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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

Float like a Butterfly

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” — Muhammad Ali

Well, we’ve got to August. A time of carnivals, sport and holidays. None of which I am doing. So I thought I’d have mini holidays in the Old Town Bloom garden. Taking a picnic, walking about (the only sport I do) and wearing shorts. It’s noticeable that after a period of quick growth, the garden has slowed down. So the main jobs are watering, weeding, dead heading and just sitting and taking it all in.

Butterflies and bees like a sunny garden, and butterflies have been coming to the garden more over the last couple of months. Sometimes they like to feed on the Buddleia, also known as the butterfly bush as they love it so much (It’s growing out of the walls), or to lay eggs on the cabbages, to later become caterpillars. Which is why we have so many half eaten cabbage plants. We have a lot of plants that attract butterflies of different types, lavender, marigolds, grasses, herbs and ivy. So spend a while sitting in the garden and see which butterflies you can name while they float about.

The dry periods meant that we had to organise a watering and feeding rota. This includes leaving water for creatures using the garden and dogs taking a rest there. The grass has been kept quite long to help stop it from drying out too much. A lot of the plants we have are happy in dryer weather. So our hanging and rockery plants have survived well. However, because most of our plants are in containers they cant get water from deep down in the soil. Our tomato plant gave up earlier in the year and we did not grow runner beans because of the amount of water they need. Some other plants have just not grown or produced well.

As well as our volunteers being very helpful in the garden, we have lots of creatures quietly working away too. The butterflies and bees pollenating. Even wasps, which can be a nuisance, pollenate and pick off aphids and caterpillars from our veg. Ladybirds and ground beetles clear aphids off our plants too. We could do with more on the roses though, as they regularly have greenfly and blackfly. Of course we have our local birds helping clear aphids as well as slugs in the garden. And underground we have worms aerating the soil. We try to attract as many helpful creatures as possible with our bug hotel. Although I suspect it also harbours a few creatures we don’t want.

Look out for a few additions in the garden next month. We try and make changes so that the garden is always worth a look.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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