We’re having a heatwave

Or maybe not. According to Carol Kirkwood on the BBC, it takes at least four days of temperatures above 28C before we are officially having a heatwave. I’m not a great fan of the heat, so I’m rather pleased. We took last week off work with great intentions of doing the housework, catching up in the garden and generally working in our fields. It seemed we turned around some time ago and before we noticed there were literally hundreds of thistles growing across our two acres. Not just thistles bigger than I am, but large patches of stinging nettles too. We have cleared one side, but it is going to take an awful lot of work to finish the job. On the upside, we now seem to have a range of meadow plants that were absent when we first moved in. We had ideas to plant a greater variety, took advice and scattered the seed recommended for us. We marked out squares, cut back the grass, weeded by hand, planted and watered… and nothing happened. The following spring we didn’t notice anything different, so we forgot about it. Now, some fifteen years later we have a vast assortment including self-heal and bird’s foot trefoil. We have a huge number of butterflies and dragonflies too, so it looks as though we finally got our old-fashioned meadow in spite of all the hard work.

It has been hot though and for the past week not a single thistle has been pulled up. The weather seems to be breaking now and we have had impressive thunderstorms for the past couple of nights. There has been a lot of rain too, so maybe the weeds will be easier to pull up once the temperatures start coming down. Last night it was too sticky for sleep, so I shut the cats out of the bedroom and set the tripod up by the open window. The storms frustratingly kept their distance, but around 2.00 this morning I managed to grab this shot. The silhouetted trees mark the end of our fields and no doubt the plants were having a well deserved drink.

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