July Notes from the garden shed

“Give nature a home and it will come”…says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds recent campaign and it really is that easy!

Our neighbour at the new Skip garden site, the wonderful natural swimming pond has some good habitats for wildlife.  Both the banks of wildflowers and the pond margin plantings have been attracting some interesting visitors.

Last month I spoke about the various species of Bees we’ve been seeing but what’s turning up now and I must say slightly unexpectedly are Dragons.

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea

No not the mythical beasts but the equally awesome Dragonflies and their close cousins the iridescent blue and green needles that are Damselflies.  You can spot them around the edge of the pond in amongst the swamp plants; the reeds and flags.  One massive dragonfly zoomed by - I was not quick enough to identify it – but I’m on the case. 

If you’re not sure how to tell a dragonfly from a damselfly (apart from the dragonfly being much larger) when at rest the damselflies close their wings whereas the dragonflies hold them stiffly out flat. 

This is a bit of a surprise as the nearest water is the Regents canal but I suppose as Bees travel up to 5 kilometers to find a meal so to do these brilliant hunters. 

It’s still not too late to be sowing vegetable seeds. I’m already thinking about autumn and winter crops.

Happy successional sowing!

by Paul Richens