We came home from our camping trip to find some new patches ripped from our wooden shed. Now, we do know the culprits having observed this last summer too. I grabbed my macro lens and waited to get proof...
Here he is - our wood thief! Mr Wasp has stripped thin little rolls of wood pulp to make a nest. We have found one old nest in a far, dark corner inside the shed. It's too dim to photograph but is a beautifully created sphere hugging a hidden spot. There's no waspy activity so we think it's been abandoned and a new nest started. Judging from the missing strips of wood from our shed it must be huge but we haven't found it yet. Generally, we don't bother the wasps and they don't bother us.
It's nice to return home to see what the garden has been up to. Our orchard (two trees at the end of the garden) is beginning to swell with apples.
The ants have been busy farming their aphids which I find both fascinating and ugly. We are good at spotting which leaves will hide aphids and we track the ants on their milking trips up and down the trunk and out to the branches where the aphid herds are grazing. None of this is good news for our apples but you could easily spend your whole day spraying with washing up liquid and frankly I've got other stuff to do.
Our first mangetout popped it's pod. We are very late with them this year because we forgot to plant things this spring or it was raining or something but anyway, it didn't happen until about a month ago because we're not good gardeners.
This might be a pea or a bean. (We're really not good gardeners.)
The chives are past their best and are providing nourishment for flies.
This is a pretty weed.
And this is mint. We grow a lot of mint because I like proper mint tea and use it in fresh salads too. 364 days a year I have a massive bowl of salad for lunch. (The exception is Christmas Day when I mostly eat roast chicken, roast potatoes, bread sauce and chocolate.)
I've been taking the flowering tips and secretly throwing them into the grassy verge down the lane outside our house in the hope that I might be able to grow a huge bank of mint. I think plants should be useful and available. We should grow them in places where we can walk past and freely pick parsley or chives much as we do when we pick blackberries or cob nuts in autumn. Why not expand the range to include easy to grow plants or herbs and encourage them to populate our waste verges? I don't know if my ninja style planting will work (see earlier note about poor gardening skills) but I've lobbed some poppy and forget me not seeds about too, so next year if our lane erupts into colour and flowers my work will be done.