Children of the summer sun.

The design above shows an English formal garden with a honeybee skip. Just as important for our gardens and possibly for our survival as a species are the wild bees, or as the poet John Clare (1793 - 1864), called them, "Children of the summer sun"

'These children of the sun which summer brings
As pastoral minstrels in her merry train
Pipe rustic ballads upon busy wings
And glad the cotters' quiet toils again.......

I finally got around to doing some gardening this month; everything is in dire need of attention. The good news is the wildlife seems to be enjoying my tardiness. I came across a mound of mossy and grass, about the size of a football, at first I thought it was a bird’s nest on the ground and foolishly I picked it up. Immediately a swarm of bumbles flew out, naturally I tried to make good the damage I had done and in the few seconds available I managed to see the inside of the nest which seem to consist of many cells.

Despite many attempts to photograph the bees, I have only managed a few blurry attempts but if you look closely you can see what I believe to be a Carder Bee. Click on the photo above, you can see the blue/green fly, look to the left, behind the grass, can you see the little guy? It seems that they comb the moss and grass in order to make the nest, hence the name Carder Bee!

We also have another species of bee making use of the bee house. It looks like a Leaf Cutter Bee and if you look at the photo below you can see the tiny pieces of leaf placed in the bamboo canes.

Every year I try to hack back the Buddleia, it grows too big for my garden but I leave it alone whilst in flower as the butterflies love it. The Japanese Acer in the pot is a new acquisition bought at nearby Tatton Park Garden. I hope it will survive the winter outside, I have lined the pot with bubble wrap but am not sure what else to do other than placing it in a sheltered spot. The crab apples provide food for the birds over autumn and look more like cherries than apples when they ripen.

Last but not least, I have made a start on a new painting. It’s hard to fit in personal work whilst trying to keep on top of day to day “potboilers”, they sort of work that pays the bills like greeting cards etc. Goodness knows when I shall finish it but I feel so much better now I have made a start! I hope you all enjoy your summer too and thanks as always for visiting.

To find out more about bumblebees please visit The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.