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Swarms

12/7/2020


It is a very warm and sunny day today and I intend to continue my mission to plant out the few remaining flowering plants lurking in the cold frames and polytunnel. I start with the small bed below the library windowsill. But before I can go ahead, I need to remove the walnut tree. Last year, one of the visitors to the garden asked if we would like a walnut tree she had grown from seed. We are often given plants by kind visitors who either have a surplus of seedlings or an existing plant that will become to big for their garden. This healthy young tree has been awaiting its new home in a pot sitting in this bed since last year. I have now decided to plant it on its own in the orchard in front of the three nut trees leading up to the bees. It needs to be at some distance from other trees because its roots secrete substances toxic to other plants to ensure its own space in a wood. It is a fast growing tree and could reach 60-100 feet!



I then do some rearranging in the bed, moving some baby hydrangeas to the back and then I fill the resulting space with five Statice, one marigold, 13 heliotrope Marine and three Osteospermums! It isn’t the most ideal spot so I hope we get a bit of a display. I then weed a messy area at the very start of the central borders and fill it with some asters. These two sections (on either side of the path) house my aster collection, a beautiful late summer flowering daisy like plant in many shades of pink, purple and white.

Today was a day of swarms. Whilst I was in the back garden I heard a buzzing sound that got louder and louder, I looked up and could see on the other side of the wall the sky was full of bees. I retreated inside briefly and the bees disappeared over the trees. I also noticed swarms of flying ants coming up out of the path edge and later masses of them swarming on the grass in the orchard and flying away. Who do all these creatures choose the same day to swarm, is it to do with the moon?

I then continue planting in the beds I weeded yesterday around the base of the vine mount. I’ve decided to plant the colourful flax (charmer mixed – about 30 plants) and the pale yellow Cosmos (Xanthos – about 70 plants) in these beds. When I have finished I gave everything a good watering including the stuff I planted yesterday. Unfortunately, all the plants that have gone out at this late stage will need close monitoring. They have been in their trays too long and will wilt quickly, it will be my job to keep them happy…I’ll add them to the list of everyone else I have to keep happy…elderlies, daughters, husband, cats, dogs and stroppy chicken!

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