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.

Spider lunching on a hoverflyThe three raised beds in the courtyard which are home to my flowers, herbs and small trees have flourished this summer.  The minarette apple trees are fruiting, one more than the other which seems to be somewhat weaker after last summers and this seasons aphid attack.  I’m not sure of the effect of adding the lady bird larvae on the leaves and how that went, as they disappeared soon after releasing them.  Hopefully they’ll make it to adulthood.  The diversity of bugs continues to grow in the courtyard too.

The yard buzzing with bees throughout the day, and spiders are appearing more too.  I even spotted a dragonfly that came in to rest momentarily.  A couple of butterflies have flitted in and out of the garden but not stopped for long. Even for such a small space it is full of pollinators and other insects too. One thing I did notice during the month is that the hoverflies have reduced in number.  Possibly it’s an in-between time for them or certain species with the food sources that I can supply from them with my planting, I just don’t know.  I’m trying to be quite observant and noting when one plant source is nearing it’s end that another pollinator friendly plant can step in. And if there isn’t one there, I’ll try to find something suitable and plant it up (though there aren’t that many spaces left in the beds in the yard!).  The foxgloves have been a real treat throughout the month. And the tinny noise that the bees make whilst inside the flowers has been a welcome sound too.

In the front garden, the birds are still visiting lots. The ‘regulars’ such as the greenfinches, goldfinches, pigeon, sparrow, dunnocks, robin and blue tits are all in regularly and this month the blackbirds have been bringing in their youngsters into the garden too.

For my birthday, I received a wonderful present, Britain’s Hoverflies which should help in identifying more of my favourite visitors to the garden and allotment. (there’s a good review over on BirdGuides you can read here if interested.)

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