It’s been a wild, wild month in more ways than one!
Today, Alex who helps me in the veg garden, saw a newt in a plant saucer full of rain water.
We think it’s a common or smooth newt.
And last week on Wednesday, my singing and gardening friends, Steve and Joyce had just arrived to camp and work in the garden, when we spotted a little hedgehog coming up the drive.
Joyce was particularly excited as it was the first time she’d seen one.
It went under the hedge between us and next door, and our neighbours, Mark and Lesley said they saw it with a larger one later the same day, in the evening.
We’ve had buzzards and marsh harriers circling overhead during the harvest and our other neighbours say there’s been a breeding pair of the former which have produced three youngsters!
Joyce – who’s an amazing photographer – also took this shot of a dragonfly and a Comma butterfly on the damson tree.
I think the dragonfly is a male southern hawker – maybe one of you can let me know if I’m right.
Eagle eyed Joyce also spotted a Stag Beetle larvae while she was weeding – she put it back where she found it.
Stag beetles are quite rare and on the endangered list in most areas of the UK.
The weather’s also been very wet and wild over the past week.
Steve and Joyce camped in the garden for two nights and weathered the huge storm overnight last Thursday night/Friday morning.
But, by some small miracle, it was sunny and warm all day Thursday and they transformed a couple of areas of the garden – removing the winter squash and frame that supported them, hoeing the weeds and replanting the bed with winter veg.
They also edged the bed and weeded the rather overgrown raspberry canes.
Although we had to observe social distancing, wear masks sometimes and dodge the high winds and rain it was wonderful to see them – a much needed morale boost before the darker and more solitary days of winter.
Today, Alex and I achieved a lot, removing most of the remaining bamboo cane structures, staking the asparagus ferns, weeding, hoeing and replanting endive frisee, raking up leaves and chipping branches brought down during the storm.
We also picked apples and pears to share with friends, family and neighbours.
I’m very grateful to for all the invaluable help we’ve had this year, including Sarah, Mum’s gardener and her friend, Ros, who volunteered throughout the spring and summer.
We couldn’t have managed without you.