All posts in Wildlife

  • Badger munch!

    • Badgers like sweetcorn!

    • Salvaged cobs

    I had to smile when arrived at the lottie this morning, the sweetcorn patch looked like a bombsite. I knew badgers were munching away on others sweetcorn in the past week or two, and had spotted signs of wanderings/activity around my plot in the past, but obviously last night was his/her fine night of dining on my crop. I’d harvested some cobs at the weekend which were very tasty indeed, so at least badger has good taste!

    I’ve now cleared the remaining sweetcorn mess, and harvested as many cobs as possible, but did leave a pile of the remaining half eaten ones and another for him/her to finish off this evening near to the compost pile.

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  • The end of july

    • Harvests

    • Hoverfly

    • Red Tailed Bumble Bee

    • Allotment

    Everything is growing in abundance.  The long hot sunny days have enabled many of the vegetables to become ready for harvesting both at the allotment and in the courtyard.  The courtyard is alive with the buzz of visiting bees and hoverflies (and even the occasional dragon fly visiting briefly too!).

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  • The end of june

    • Bees galore

    • Apples

    • Courtyard bed

    Another busy and vibrant month.  The weather has been rather kind, with a good blend of ocassional rainy days and long warm sunny days and I am pleased to say that the main veggie bed area in the allotment is all finally dug, mulched and planted up and growing well. At the end of the month, I covered up the turf pile and planted some squash in it.  I’m not sure that they’ll make it maturity as I fear the slugs may quite like the covered turf pile with a new ‘take-away’ being planted up, so will see how that goes.  At least the turf is covered and can begin to break down properly with the aim to use it as a mulch in time.

    The courtyard beds (one small ‘nibbly bed’ and a slightly bigger bed) is now planted up with a mix of salads, and leftovers from the allotment.  The Wautoma cucumbers have been planted outside into tubs, along with some of the Rosa de Berne tomatoes in the beds too.  The aubergine plant is the only one of my youngsters which hasn’t kept up to speed with the pace of growing with the others plants but am hoping that will catch up in time.
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  • The end of may

    • Front garden

      Front garden

    • Foxgloves

      Foxgloves

    • Greenfly munchers

      Ladybird Larvae

    A busy month indeed. The allotment is coming along well, and feel like I am starting to see the end of the tunnel with all the digging to prepare the new no-dig beds. The weather has been rather good at times, warming up the soil too, and both the back courtyard and the small front garden are growing well too.
    There’s been lots of potting on of my vegetable youngsters and am trying to juggle space both inside and out to keep them all happy.

    The courtyard has been a buzz throughout the month. I’d left the remainder of the purple sprouting broccoli to go to flower, and have had the delight of watching numerous species of bees and hoverflies visiting the courtyard. The bee that caught my attention the most, was the delightful  Hairy-Footed Flower Bee which I wrote about here (and managed to catch a quick audio recording too!) Also the foxgloves are now out in the courtyard (raised from seed from my previous garden) and the bees are busy on those too. I’ve never done a garden with raised beds for the plants and flowers before, and I’ve been enjoying the difference of sounds from the visiting buzzy friends. With the foxgloves raised up in the beds, the ‘tinny’ noise of the bees in the flowers is so much louder, and a lovely noise of their ‘buzzy busy-ness’ it is too.

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  • The hairy-footed flower bee

    • 1_bee

      hairy footed flower bee

    • in flight

    • her home

    • busy bee

    • rubbing off the pollen

    The spring courtyard garden is alive with the buzzing and humming of bees and hoverflies.  I recently noticed a distinctive buzz and to my delight, discovered a ‘new to me’ bee. (you can listen to the audio of the bee at the end of this post) I’d probably seen them before, but never really noticed this one.  A couple of weeks ago, I first noticed a little black bee buzzing around busily on the rosemary bush in the courtyard. I’d just been admiring the hoverflies and trying to follow another little flurrying friend which looked like the first bee-fly of the season before being distracted by this little black bee.  It was quite unusual, very spritely and fast, very busy indeed and looked like it’s long proboscis was permenantly extended out too.  I watched the darting patterns of where she flew, and to my surprise, she ventured towards a hole on the outside wall and in she went.

    I was entranced by this little bee, so had to find out a little more.  Whilst trying to identify the bee, I came across a blog post with the most wonderful illustrations of the male and female of this bee over on the Courtyard Gardeners blog and discovered that my little bee that I’d spotted was a female hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora Plumipes).
    I’ve left the leftovers of the purple sprouting broccoli and the kale to flower in the courtyard to be able to provide a spring nectar source for the visiting pollinators and it’s been a buzz with lots of different species of bees and hoverflies, and this bee seems to quite enjoy them too.

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