Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Glorious Gladdies and Bonking Beetles

When Freshwinds Garden flower beds were first planned out, the one nearest the orchard became a butterfly garden. We put a buddliea at the back and planted many annuals and perenniels beloved by butterflies. For the first year it was fantastic. By the second year the bed was wild with Michalemus daisies taking over and the buddliea needing hard pruning.
Since then the whole garden has become a butterfly and insect haven. Butterflies and bees are easy to spot or hear. But there are many other insects around. You just have to walk through slowly and know the plants that cause frenzy amongst the mini-beasts.
Cardoons, if you can see that high, and artichokes will cause bees to go bonkers when the pollen starts to flow .... when the sun is out or early in the morning.

Poppies visibly shake when the bees discover a newly opened flower in the mornings. 
At the moment beetles commonly known as blood suckers, and more uncommonly for me, 
Hogweed Bonking Beetles(???)
are in a frenzy of activity on my eryngium plant .....
 ..... usually in pairs so part of the odd name could be true.
Yellow brimstone butterflies are currently loving verbena boniarensis and my wild everlasting sweetpeas.
 Lavender is beloved of bees.
 Find a plant that is attracting insects and have your camera ready with the zoom on. It is fascinating.
Who would think a common fly could be so beautiful.

Paula and I spent some time yesterday picking the last of the blackcurrants. It was a bit of a messy job and somewhat hazardous with a huge bramble gone wild amongst the bushes.
She went home and made her successful jam straight away. I made jelly today but it did not set. Tonight we used it as a sauce poured over vanilla icecream (diet day tomorrow) 
 Our chickpeas are fattening up but I`m told by Jan and Julie that they are a fiddle to pop, there only being two peas per pod.
But I am still interested to see the plants growing.
A meal of these will be hard won.
The sweetcorn is developing fast and alongside the glorious gladdies.
One pumpkin is making its way along the cleared barn path at a rate of knots.

Other squashes are fattening up well after the rain.
It is worth leaving the self-seeded sunflowers as they are usually stronger than the others. The problem is finding stakes tall enough to support them, let alone actually hammering them into the ground.
This is the frothy perenniel gypsophila, used for weddings, buttonholes etc. It doesn`t have a pleasant smell.
Great colour combinations at the moment.

And several garden views to complete the blog entry.

And finally ..... wonderful to see a family obviously bound for the beach, on a lovely hot day, marching through the garden with coolbags, buckets, spades etc.
Hope they had a good day.
Oh and not forgetting the young man who was curious to know what the seedpods were that I was clearing.
He very politely asked for some to grow himself.
They were nigella or Love in a Mist.
Good luck with your gardening.



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