Wildlife in La Seigneurie Gardens
As well as the fabulous displays of cultivated flora in the Gardens, La Seigneurie also hosts a wonderful variety of wildflowers. Primroses and Violets bloom as early as January followed in the woodlands by wild Garlic, Bluebells and Red Campion. Early spring is also the time to see the rare Sand Crocus in bloom. Normally a heathland species, the grass beneath the large tree by the 'crossroads' is speckled with their tiny, mauve flowers. A couple of months later Double Ladies Smock, another rarity, blooms in lawns near Hathaways.
In contrast to the British mainland, house sparrows and thrushes are still plentiful and the Gardens resound to the music of birdsong until well after dusk in spring and summer. Chaffinches, Robins, Blackbirds and Tits abound as do Blackcaps and Wrens, and bands of Long-tailed Tits often pass through. The Sparrowhawks which breed in the stream valley have taken their toll on the doves while the Barn Owls which bred in the signalling tower were more welcome guests. In late autumn Redwings mob the large holly tree, stripping its berries in days.
February sees Common Frogs spawning in the garden pond and butterflies are drawn to the flowers all spring, summer and autumn. The day-flying Jersey Tiger Moth and Hummingbird Hawk Moth are also often seen. The largest insect in the Gardens is the Great Green Bush-cricket, the male singing on warm summer evenings to attract a mate.
To further encourage wildlife, La Seigneurie Gardens Trust has put up more nest boxes, including Barn Owl boxes, and installed a wild bird feeding station near the dovecote.