The transition from Summer to Autumn finally saw the end of not only the August Heatwave but the drought conditions the UK and many parts of Europe had been suffering from. As we approach the end of October the rains have started to become heavier, with our first thunder storm for some time occurring on the 18th October. Interestingly and thankfully we do not believe the garden flooded which was likely due to some of the surrounding land not yet being totally saturated.
As an update on the ongoing flooding issue, the local authority have agreed to install a large soakaway in the lane behind the garden that they believe will make flooding a 1 in 100 year event. We will see. Work is due to be completed sometime in October/November.
New Species: A month doesn’t go by when we are not adding more new species to the garden list. Our first of September was however very expected. The Oxeye Daisy, which we had grown on from seed to plugs to full grown plants, finally flowered, which we first recorded on the 10th September (below right).
Left: Thick patch of Oxeye Daisy plants 28.08.2022
Centre: Thinking of flowering 29.08.2022
Cutting / Enhancing The Meadow Area: The drought left small patches of grass dead, as the photographs below taken on September 2nd clearly show.
However just a week later on the 10th September and things had decided to green up a little following some light rain. And with more rain forecast we decided it was time to cut the grassy meadow area in front of the wetland. As noted on the image below, we took the opportunity to add some more wildflower, grass and yellow rattle seed.
More Wildflower seed
Other areas of the garden also had wildflower only seed and additional yellow rattle added.
Unlike the Oxeye Daisy patch shown above, the meadow area whilst having some success with the sown wildflowers, Musk Mallow, Ribwort Plantain, Oxeye Daisy, Yarrow, Wild Carrot and Knapweed, wasn’t perhaps as successful. The area was still very grassy and it is important each year to remove the years growth in order that the wildflowers, which are perennial, can compete next year with the grasses. Removing the years grass growth will also lower the nutrient levels of the soil, which helps lower next seasons competition from grasses as it slowly limits their ability to grow.
Plants all confused: It was great to see the Oxeye Daisy flowering, although this late in the year we were a bit surprised. And it wasn’t just the Oxeye’s. Rather unexpectedly a forget-me-not decided to bloom on the 2nd September.
Other new species recorded since our last calendar update include;
- The White Slug Mite – Riccardoella oudemansi (click HERE)
- A Rove Beetle – Quedius cruentus
- Another Rove Beetle – Tachyporus chrysomelinus agg (click HERE)
- Garden Slug – Arion hortensis (click HERE)
- Candle-snuff Fungus – Xylaria hypoxylon
- Galerina spp – Unidentified fungi species (click HERE)
- Tortula truncata – A species of moss known as Common Pottia (click HERE)
By clicking on the HERE links for the final two species above, you will see our attempts to use wildlife guides for fungi and bryophytes (mosses in this case) to identify which species we had recorded.