will see that the birds watch each other as closely as we watch them

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  • Fungi for bees

    Now I know that bees sip the sugary liquid from fungi I shall make them some more

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  • Winged squatters

    Birds will take any opportunity to make homes from our everyday objects - from old coats to tra

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  • Weaving hedges among the trees

    Combining wood brash into hedgerows provides habitats as well as structure in the woodland

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  • Readying the wildlife garden for spring

    The garden is already attractive to wildlife, but there is always more I can do

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  • Season of mellow fruitfulness - and biting midges

    Autumn is with us again, the fungi appear like magic and the biting midges are out with a venge

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  • Where have all the butterflies gone?

    2016 has been a very poor year for butterflies, but I must try to help those that are on the wi

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  • First forays into beekeeping

    After a swarm arrived in the garden this summer, we decided to give a home to another bee colon

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  • The birds' new feathers

    The robin's feathers have given it extra speed and agility. Will the same happen for the bl

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  • Helping birds through their annual moult

    Moulting birds during late summer can't fly as well, so this is a good opportunity to help

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  • Snakes in your garden?

    Grass snakes in the garden should be welcomed, we have nothing to fear from them

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  • Calling on the swarm

    Concerned about the bees removed from my garden earlier this month, I visited their new home

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  • Unexpected visitors

    It was supposed to be a quiet and gentle Sunday, but a swarm of bees decided otherwise

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  • A walk on the wild side

    Leaving an area of garden to go wild can offer habitat to many species. What will I find?

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  • Help save our bees

    As easy as one-two-three, join the Great British Bee Count and find out more about bees and how

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  • Is there more tree bark stripping this year?

    I love wildlife, but when it comes to mammals gnawing bark from trees I have mixed feelings...

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  • Busy bird behaviour 

    The onset of warm weather sends birds into a bustle of activity; finding mates, building nests

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  • Signs of life

    Wild creatures takeover the spring garden and reward the curious with great entertainment

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  • Putting by winter provisions

    Winter can be challenging for wildlife, but there are many ways that we can help

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  • Charting the course of autumn wildlife

    As autumn turns to winter, wildlife activity changes course as species work to survive the cold

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  • Enchanting leaf galls

    Leaf galls, the homes of tiny insect larvae, are fascinating to look at and find out about

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  • Going to see the 'smoking trees' in Warwickshire

    Every autumn, some tree tops appear to 'smoke'. What is going on?

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  • How clean is your (bird) house?

    Autumn is peak time to clean out nesting boxes - or is it? To clean or not to clean - that is t

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  • Gardening karma

    Growing plants for bees and other wildlife can encourage good relations in more ways than one

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  • Grape expectations

    In which our beady-eyed wildlife blogger tries to outwit a veteran thief

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  • Return of the robin

    The quirky robin we thought had gone forever has returned to charm and vex us

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  • Flying Ant Day 2015

    July and August is the time for ants to emerge for their nuptial flight. Have you seen any?

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  • Buying plants is my kind of retail therapy

    If you're feeling down, forget the clothes shops - hit the garden centre and buy more

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  • The Big Butterfly Count is on

    Have you seen many butterflies this summer? Why not take part in the world's biggest butter

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  • How many bird families will we see this year?

    Feeding the birds means that we can easily tell how many broods they are having, and when

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  • Investigating a possible owl's nest required care - and armour

    Sounds had been heard, but was there really an owl nesting in Ruth's old shed?

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  • Surprising a frog in the dark

    A lucky frog avoids being stepped on - and the tadpoles haven't been eaten yet

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  • The robins have changed territory

    Victory for the garden robin - and the nesting blackbirds are in on mealworm distribution

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  • Curious quirks of the robins two

    The robins are still favouring us with their attention and it can be hard to tell who's who

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  • Frogs are back in ponds for spring

    Frogs and newts are both using the pond this spring, so what will happen to the frogspawn?

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  • Time for feathering nests and feeding frolics

    Mating season has begun – where will the birds nest?

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  • Taming of the two

    We’ve realised that we are on the boundary of two robin territories and that there is a b

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  • The bold robin gets the worm

    This robin is benefitting from its boldness - becoming rapidly more tame in its search for a de

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  • Taming of the robin

    Winter cold brings out the boldness in garden birds such as robins, and feeding them encou

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  • Winter garden visitors

    Winter isn’t necessarily a quiet time for birds. Putting out food and water could increas

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  • Recycle your prunings for wildlife

    I’ve come across an interesting and thrifty way of creating wildlife shelters...

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  • Mice is nice

    Cherry shells reveal the presence of wood mice living nearby and sometimes their delicately-mad

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  • The art of not tidying up: habitats and food sources in the garden

    There are times when being a bit untidy is absolutely the right way to be – and autumn in

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  • Worms say ‘thanks for the rain’

    After a long dry summer, the welcome rain brings a surge in earthworm activity

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  • What lies beneath...

    Moving your tubs and planters to shelter them from wintry elements could mean you're in for

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  • Late summer and autumn flowers for pollinators

    Having made plans for winter flowers and habitats, I want to help provide pollinators with what

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  • Winter homes and hotels

    The coldest months of the year can be a challenging time for wildlife in our gardens: try givin

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  • Falling hazelnuts show that the summer is over

    It's interesting to watch the process of the nut harvest being stored; the many journeys ma

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  • Common frogs in the garden

    It is a wildlife gardener’s lot to spend part of their time rescuing and relocating small

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  • Watching the food chain in action

    Sometimes when your garden comes under attack, a little patience can work wonders

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  • Flying ant day

    With the recent hot weather, we’ve spent a lot more time sitting in the garden, and on Sa

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  • Letting the lawn go

    At a garden I work in, the owner has a sort of annexe garden next door that was acquired to pre

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  • Young birds are back in the garden

    The garden is full of baby birds finding their wings

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  • Worms have been moving stones in the garden

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  • A stoat visits the garden

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  • Are gardens primarily for humans?

    How we define wildlife gardening is increasingly up for debate

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  • Why some flowers change colour and a worm question

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  • Butterflies and newts awake, pond snails laying eggs

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  • We have a resident Sparrowhawk

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  • Crows dropping walnuts on driveways

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  • What species might cause damage in the garden this year?

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  • Boosting garden soil after flooding

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  • Choosing late season food plants for wildlife

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  • A new spider comes to visit

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  • So, how was 2013 in the end?

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  • Mystery of an abandoned nest with eggs in it

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  • Look out for bold winter robins in your garden

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  • Peppered moths and their curious means of camouflage

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  • Planning ahead for hairy-footed flower bees and bidding farewell to a bird

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  • Preparing for winter

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  • Young newts spotted in our tiny pond

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  • New pond excitement

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  • Hungry deer raiding rural gardens

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  • Helping wildlife in the cold spell

     

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  • Spring, cats and an angry blackbird

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  • One bird's nest ends up being used three times, by different species

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  • Spotting long-tailed tits' nests and other bird news

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  • How to tell a male robin from a female robin

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  • Discovering insect remains far inside rotting wood

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  • Leave those seed heads for the birds

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  • Goodbye cherry tree, hello apple trees

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  • Improving the soil with trench composting

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  • My best plants for bees

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  • Looking at Geranium sawfly larvae

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  • What's eating the rose foliage?

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  • Looking at ladybird larvae

    Surprises in the shrubbery - natives and aliens alike are getting down to ladybird business

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  • Chafer beetle on the lawn - tread on it or let it go?

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  • Grey squirrels and young birds visit the garden

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  • A sparrowhawk visits the garden

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  • Sparrows, and other birds, return to the garden

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  • The young Great Spotted Woodpeckers have left the nest

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  • The great spotted woodpecker eggs have hatched

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  • Unwelcome guests in the garden

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  • Great Spotted Woodpeckers are nesting in the garden

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  • Bluetits find a good use for tennis balls

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  • Blackbirds fighting to the death

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  • Finding earthworm middens in the courtyard

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  • What are the worms up to?

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  • Thank you, Eva! I'm sure you'll make something really good and 

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  • Hi Eva, I do let a lot of things flower - as when the Brassicas have had their time and st

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  • Thank you! Not as far I've been able to tell. They are all Evil Weevils!

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  • Thanks, Eva, the nuts were just full of larva excrement, which looked like brown dust.

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  • Congratulations on making a pond! Yes, more plants, more frogs - it doesn't have to be Ger

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