Hi everyone, I am back from my two week holiday in England. I've had a wonderful time staying with my mum in Somerset and have had some great days out. Lots of photos to share from a few of these trips but first I needed to record my jungle garden before the mower got in there! The photos don't really do the long grass justice, nor the amount of flowerheads from the tall yellow flowered plant - think it's called Hawkbit and it is everywhere in the lawn.
We arrived home on Thursday morning and in the afternoon we duly got out there to start the grand tidy up, only for it to pour with rain soon after we got outside! K ended up doing the orchard with the hand mower as long wet grass is too much for the ride on mower. Yesterday he did more mowing with the hand mower and even that struggled with the wet grass. I'm fed up with removing cleavers from my flower beds, whose seeds unfortunately have got into my compost. Even the chickens have had enough of them. I have a LOT of work to do out here!
This really amazed me - I haven't seen Horse Chestnuts self seeding before! I'm not sure how their conkers got pushed into the soil, or maybe the seeds just open up and root whilst sitting in the grass thatch and moss.
Looking towards what was once a pristine veggie patch.
The path down to the pond.
Really I was most enamoured by my mess of a veg patch which is now very colourful and really buzzing with bees, enjoying the Borage and the Phacelia which has opened up whilst we've been away. I'm always happy to see wild Poppies and it won't be long before the masses of Opium Poppies flower too. I have had to weed kill the paths though as it was getting really hard to get around in there. There are still a few strawberries but it's yet another job I never got around to, but I'm planning to root some runners and start again in a new place later this year.
Veggies! I've never left parsnips or carrots to seed before, so it will be fun to see their flowers. The parsnips are the tall plants on the right near the top, with the carrots bottom left. Currants in the background which have been tended to.
In the background here where the white flowers are is my original Pollinator Meadow and the white flowers are Dame's Rocket - another plant which is brilliant for both bees and butterflies.
First Striped Shieldbug (Graphosoma lineatum) I've seen this year but I later noticed there are dozens of them eating my Bronze Fennel and causing some damage to the foliage. The Bronze Fennel is popular as the last two days there has been a Swallowtail butterfly flitting about it, hopefully it's a female laying eggs!
I haven't been able to capture the bees very well as I really need to use my dslr and macro lens - think I'll get that out of the cupboard and see how I get on with it again. But my newish bridge camera is not bad for zooming in on them. You can click on any of these photos to view them larger - most look better that way with more detail showing.
A Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterfly resting on a Verbascum leaf.
This is a phone photo - typical that I spotted this Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) just as my camera battery died - but I had the phone as back up!
Somehow the only decent Nora Barlow mix Aquilegia that I grew from seed managed to self seed on entirely the other side of the house!
These are a few phone photos I took on 11th May just before leaving - I had intended to show them to my Mum, but forgot! So to my brother, please show her all these pics.
These are the two Ivy Leafed Geraniums which survived the winter!
Mini Health Update
I'm glad to say that I did not have a moment of depression whilst in England, nor, and far more importantly, since I got home. The fact that I found joy in my own garden again and got excited enough to take the photos of the grass and veg patch, and start to look at the insects again and enjoy the buzzing of the bees attests to that. I've also managed to sit without any donut cushions in many coffee shops and restaurants around Somerset and Devon..... well I wasn't bloody well carrying them around with me all day when out and about! :-)