This hit-and-miss weather is certainly keeping us on our toes: one minute hot and sunny, the next pouring with rain and windy. Still, at least there’s something for everyone there, and even though the temperatures are dropping, things are still growing well. Plus the late-flowering plants and herbs are putting on a nice show of flowers (the nasturtiums are going for it again, having recovered as I knew they would from the blackfly attacks in mid-summer – thanks ladybirds). These flowers are great for morale, as well as useful for selling, and for wildlife to enjoy too: there’s nothing like a splash of colour, or some dainty flower to cut through the mess of muddy-ness in wet weather.
The pinky-yellow sunflowers are finally doing something, and providing a bit of a windbreak for the polytunnels too, as well as providing some much-needed food for bees and other insects once they venture out after the rain showers. White garlic chives are also now flowering, yummy, fragrant and delicate, and beloved by bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Beautiful blue borage is still going strong, as are the shungiko flowers (chop suey greens) which have been producing flowers in the Little Tunnel all summer (an edible chrysanthemeum, some say they taste a bit like gin…) They all look and taste great in the salad bags, as well as being essential for wildlife.
While mowing and strimming the Old Field headlands (hopefully for the last time this year), I also stopped to move this handsome toady fella to a more secure patch of grass – great to see him in the field, it’s the first I’ve found there for several years (not that I’ve been looking too hard). Hopefully he and his pals will keep the slugs in check over the winter.
There also seem to be tons of ladybirds around – and not just round the nasturtiums – which is great. I keep pulled weeds round the edges of the polytunnels, to dry out & provide a habitat for frogs, toads and ladybirds (among others, such as beetles). I discovered one that seemed to be incredibly small too! As long as it eats a few aphid, it is welcome here.