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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

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Wisping wasps, bug hotels and Marksus Spenceris cherry!

Date posted: Thursday 20th April 2017

Wisping wasps, bug hotels and Marksus Spenceris cherry!

My next door plot neighbour showed me this amazing little perfect sphere of a wasp’s nest, fixed in the top of his shed roof! Unfortunately it’s not the sort of shed companion he’s very partial to, so is waiting to see what develops. At the moment the nest is approx the size of a golf ball, approx 5-6cm diameter, but will grow! The queen wasp responsible has been wisping away at the front of my shed for the past few days, busily scraping off the wood to turn into pulp for her immaculate but inconveniently located nest:

I’m afraid it won’t end well, eviction will take place and she’ll have to find another more secluded location for her nest – back to the drawing board! Also to be relocated is our Bug Hotel that was constructed over the Easter weekend by the front entrance to the site:

It’s attracted a lot of passing attention and interest but it is in the wrong place – needs to be in a secluded, shaded spot and so the plans are to relocate it into the wildlife area. It’s currently sited next to a bed that we’ve planted up with pollinator friendly plants – this had been an overgrown eyesore, mostly used as a rubbish dump so now it’s an attractive feature as you enter the allotments site, plus it may give ideas on flowers and plants to attract pollinators, providing more forage opportunites for our bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths and wasps that are so beneficial to plotholders!

It’s still too early in the season for tender plants to go out = I noticed the cosmos planted in the new bed on Monday had been frost damaged, as have several people’s potato haulms poking out of the soil. So more earthing up to do – although it’s so far been an exceptionally dry and warm April, we’re now really needing rain – not a drop for weeks!

One clever plotholder has grown this cherry from a stone – he calls it ‘Marksus Spenceris’ as he bought the fruit from the storre of the same name!