Saturday, 27 June 2015

In the orchard

Looks like I'll be in for a bumper crop from the top fruit this year: apples, pears, plums and cherries all looking good. I've managed the grass a little differently this year - still leaving most of it long but cutting it until mid May so it doesn't grow quite so long and thick, but plenty long enough for the wildlife to benefit from. As far as flowers for the meadow go I've planted some hardy geranium "Johnson's Blue" in there - it's a good plant for the pollinators and vigorous enough to compete with the grass. The ox-eye daisies which I put in as plug plants a few years ago have all but disappeared - I've since found out that it's a pioneer plant and that's how it behaves. You live and learn. The other plugs I put in were some vetches and they're thriving. The red campion which I put in as seed still keeps doing it's thing. Other than that there's what was there all along - a profusion of dandelions which in the spring are a useful source of nectar when there's not much else flowering and now clover, buttercups and self-heal. And there's more than enough flowers in the garden, it's the long grass which is so good for the wildlife.

The other pleasure in June is the flowering of the elderberry trees and dog roses, especially the one which has climbed into my plum tree:

Most modern garden roses are hopeless for pollinators but any of the wild or open-centred single flower types are great.

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