We are nearly half way through the year.
June has been quintessential. Warm, sunny days, long evenings and, for us, squadrons of swifts screaming across the big open skies taking advantage of the insect buffet that has been particularly varied and fulsome if the insects at ground level are anything to go by.
The garden that has evolved from a small boy’s playground to a grown women’s has slowly moved from a cricket pitch to predominantly flower beds. As my understanding of the crisis in biodiversity has increased my need to do something about it has become urgent. I have had borders full of flowers that are tempting for bees and other pollinating insects but last autumn I decided to go one step further and dig up the poor, time consuming grass at the end of the garden and sow it with a wild flower mix from Pictorial Meadows. I chose a mix that would be happy in semi shade full of agrimony, dames violet, foxgloves and scarlet avens (wild geums).
The seeds are establishing beautifully and the bare patch of soil that was protected with unsightly netting from the roving cats over the winter is now full of emerging plants. I added in some primroses and poppies from seeds and seedlings already in the garden. I have watched with increasing excitement as the bare earth has disappeared and the new bed has developed.
Laying on the swing chair immersed in plants as the sun was beginning to dip behind the shed the air was awash with flying insects big and small. The buzzing of bees investigating the inside of foxgloves, backing out, their furry bottoms emerging, butterflies and moths dancing in the golden light it became clear that I had achieved my aim. And as the evening wore on and the swifts starting doing their nightly fly past, fancifully I couldn’t help but think they were partaking in the feast rising from the garden.
This new area of garden is extremely small so if you have a patch of unloved space in your garden you could do like me and create an area for insects to feast and thrive.