The Turning of the Season

It has been a year of revelations, surprises and learning curves. Autumn has certainly arrived in the garden as seeds set, leaves drop and plants show signs of impending dormancy. To be fair, I have been quite dormant since fretting over the heatwave and preparing my case – still awaiting notification whether it will be contested.

Caterpillars seem to be more intelligent than they are given credit for! Earlier this year there were a few dozen cinnabar moth caterpillars savaging the ragwort; they start chewing at the tips, apparently enjoying the blossom buds, working their way down the plant and leaving it looking very sorry for itself. I was concerned there would be no blossoms for the bees but any concerns were unfounded, as this photo shows.

I dismissed this as a lucky escape for the ragwort but something similar happened with the black kale. The kale was stripped to the leaf ribs but the growing points looked undamaged and it is supposed to be a ‘cut and come again’ plant, so I left it in the ground. And lo it recovered. You can even see where it had been attacked by the catepillars. I planted this amongst herbals and annuals, don’t know how that impacted the attack, or survival – or not.

Taken a few cuttings ready for next year. The Pelagoniums and Dianthus have taken; the hardy Fuschias were taken this morning and all are sitting above frost level in the garden tent otherwise known as the greenhouse.

Fuchsia and Pelagonium fragrans cuttings

This gorgeous little foundling, disguised as a minature sunflower, poked its head above the Buckwheat in the dry shady border. I can only suppose that it arrived as a bird dropping. Whatever and however, I’m allowing it to seed. Like several other plants over there, it has a touch of mildew.

Soldiering on?

And this unknown beetle was disturbed one warm afternoon as I was digging out a stubborn old root under the window. A friend suggests that it could be a Legionnaire but I have been unable to identify any with that very distinctive yellow marking.

Rhetorical question: why are so many of the women in the UK cabinet such completely heartless bitches?

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