My first priority last summer was to get some plants in the ground. By August we had a variety of plants, mostly cottage garden perennials and including roses, herbs, lavender and lupins.
As we hoped, the garden was soon full of birds enjoying the seeds from the plants as well as the insects attracted to them. Some of them have stayed with us through the colder months, including a distinctive robin who has made a point of systematically eating our winter pansies.
Of course, wildlife attracts more wildlife and for the past few weeks we've been hearing the call of several tawny owls in the evening and well into the night. We think they're in a nearby barn but they conduct regular sorties into our garden.
The previous owners of our house must have enjoyed the owls too - they made sure there was a permanent reminder in one of the windows.
I hope the distinctive robin keeps his head down when he hears the owls approaching!