Thursday, 31 July 2014

Seeds of Change?

As summer rages on and the temperatures soar, many of the garden plants have got a bit confused and peaked way too early. Blackberries are already plentiful and the clematis have finished flowering about three weeks earlier than last year. Just a couple of weeks ago, it was reported on the radio that in some parts of the country, signs of autumn are already being displayed.

My summer clematis has seedheads and buds on it
at the same time.

Going by the idea that lots of berries on plants indicates a severe winter, the Honeysuckle was certainly suggesting that I should be getting my padded jacket and snow boots out of storage. The ruby red and rather abundant berries give beautiful colour at this time of year and glow against the backdrop of lush green leaves.

A harsh winter cometh?
There is some folklore that suggests an abundance of berries
indicates a harsh winter to come. 

The blackberries certainly agree, there are loads. 

The collection of seeds has already started too. Just up the road from us where a new development of houses is being built, there are some beautiful wildflowers springing up. Now, I think this might actually be part of the development, as the house-builders are trying to be as environmentally sustainable as they can. This was actually one of my specialisms at university, where I researched many ways for builders to include biodiversity and wildlife habitats. It's taken it's time coming.

Drainage ponds and flood meadows are being included on site, and yellow Irises have been planted en-masse, along with a swathe of other wildflower meadow species and native deciduous trees. Just yesterday I spotted scabious, teasel, ox-eye daisies, one or two poppy seedheads, birds-foot trefoil and loads of other little gems naturalising themselves in the margins and boundaries.

Naughty I know, but I can't resist just picking a couple of seedheads, but always leaving the majority to drift and broadcast themselves near and far. Bees, butterfiles and dragonflies were buzzing around just yards from a busy road, oblivious to the throng of modern life. At least it's a start I thought, if only other developers built in this way.

New homes and a new approach.
The house builders have included drainage ponds, planted with rushes, reeds and Iris.

Here you can just see one of the ponds with new trees.
It makes a lovely addition of wildlife habitat for families to enjoy too

Another drainage area to take flood water away from the road.
Again, the margins of this ditch is planted with wildflowers
and trees

Some of the wildflower species that are naturalising themselves.

This is another flood management method.
This large ditch has drains leading to it.
Fully planted with yellow Iris, teasel and rushes,
this becomes a swathe of colour in spring.  

The enormous seedheads of yellow Iris

And in full flower

No comments: