Summer hots up
Wednesday 6th August 2003 in the garden diary...
You always notice a big difference in the garden when you've been away for a few days. After almost two weeks away, I returned yesterday to see some big changes.
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Nature seemed to have made a determined effort to reassert control over the garden! I had to spend the whole day today just doing tidying and maintenance jobs in order to rein it back in. The hot and dry weather has again taken its toll on the Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) in the new hedge: the mildew returning again. I gave it a good watering last night and I'll hope for the best. Several perennial flowers that flowered a while ago have had a second wind.
Most noticeably, insects are much more in evidence in the garden. I saw three dragonflies over the course of today (though I'm not sure which kind) and many butterflies; mostly large whites (Pieris brassicae), peacock (Inachis io) and small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae). These, together with many bees and hoverflies, were found mostly on a Buddleia bush (Buddleja davidii), showing what a valuable plant this is for the wildlife gardener. I have also notice more wasps around but, annoyingly, they never stay still long enough for me to identify them conclusively (though I think that they are mostly common wasps (Vespula vulgaris)).
I've just spent a few days with my brother-in-law and his family at their home in Buckinghamshire, close to the Chilterns. It's remarkable, and refreshing, how their garden flora and fauna differs from my own. For example, all the wasps I saw there were german wasps (Vespula germanica), but there were also animals which I never find in my own garden, e.g. crickets. Their butterfly populations were also very noticeably higher than here. Most impressively, we watched red kites (Milvus milvus) from their garden: quite a garden 'tick'!
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Do you live in Merseyside? Interested in its wildlife?