Bastille day has passed and the World cup is over and Wimbledon is finished – not a single significant rain delay – but the sun continues to beat down most days and it’s great to be sitting outside in the evening watching the dozen or so swallows swooping round the garden catching insects, or just sitting on the roof. When I take Fred out at night he gets very wound up by the bats flying around the garden (still none in the bat house). So that tells me we have a lot of insects around particularly the flying kind around here.
I have also noticed a lot of butterflies in the farm track behind the house. Mostly they seem to be ringlets and gatekeepers with a few cabbage whites and speckled woods thrown in. Around the buddleia there are also red admirals. What I can’t really see is what the butterflies are feeding on as there are very few flowers around in the hedgerows.
The problem with all those insects is that they like vegetables. We recently picked a cauliflower which had dozens of caterpillars in it. I am sure the caterpillars were also instrumental in my cabbages rotting as they opened up the cabbage to the mould.
The dryness has had a marked effect on the lawn. The main lawn is dry and crispy except for the weeds. The weeds have adapted and are flowering at very low height. The entrance lawn is much more patchy. In fact the lawn on the left is still green whereas the right hand side is partly green and partly parched.
The well is still giving plenty of water. It is a slight worry as we were told it might not cope with a very dry summer and we have had no meaningful rain for three months. Plus we have two households and a polytunnel using water constantly. The school holidays are about to start so I predict rain in a week or so.
We have had a bit of produce from the vegetable patch and polytunnel. Probably about 0.001% of the cost is paid off. It will be a while before we get a return on our investment but I think I have learned a lot so I think it will be more productive as time goes on.
Talking of produce we know the summer is coming to an end because the combines are out.
I have been working a bit in the garden and I have had two little helpers.
House wise there has been a little bit of painting going on in Esme’s room. I have been painting the inside of the outer wall with special breathable clay paint. Earthborn (gosh it’s a long time since I used a hyperlink in my blog) is the brand and white is the colour but it is not quite the same shade as pure brilliant white that you normally get. The breathability is important in a house like this to allow any damp which gets into the wall to escape. The room is looking a lot better now.
Plus we had a trip to Ikea in Exeter and we got some stuff for her room and a rug for the snug, oh and a coconut palm for our bathroom as you would expect. We actually went to choose wardrobes for the main bedroom, we haven’t actually purchased them yet but we know what we want. I think I have mentioned before that one thing about this house is that there is a lot of space but not that much storage. So we are going for a semi built in wardrobe, two thirds for Louise and one third for me. I always think that Ikea is inexpensive but not cheap, the quality is usually very good for the price. We went into the centre of Exeter as well which was a first for me; I really like the city so far as I have seen it.
When Esme’s friend Jess came to stay we went to the fabulous Jubilee pool in Penzance. Well worth a visit and I believe this winter it will be kept warm with Geothermal Energy.