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Long time no blog..!

Date posted: Wednesday 13th October 2021

Long time no blog..!

It’s been a while, folks, for which many apologies. Techy problems and busy Centenary Autumn Show event planning got in the way. But now normal service is resumed! Our Centenary Autumn Show was a warm, friendly and sociable event, with Tallest Sunflower records broken, the launch of the RPA History Book – a very good read, recommended – and the ‘unveiling of a specially commissioned weather vane, designed and made by my gifted partner, Jem! As soon as it was in place on the Seed Store roof a kestrel flew low over it and there was a repeat fly past as it was being unveiled at the Show – was it being ‘scoped out?

We’ve had no frosts yet, the trees are only just turning colour and bees, wasps and other invertebrates are still out in force foraging on the asters, salvias, nasturtiums, marigolds and the ivy, now coming into flower.

A notice has gone up reminding people to dig carefully when turning their compost heaps, as these may contain hedgehogs, grass snakes or other creatures that are looking for warm places to over-winter. A good size grass snake was spotted in early autumn heading for someone’s compost heap and a couple of years ago a mature hedgehog was found dead with what looked like fork piercings through it’s body. It’s very tempting to dig in with gusto but let’s hope folk are now becoming a little more aware of the creatures that we may be hosting in our heaps of compost!

At this time of year we’re being encouraged to ‘do very little’ to our gardens and plots – to leave perennials until spring to cut as invertebrates may use hollow stems and other parts of plants in which to over winter. I’ve discovered ladybirds emerging from echinops and other robust plants that have lasted out the winter months. It’s also advisable not to leave bare soil, rather to mulch with organic matter or cover with green manures, such as phacelia in order to protect the soil and let worms do their work of pulling leaves etc down into the ground.