Nature Notes: July 2022

In the interests of learning the Art of Delegation in anticipation of less time later in the year, I’m handing at least some of the Nature Notes over to M to write, especially since he’s the one who really knows what’s going on in the garden. Over to M…

Blueberries and Black Widows

With the current heatwave that the UK has had recently, I spent many hours working from my home with C, sat in the front room with a view of the garden. Most of the birds have moved on from the bumper bird frenzy we had up until June but we still have the occasional wood pigeon and robin hop by looking for grubs amongst the leaves and shrubs.

One creature we however are not particularly enamoured with are the False Widow spiders that seem to have encroached on the garden and (yes) living room. On one hand they are really very good at keeping down populations of (even) less desirable creepy crawlies including ants, flies and aphids but the other hand is that they can provide a nasty bite when at an appropriate size and seem to gravitate towards areas like the fruit bushes and pots. I’m not typically a killer of spiders, I learnt a long time ago that placing them in a glass and putting them out normally makes sure you never see them again (whether they are in or not – they seem to know to stay away afterwards).

Spiders aside, we have recently been enjoying the fruits of my labour in the garden with our first supply of blueberries from our two plants. Advice given to me by my Grandad years ago means that the first batch of fruit I tend to share with the birds as until a plant is established for a season it tends not to produce much fruit or very tasty fruit. Once a plant is established and comfortable with its surroundings is when you get the best fruit, more naturally. Therefore it seems that whilst I am enjoying the tart little blueberries (as is C) we look forward to the plant maturing more and producing a crop worth protecting from the birds!

The other plants we have are all growing well and despite vandalism by a local squirrel damaging some of the branches of the Mulberry and the Fig we are looking forward to seeing these establish and grow more.     

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