It was a beautiful day today, a little glimpse of what an Indian summer could be, if only the next set of storms wasn’t due this weekend. It was very pleasant working on the allotment, with the sounds of foraging honeybees still finding the borage intoxicating and the warmth of the sun still carrying all the memories of summer.
I like working the land at this season. After the recent rain my clay is at its most workable. Weeds come out easily, the newly planted cabbage plants positively purred at their new surroundings, the neighbouring plots are riotously flowery, with cultivated plants or weeds, depending on which way I look. At home the rudbeckias continue their starry perfomance-they have been fabulous this season.
A little garden tidying finished the day, amongst the dahlias and the sedum and their visitors. I looked for leafcutter bees, but there is no sign of them now. There are 22 sealed nest cells in the older birch log and 11 in the new one, all made by Megachile Willoughbiella females. Inside the leaf cells the bees will already be hatched, but they will sit the winter out and the Spring and not emerge until next June. There are 8 sealed cells of the smaller leaf cutter species in another bee house and a staggering 70 plus mason bee nests in the drilled blocks. A good season, thanks to the lovely Spring.
And yet. And yet, despite the warmth of the day, the brightness of the blooms, the hum of bees, the coolness of the mornings and the leaves on the lawn are already whispering winter. That, and the Christmas crackers on sale at the garden centre this morning.