Saturday, 27 July 2013


Phew what a scorcher. It ain't half hot mum. Etc, etc. Plenty to eat from the plot as per - peas and French beans, cabbages and kale, tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries, rocket, carrots and new potatoes...I've posted dozens of pics of these in previous years but in case you've forgotten what they look like here's a couple more:

 Some peas

A cabbage patch

Hottest summer for a long time. So many butterflies on my plot today - battalions of whites, 100+ gatekeepers, 50+ tortoiseshells - so it's just as well there's plenty of nectar for them: my buddleia is only just coming out so the tortoiseshells have been favouring the scabious and the perennial wallflower whilst the gatekeepers have mainly been going for the marjoram and the whites have been monopolising the verbena bonariensis.

 Small tortoiseshell on cultivated field scabious...

 ...underwing view... many to choose from!

Gatekeeper on marjoram...

...and a large white on verbena bonariensis.

More plants for pollinators

If you've been paying the slightest attention you'll know I've been expanding my collection of plants for bees and butterflies - and if this is becoming an obsession then so be it! So here just for bragging rights is a list of the goodies flowering this month:

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Aster frikartii "Monch"
Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
Catmint (Nepeta mussini)
Cerinthe major
Cleome serrulata "Solo"
Coreopsis verticillata
Cosmos sulphureus "Ladybird Mixed"
Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)
Cupid's Dart (Catananche)
Echinacea purpurea
English Marigolds
Evening Primrose (Oenothera fructicosa)
Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)
Golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria "Sauce Hollandaise")
Helianthus "Lemon Queen"
Helichrysum monstrosum "Eternity"
Knautia macedonica "Red Knight"
Nicotiana mutabilis "Marshmallow"
Ox-eye Daisy
Perennial Wallflower "Bowle's Mauve" (Erysimum)
Phacelia tanacetifolia "Lisette"
Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
Sainfoin (Onobrychis vicifolia)
Scabiosa "Beaujolais Bonnets"
Scabiosa caucasia "Perfect Blue"
Scabious "Tall Double Mixed"
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Sweet William "Messenger" (Dianthus barbatus)
Verbena bonariensis
Veronica "Good Blue"
White clover (Trifolium repens)
Wild Basil (Clinopodium vulgare)

Ok here's the candy:

Scabious "Beaujolais Bonnets"

Verbena bonariensis

Cosmos sulphureus "Ladybird Mixed"

Erysimum "Bowle's Mauve"

Anthemis tinctoria "Sauce Hollandaise"

Echinacea purpurea

Field Scabious

Meadow mixes

Many of what are sold as "meadow" seed mixes are no such thing, as I've ranted on about before, but if they bring in the pollinators then it hardly matters.

At the bottom of my plot I've got a cornfield mix which happily self sows itself with different flowers dominating each year - this summer it's mainly field poppies, phacelia and a few cornflowers, night-flowering catchfly and corncockles:

At the top of the plot I sow a mix from This years was meant to be a "pastel mix" but has turned out to be mainly red poppies, bishop's flower and cornflowers - and again, not properly meadow flowers at all but rather a mix of colourful annuals, but the bees aren't complaining:

Next to my cabin I cleared an area of brambles where I'll be adding an extension (one day over the rainbow) and threw in seed from various old seed packets and saved seed. This has been my favorite mix this year as what came up was a complete surprise - mainly mustard, field poppies and phacelia: