June garden wandering

Once again my garden is being swallowed by the implacable advance of bindweed. This year I feel surprisingly relaxed about that. My gardening vigour moves in cycles. I have periods of vigilance and enthusiasm which wanes and then waxes. I’m moving up into a wax now but have still enjoyed the recent waning.

What slow meandering with cups of tea in the brief dry moments has revealed is how much small busy wildlife there is among the weeds. We are very abundant in small glistening beetles, wolf spiders hefting around their eggsacks, ladybirds, grasshoppers, leaf beetles pretending to be vogon spaceships, ants casting out new trails and milking the aphids on the tips of my tree branches. There are plenty of toads and slow worms avoiding the cat and sheltering under the piece of corrugated metal we found in a skip down the road and rescued for them. Snails, grey ones and the fancy yellow kind weave silvery trails and hang like baubles from their daytime resting places. There is a pearly white crab spider on the poppies by the swing, we tease it with a blade of grass and it rears up and waves its front legs menacingly. The only thing I actively crunch are the red lily beetles. They’ve decimated my lily clumps. I took this picture of my only lily buds (I had about thirty flowers last year…)

 Look, I’ve missed two in the photo I took. They are cocking a snook for sure. Beautifully scarlet – they don’t have any natural predators in the garden, except for me and my heartless crushing foot. As you can see I’m actually pretty slack in the slaughter…

This fabulously alien lurker is a very welcome ladybird larvae. The bindweed at the end of the garden is covered in them. Another reason to appreciate it.The fleeting field poppies arch between and over all the garden debris. Even though the petals are whisked quickly away the seed heads are things of sculptural beauty.  

As well as the poppy seed heads Ida and I admire the foxglove seed whorls. Their purple spikes are pretty much over but my hollyhock clumps are gathering themselves for blooming;

Marigolds are on the brink of opening up their burning orange petals;

My unpromising patch of lambs ear is surprisingly pretty when it flowers;

 I’m going to do a bit of bindweed unsmothering tomorrow and plant the rest of the pumpkin seedlings. If I have the will after early morning swimming with the kids I’m going to try sawing down the ash sucker sapling growing out of the side of the conservatory. I’m pretty sure it’s bad for the house… although I do like the leaves… after all weeds are just plants in the wrong place.


3 responses to “June garden wandering

  1. What a lovely inspiring post.
    I shredded my arms to ribbons today hacking back the front magnolia which was overhanging the footpath. I also hacked about with the fuchsia which was growing over to nextdoor, and much to my daughter’s dismay, I ripped out huge amounts of bindweed. The trouble is, she is right, if you let it flower it is really pretty. But also pretty destructive.
    Good luck with your lilies.

  2. We have bindweed coming through from two neighbours’ gardens – keeping on top of it is a nightmare. Love the hairy poppy stems.

    • Gah – my poor neighbours 😦 My g’ma advises me to pack the garden with robust plants to keep the bindweed at manageable levels – that’s my longterm plan. I usually start the year strongly and then there comes a point where the tide turns… Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, the stems are gorgeously hairy aren’t they? I love that I only really noticed that looking at the photo’s afterwards – as with those lily beetles.

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