Did you mow in May?
Did you take up the challenge of not mowing your lawns during May? As an advocate of leaving gardens, verges and other usually highly cultivated areas to go wild, the recent camping to leave your lawns untouched for a month was right up my street.
I come from a long line of avid mowers who seem to do their level best to keep up with those who take part in the unofficial 'tidiest lawn' competition. Wow-betide any blade of grass that dares to break ranks and pop its head up above the level of its buddies. Strimmers, too seem to be ever popular with sunny summer days encouraging my neighbours to do battle with verges and any clump of errant weeds they can find.
So the idea of not mowing was like pushing on an open door as far as I was concerned, and as a result, our garden now looks like a green version of just about everyone's hair after the first lockdown! Unkept and wild are the best ways to describe much of it. A large part of our garden is often left to its own devices, but over the past two weeks, huge beds of buttercups, nettles and long grasses have sprung up. Dandelions, too, have done well, helped in no small way by the wet weather and the more recent return of summer temperatures.
With the garden now looking like a jungle, it's not surprising that there seem to be good numbers of insects buzzing about. I hope that the result of this increase in insects has resulted in more frequent visits by overflying swallows and house martins. This year, there would certainly seem to be more this year, although sadly, none nest in my immediate area. The same can be said of swifts, who are now a rarity in my part of the world.
A couple of years ago, we swapped the nest box put up for the blue tits who would regularly make good use of it. The new box was fitted with a camera so, as you might have guessed, they refused to next in it! They (or should I say) a blue tit did regularly roost in it every winters night. Thankfully this seemed to encourage it to set up home and, as a result, eight eggs were laid. We kept a close eye on what was happening, and the parents we understandably busy feeding their growing family. Sadly three eggs failed to hatch, but the other five thrived and fledged within the first couple of days of June.