A day off work means a morning tackling the weekly food shop, followed by an afternoon on the allotment. Well, usually anyway. The past two weeks however, the allocated allotment appointment has been superseded by more pressing matters. In that time, nature has taken advantage of our absence and run riot over the plot. Hot sunny days, mild nights and a few rain showers, create the perfect conditions for growth. Wildflowers and those plants commonly known as ‘weeds’, have grown vigorously, threatening to engulf some of my shier and less assertive cultivated plants.
The start of summer has triggered the cutting-flowers to burst forth too. Roses are covered in swollen buds, acid yellow froths of lady’s mantle fill the gaps below, towering foxgloves hold spires of tubular bells of pink or white, geraniums spill purple blooms over the edge of the path.
Amongst the veritable jungle of green… creeping, hopping, climbing, sliming, sap-sucking, crunching, hunting, buzzing, and web-spinning… are the wild creatures. From scurrying spiders, to long faced weevils, patrolling ladybirds and camouflaged shield bugs, there seems to be something alive in every nook, stem fork and curled leaf. Bumblebees played a squeaky version of their droning music in the foxglove bells and lupin spikes, whilst tiny solitary bees foraged in the geraniums. Small frogs and a tiny young toad hopped through their overgrown world in search of dinner. A large rat appears to have taken up residence under the shed.
And all the time a mistle thrush sang from the top of the nearby ash trees.