My wildflower patch was flourishing, but now it’s looking very sad. No rain since the start of June. No rain for most of May. And you’d think, with all the rain we had in March and April, the ground would have retained some of it. But no, we’re on very free-draining ground, and although my garden is between two watercourses, we are high and dry here.
Wildflower and minibeasts
During the month I identified flowers like bee orchid (three), hawkbit, red valerian, white campion (just one), field scabious, and biting stonecrop to add to those I mentioned in my earlier post. The wild oregano has drooped, the ox-eye daisies struggle to maintain their heads to the sun, but the bees and other insects still buzz about them. I have some wonderful blue spiky plants which the bees love. I think it’s Meadow Clary, which is an endangered species, but before anyone rushes to protect it, I did plant some wildflowers, and that may have been one of them. The red valerian and the clary seem to be doing well in this dry weather.
Minibeasts included azure, common blue, and blue-tailed damselflies, banded demoiselles, and a hairy dragonfly briefly checking out the scene. Moths flitted around with no chance of my identifying them, although several were the shape of the thorn family. I managed to identify a Brimstone moth and a White Ermine moth. Butterflies have been strangely absent since the first flush of Brimstone butterflies and Orange Tips. I had both bees and not-bees, as I could now identify them thanks to the FoE Bee Guide.
There are plenty of spiders, which is probably a good draw for several birds, and I have had what seems like tons of baby birds in my main garden. In the wildflower patch I had a young green woodpecker waiting for its parent. I think he was soundly told off for sitting out on the open on one of the posts, but he skipped off and hid himself before the sparrowhawk could test him for size and tastiness!
My main problem is the neighbours’ cats. There are two in particular who are new to the area and seem to think my wildflower patch is their playground—and my front ‘lawn’ their loo (grrr). It doesn’t help my parched plants to have them bouncing around flattening everything.