I’ve been dashing round setting up capillary matting, watering schemes and planting all the plants that have been sitting in the holding area before we go on holiday this week. It’s been a tough job since things tend to mount up, waiting for a space in the garden to open up. This usually requires removal of ground elder first, which is a job that depresses me, hence the delay. Anyhow, in my haste to transfer from pots to the garden I accidently turned a toad out of it’s home in a chilli plant pot. Who knew they were keen on the hot stuff?
So I’ve tried to make up for it by laying several terracotta pots on their sides at various angles in the area to which he was banished and I hope that he will find somewhere suitable to settle down.
I also cut back some valerian in a narrow border against the orangery wall to make room for the last of the ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’ snapdragons to go in (already in flower). Later that day I noticed something large and dark hanging on the voile curtains that hang in that room. It was a cricket, much larger than I have seen before (~3cm).
I’ve checked my Michael Chinery Insect book and I think that I’ve identified this giant as a Roesel’s bush-cricket. It is a British native and it used only to be found on the inland-side of salt marshes, but since 1985 it has increased its range substantially, spreading northwards and west. I guess that I have taken away the tall plant cover it likes. Another homeless waif! I hope that it makes it way to the long grass in the meadow area at the back.
So I’ve stopped chopping and moving things around now, there’s packing to do. So nature has a chance to settle down for the next week at least.