After the Rain


Dear Readers, we have finally had some rain over the past few days, and everything in the garden seems to have uttered a sigh of relief. We opened the front door midway through the first downpour to find several frogs hopping around – I have a suspicion that they’ve been waiting for some dampness to disperse. Certainly the pond is a lot quieter now than it was.

I still think that the hawthorn is outdoing itself, though, I have never seen it so heavy with berries. No wonder the area under the trees is bone dry, they must be using all the moisture for themselves, and who can blame them? I have terrible trouble finding something that will thrive under them after the spring bulbs are finished though. I suspect that some more soil improvement is key, but let me know if you’ve planted anything in a very dry shady area that works for you from mid-summer onwards. Gardening is such a lot of trial and error!

So, what else is in flower? Well the hemp agrimony – one plant is now just covered in rather untidy brown seeds, but the other two plants, which are in shadier spots, are still going well. The great willowherb is in full flower, and very pretty it is too.

My sedum (sorry, hylotelephium, old habits die hard) is coming into flower – what a bonus it is in late summer when everything else is going over! Bees and hoverflies seem to love it.

And how about this rather handsome fly? This is Xylota segnis, a hoverfly, although it spent more time leaping from leaf to leaf than flying. Apparently it doesn’t visit flowers and spends most of its time sitting around or scuttling across leaves collecting honeydew. Look at those massive compound eyes! Clearly this is a creature that it would be difficult to swat, should you be unkind enough to want to do so.

The fly would be very happy on my buddleia which is still dripping honeydew and has attracted a small army of flies and wasps. Every time I think about cutting it back it throws out some more flowers and all the butterflies, so I don’t have the heart.

Xylota segnis

So, how are you all doing, Readers? Has the drought played havoc with your courgettes? Have your runner beans keeled over? Let me know your news, good and bad.


5 thoughts on “After the Rain

  1. Anonymous

    My poor ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea’s flowers are sprinkled with crisp brown bits where it’s been in the direct sun, while the half of the shrub that’s in the shade looks fine. I think it must be a combination of heat *and* sun that has done this, as the plant has been in the same half-sun/half-shade spot for years.

    If this is the new normal, I shall have to try to move it and put a more hardy plant in its place.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      Interesting – they are very thirsty plants as you know, but it’s interesting that it’s only the half in the sun that’s been damaged, so I think you’re right, it’s the amount of sun and the heat. I wonder how easy they are to move, though? I do know that a friend of mine managed to move one, so hopefully it will be fine….

  2. Anne

    My good news is that we received 5mm of very light rain overnight – not enough to fill a dam (which we sorely need) but good enough to revive some very stressed garden plants.

  3. Anonymous

    We’re using ‘grey water’ where we can for flowers & were nurturing a courgette plant but sadly the squirrel picked it, tried half of it, then got bored so discarded – oh well, lets hope for the next!

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      The squirrels ate every last one of my crocuses last year too. In fact I’m giving up and moving over to grape hyacinths, which they don’t seem quite so fond of…..


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