Friday, August 4, 2017

Lack of insects.

Concession to bedding plants, a lovely piece of Bog oak which was crying out for some flowers.
Where have all the insects gone? This year there have been so few around, I've not seen one honey bee, very few bumble bees, only the odd hoverfly, very few moths or butterflies, there have been a few small whites and a few large whites, and earlier on in the year I saw quite a few orange tips, but it is now full summer, where are all the Red Admirals? count to date just one, Peacocks nil,
and just one lone Tortoiseshell, there's even a lack of midges and mosquitos, not that I'm sorry about that, but they are still needed, especially for the Swallows and Swifts. It's not just our garden that's failing to attract them, we were at a friends place last weekend and she  also mentioned the lack of insects. We both plant for the insects and other wild life, and no chemicals of any type are used in the gardens, I can't help but wonder if we are moving towards Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring', if we are 'the world is up the creek without a paddle.'
The pond and rockery is now finished, we went to a small aquatic nursery and bought two water lilies for the pond, one white and one pink, it should look nice next year when the lilies have settled in, and at the moment the rockery is free of mares tail and silver weed.
The fruit on the older peach tree is now ready for picking, the peaches are huge, weighing in at just over eight ounces  each, desert is now peaches and home made yoghurt.
The vegetable garden is producing well and we are spoilt for choice, the only disappointment has been the potatoes with a very reduced yield, possible caused through lack of rain in April when they were planted and May when they should have really got going, there was plenty of leaf and flowers, just very few tubers, we will just have to eat more rice and pasta.
I had thought that we had picked all the redcurrants, however Simon managed to find another four pounds of them
which I turned into eight pots of Redcurrant and Mint jelly, this makes a lovely change from mint sauce or straight redcurrant jelly, apart from bottling the remaining peaches the jelly is the last thing I will be preserving this year.

The flower gardens are looking very colourful, with the Lucifer against the Aconite,

all the Dahlias have done very well this year, last years tubers seem to have doubled in size,
and the perfumed lilies are also in flower.
We took a trip to the coast via the Ox mountains,
all the streams had turned to rivers which were in full spate creating quite a noise.
At the coast we spotted an interesting masonry built archway into a wall, it appears to have been built to give an entrance to the stream, maybe to collect fresh water for drinking or for livestock, as it was so well built it must have had an important purpose.
We also spotted a Cormorant on some rocks, waiting to dive on some unsuspecting fish.
Flower bed just outside the bedroom, lovely to wake up to lots of colour.


  1. It was the same here a couple of weeks ago, I think I'd seen one butterfly all year and only a few bees but there were loads on holiday, I'm hoping that I'll see more here now. We were watching a cormorant on the lake on holiday, it's fascinating watching them dive below the water and pop up a long way from where they go under.

    1. Having written about the lack of butterflies we arrived home on Saturday to be greeted by a cloud of butterflies, they must all have hatched out at the same time.

  2. Do you think you will try hand polinating?

    1. We do hand pollinate the peach trees and the lemon, everything else has to take it chance.

  3. Scary to notice the lack of insects. Plenty of mosquitoes in Spain but I haven't noticed as many being back, put it down to being in London though. That peach is enormous, did it taste as good as it looks? Flowers are looking beautiful. I love the contrast of colours in the flowerbed outside your room xx

    1. We have had a great crop from both of the peach trees, the older one ended up giving us sixty fruits all around the half pound weight and yes they tasted great.

  4. Few insects here too, Anne. I guess it is the restless wind through July and all of Aug so far plus the almost daily rain showers. Maybe we will get an Indian Summer?

  5. The day after I posed this we were greeted by a swarm of butterflies, you must have very different weather from us, we have only had a few days of wind, and rain about average.

  6. I love the contrast of colours in the flowerbed outside your room