Since 12 May, we have some bumblebees in residence in the garden - in one of our birds nest boxes. We think they might be tree bumblebees - they look ginger and white. We have put some signs up to explain that they will be with us for just a few months, that they won’t do us any harm but it is best to stay away from the immediate area. The nest will die back before winter and the queen will hibernate to look for another nest site next Spring.
This is a first for us and we are very lucky. Last year we had a bumblebee nest under the club hut but they looked like a different species. We also have lots of solitary bees laying eggs in the bughouses and the grass.
Further information on the Bumblebee Conservation website.
Last Sunday’s tadpoles - we looked up the pale brown ones and think they are baby newts. The black ones are different ages and frogs, we think.
The frogspawn is mainly hatched now and the tadpoles are swimming all over the pond so they are tricky to see and pick up now. We hope we will get some more spawn and the volunteers can carefully lift some for children to see. Please don’t go into the pond area yourself or it will get a bit over-trampled and the wildlife will probably leave the garden for calmer places!
What an extraordinary afternoon. Two of us got verily hailed on cycling to the garden, assuming no-one else was silly enough to join us.
But we ended up with six willing volunteers and two tea drinkers and got masses done.
At one point we had to take cover as another hailstorm deposited a layer of icy pearls all over the garden - and they also bounced into the club hut where we were scoffing cake and keeping warm with hot drinks.
But later on it was sunny and very beautiful.
A swoosh of sterile mulch now just waiting to be sown with perennial seed mix. Lots of barrowing and raking. We will mulch the weeded beds too.
We had two very productive afternoons in the hot February sun (we don’t type that often).
We had a very productive Sunday and Monday - in the sun. Lots of people on Sunday - lots of vegan raspberry cake.
Some things we finished, which is always good:
Small signs and the potato planters, repainted with exterior blackboard paint - thanks Immy!
Living willow around the pond - patches finished, membrane pegged down, cuttings planted. Thanks to everyone who has worked on these over several weeks.
Three new raised beds, near Rosie the horse.
And others continued weeding, digging, raking…
We have started an informal survey of wildlife in and around the pond. Let us know if you spot anything. Just two waterboatmen on Sunday. But we found a small frog in the area where we are making the new raised beds - and put it back there after a bit of ‘show and tell’… we like frogs.