Derek – Thursday 19th April
It’s 27˚C in the garden, which contrasts with last Thursday when the temperature was 11˚C, the average for April. Over the afternoon we had 29 visitors, fine weather midweek brings them in, especially mothers with young children. Lots of watering to do today. Although the various tanks are full, they won’t be if this hot weather continues for another few days.
Heat brings out the flowers: the cherry tree in the children’s corner is now in pink profusion. But the heat also kills off flowers. Last week there were many daffodils, their cycle slowed by the cool temperatures we had in March and earlier this month, but the recent hot weather super activates the enzymes and plants race through their flowering cycles.
Smaller flowers do better in rain or sun; the anchusa and forget-me-nots are scattered about the garden, both with tiny blue flowers that seem unbothered by the heat. The spiraea with its pyramidal growth of small white florets laps up the sun.
There are hundreds of tadpoles in the pond. About a third of the surface is covered in a frothy remnant of the spawn. There is one late piece of spawn, on the bottom, tadpoles still feeding off it, while other, more mature, tadpoles are swimming freely. There are no pond skaters or water boatman. I wonder if that is an effect of the heat.
There are lots of snails in the pond. Pond snails can be divided into two groups, the operculates and pulmonates. Operculates seal the aperture with a membrane called an operculum. They breathe through gills and are mostly seen under water at the bottom or the sides. Pulmonates have no membrane and are seen on the surface where they breathe through a sort of lung.
The buddleia is now around 4 feet high, and the shed in the midst has been re-roofed. The other shelter has had its roof removed in order to repair it so it no longer leaks. The sunshades have come out of the container as we are hopeful the fine weather will last.
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