I went out to try and get the fennel under control the other day (it has been ambushing the other half on his way out the door) and discovered it absolutely buzzing with hoverflies and bees of all shapes and sizes. They’re not alone, either. The pot marjoram and other plants have been alive with bees and butterflies of all descriptions – with loads of peacocks (the butterfly, not the large fowl). A combination of a warmish summer and – I confess – a backlog of weeding has turned our front courtyard into some sort of invertebrate paradise.
Unfortunately it’s also turned it into something that teeters on the brink between ‘garden’ and ‘no longer garden’. The cobbles are a mass of vegetation and the gravel drive is slowly making the transition to ‘very well drained lawn’ (which happens to be nicer to cycle over than loose gravel but that’s not really the intention). There’s a fine thistle established behind the wood pile and more dandelions than anyone could wish for. And the landlords have noticed and are now planning to sort it out with weedkiller.
I’m a bit gutted, because I have been trying not to use any chemicals at all if I can help it, while keeping things under control. The not using chemicals part has gone fine – but the under control part has not. I can’t blame the landlords, but I do feel I’ve failed on this one. I have negotiated that it won’t happen till the winter, when the butterflies and bees will be safely tucked up for the winter, but it does seem a shame to lose this little patch of space where any visitng insect doesn’t have add to the cocktail of pesticides and herbicides and general cides it will pick up everywhere else. Unfortunately, unless I get my act together soon, that’s what will happen… gardening fail.