Right now the garden seems to be a haven for all manner of pollinators, more than I have yet had time to identify. So feel free to chip in. Every evening the flowerbed is alive with sound and movement.
The most popular plants at the moment are the Veronica, the Eryngium, and the Echinops. Now personally I love Echinops just before it blooms, when it looks like some crystalline explosion.
But for the bees, wasps and others this is just a tantalising glimpse of what they really want. Bumblebees, Honey Bees, Wasps, Potter Wasps, Wool Carder Bees, Mason Bees and more all want the eruption of bloom and nectar.
I think there are at least five different species there, and that’s only the really obvious bees and wasps. There are plenty of smaller species that can photobomb when you least expect it.
For all that I love the pre-bloom Echinops, there is something cosmic about the sight of an open flowerhead. It’s a planet, with the insects as attendant satellites and starships moving between these individual clusters.
It’s not just the hymenopterans though. Hoverflies are abundant, and again there are a great variety of species to be identified.
The garden continues to enjoy a remarkable popularity with Banded Demoiselle, and it has now been a couple of months they have been regular visitors, despite the fact I still have no breeding site for them.
One of my favourite butterflies has started to show up too. Last weekend one spent five minutes licking perspiration off my partners hand; I was so jealous. But they enjoy the Echinops too.
None of this is to ignore the birds. The Long-tailed Tits continue their mission to eat all the fat and seed they can. Up close they are surprisingly noisy and argumentative.
Finally, after the (probably) sad story of the tailless Blackbird, it’s a pleasure to see a male, female, and four juveniles in the garden at the moment, even if they have taken a liking for our raspberries.