Goodness Readers, how this having a job business impacts on one’s social activities. I am not for one second complaining (and I am only part-time) but even so, some weeks it’s hard to stuff everything in. Nonetheless, I did find time for a quick ten minutes in the garden today, and as usual there was some interesting stuff going on. I love the way the teasel flower flowers, for one thing. Someone described it recently as ‘a sparkler that’s been lit in the middle’, and that’s not a bad description. What a stunning plant it is, even though it’s at the most peculiar angle. The flowerheads remind me a bit of cartoon snakes trying to look around a corner.
And the bees love them, clearly.
My ‘dwarf’ buddleia is now 8 feet tall, but the colour is spectacular. What would you call this colour? I’m dithering between magenta and cerise, but I’m open to suggestions.
There are cellar spiders in the shed again, and I can’t walk out there without demolishing a web that has been slung across my route. I managed to avoid this garden orb-web spider though – she’s made her web between the buddleia and the bay window in the front garden, and is getting stuck into all the aphids that fly into her trap. These spiders are around for most of the year, but they’ve just about gotten big enough for us to actually notice.
Although there have been a lot of aphids about this year, I’ve also noticed a huge increase in ladybirds and ladybird larvae. Today, there was this two-spot (though as you can’t see the spots I’ll need you to trust me on this one…)
And some harlequin ladybird larvae, who really do remind me of aphid-hoovers as they work their way through a herd of the poor things…
And here is a harlequin ladybird pupa just waiting for another ‘hoover’ to emerge…
Out in the back garden again, I notice that the slugs and snails have eaten all the sunflowers except two, one valiant entire specimen, and one where the stem has been eaten through so that the top leaves have fallen off. I wonder why they so prefer some plants over others? I need to grow most things until they’re the size of a tea pot before I can be sure that they’ll survive, and even so some still end up like lace. Where’s a hedgehog when I need one? And aren’t those frogs supposed to be earning their keep? Harrumph.
And finally, it’s so nice to have the sparrow family still visiting the garden, along with the young starlings, the goldfinches and a couple more chaffinches yesterday. I might only have had ten minutes, but it definitely cheers me up.