What a summer! Recently we have had many days of cloud without a hint of sunshine, along with constant stiff breezes from all directions and showers every few hours. Not much fun for a gardener, but the plants seem happy with it. The lavender is now full of bees and butterflies once more and our ‘bee hotel’ is busy. Until I was given one of these I had thought they were unlikely to be attractive to solitary bees, but how wrong I was! I look every day and watch a variety of odd-looking bees exploring the bamboo tubes before backing into one of them to lay an egg; eventually the tubes are sealed up with mud or cut leaves. After going through the stages of egg, larva and pupa, the adult emerges by chewing its way out.
The pond is full of life too, and on the rare sunny days, as if by magic dragonflies and damselflies arrive. I find these little creatures lift the spirits even in difficult times. My grandchildren in Wales call such creatures ‘minibeasts’ which is new to me!