After the lengthy drought the garden is now fully refreshed with everything showing new growth and the birds busy picking off the insects, especially in the vegetable garden where several blackbirds are regular visitors. A large Pyracantha (Firethorn) behind the kitchen is a popular spot for Blue Tits who pick off the numerous aphids as tasty morsels. Very effective pest control!
We have heard the Song Thrush busy at work smashing snail shells and found the evidence later and this morning we discovered the discarded remains of a possible blackbird on the side doorstep to the french door, where we think a bird of prey had caught it and dissected it. It was certainly very methodically done.
A stray rabbit managed to get into the vegetable plot in July but we soon found the gap in the new fence at a gate bottom, so have protected this temporarily with a wire mesh grating held in place by small posts but in winter I will lay a solid sandstone slab across the gateway and fix another timber to the gate bottom so as it just clears the stone slab with no space for a rabbit to get underneath.
We regularly see young deer in the field below Horseshoe Wood at Waddow Hall and the other night our elderly labrador managed to spot one at dusk when even I had a job to see it. Although over 12 years old there is nothing wrong with her long distance sight.
The new pond in the wildlife meadow has remained dry all summer so we are considering putting in a membrane if we are unable to puddle it.
We have noticed a distinct shortage of honey bees in the garden but plenty of bumblebees and hover flies with the odd wasp showing itself on Spanish Angelica flower heads. The new additions to the garden such as Borage, Verbena bonariensis, extra Achillea and Phlox have all been welcomed by the various pollinating insects. We nbow have plants of Aster (Michaelmas Daisy), Crocosmia (Monbretia) and Tricyrtis (Toad Lily) all budding up for autumn plus plenty of Sedum both in the border and on the new raised alpine bed.