Sweet pea

Above: Sweet pea, July 2004

Garden diary: June

Thursday 5 July 2007

It's been a while since I've added to these pages - but the major thing to report is that it's been raining a lot. To quote from the BBC website: "Last month was the wettest June the UK had seen since detailed records began in 1914" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6270346.stm).

This was a little disheartening after I put so much effort into rejuvenating parts of the garden earlier in the year. It seemed to have just reached something akin to perfection - with the roses looking their best ever - when the rain began, and then it rained, and rained, and rained. It's raining now. There have been a few sunny spells, but the rain destroyed the roses fairly quickly, before I had chance to admire the display.

Still, compared to the situation some people have had to face, having their homes and businesses under several feet of water, any effect on a garden seems trivial and not something I should be moaning about.

There are some good things, as there always are when you're the custodian of a small green space. The large pyracantha I relocated seems to be recovering and getting its roots down, and even produced a bit of blossom, which should mean berries later. The dahlias are about to start flowering, and the daylily too. The sweet peas have been flowering for a few weeks now, and the scent is appreciated.

The dunnocks have a nest in the ivy and I can hear small chicks cheeping.

Another nest - a more unusual one - bumble bees seem to have a nest in a large planter in Kitchen Corner. The "planter" is in fact an old plastic water tank, and it's right in a corner where two house walls meet, and is probably very dry, certainly sheltered. I think it had a mouse nest in it before, as I was watering there once and a mouse shot out of it. I read that bumble bees use old mouse nests.

The bees I've seen going in and out have a reddish-orange back end, and it seems that they might be the Early bumblebee, Bombus pratorum. But then I'm no expert. There's a useful site, and more information, at the website of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Another pleasing thing - at last we have garden chairs. After fruitlessly searching for something suitable and affordable, and meanwhile all taking it in turns to sit in the one garden chair (usually occupied by Rosie the cat), suitable chairs were discovered by chance in the local Homebase. We now have three chairs with arms, and two benches. No area of the garden is large enough to hold that much furniture at once, but the two new chairs were tested after I assembled them from their flat-pack state, and found to be suitable. Unfortunately they've been inside in the kitchen ever since, because of the incessant rain . . . One has been briefly outside, in sunny spells - and guess what, Rosie the cat always gets there first.

Back to July highlights and diaries


Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in bud, July 2004

Above: Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in bud, July 2004

Garden diary: August