Derek – Thursday 10th May

The temperature is 17˚C today, pleasant in the sun, a little chilly in the shade. There was a little rain in the early hours but the garden is dry with quite a few plants flagging due to the hot days, up to 29˚C, earlier in the week. We are doing a lot of watering but will not be able to keep up if we don’t get sustained rain.

The garden had visits from two year 1 classes from Woodgrange Infants, and quite a few others. Certainly the busiest Thursday we’ve had this year, with around 120 visitors in total.

There’s a glow of gold from the Californian poppies in the small bed by the pond. Nearby, by the wheelbarrow depot, a purple iris is about to bloom alongside mauve geraniums, their leaves reminiscent of tomato plants.
In the pond, the tadpoles are growing big and fat, but many are hidden in the water weed and under the stones. There are several snails floating at the surface; these are the operculates, that seal their aperture with a membrane, and breathe through lungs rather than the gills. There are many bees buzzing around the pond, from the neighbouring garden which has hives.

We see blue tits emerging from both the nest boxes on either side of the large sycamore. I see a sparrow on the feeder by the book shed and a blue tit and a wood pigeon feeding in the children’s area.

In the narrow bed by the side door, there’s purple aquilegia (columbine). Close by, there’s white stocks, four petalled and strongly scented. Between the tyre herb-containers, there’s borage with its blue flowers. The anchusa and forget-me- nots, both with small blue flowers, have been in bloom for over a month while others like the spiraea and flowering cherry have come and gone.

The buddleia is rapidly engulfing the play hut. Some of it is now up to the eaves.

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