Royal Paddocks Allotments website masthead
email icon

Any comments, ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website? Please email us.

Halloween Horror! Last rose of summer, wood wasping and frogs..

Date posted: Wednesday 31st October 2018

Halloween Horror!  Last rose of summer, wood wasping and frogs..

This horror scene greeted me a couple of weeks ago – nature red in tooth and claw – it’s not all bees on flowers, peace and harmony down on the plot! But the good news is that it does seem to suggest that a new young fox on the block has taken up residence – quite a few heaps of pigeon feathers recently attesting to a large daytime predator patrolling in the neighbourhood. And the opportunistic crows were not slow to home in on essy pickings..

And after that shocking scene of gore and mutilation, here are some autumn colours and the last rose of summer on my plot to soothe the horrified nerves.

I remember my aunt, a professional singer, singing ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ at my aunt’s wedding reception when I was a little kid, around 9 or 10 – in the wedding group photo I’m standing in the front with my trusty Brownie 127 slung round my neck!

My neighbour, Flora has set up a des res for frogs etc on her plot, now hoping there’ll be some overwintering tenants. We were at East Molesey allotments a couple of weeks ago to meet some of the Kingston beekeepers there and spotted these floats in all the water tanks – an idea for us!

We were away in Spain last week, enjoying the late autumn sun until the weekend when the temperatures dropped, but we didn’t have the frost that knocked back my nasturtiums here. I harvested this year’s novelty plant, a loofah cucumber that had been doing well until the cold snap. My neighbour, Jean has asked for the seeds as he wants to grow them and use the innards for scrubbing his pots! Apparently you have to skin the cucumber and soak it until the flesh has disintegrated, leaving the loofah skeleton that can be used for washing.

The wasps are out in wood wisping and late nectar foraging on a sunny autumnal morning. There have been lots of sightings of ivy bees in different parts of the country but I haven’t seen any yet on our site.

A late comma butterfly was still hanging on, battered and coming to the end of it’s brief life – the last comma of summer.?