The heat goes on

The Chitalpa is still flowering and despite the heat and lack of rain the trees are bearing up.

I actually saw a bee venture into one of the Catalpa flowers but they are not really bee friendly flowers.

The Oregano has taken over a much too large part of the vegetable garden but I am in no mood to tame it, especially as its flowers attract the bees.  The garden has been neglected lately as the afternoon is my preferred time to wander around and work in the garden but most days it is too hot for me for the sun here is very strong.

The Oregano attracts butterflies as well.  I think this is a Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) but not so scarce here as the name might suggest.

I could not resist another shot of her fine tails.

The butterflies are not put off by the heat and there are Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui)  in the garden, this one here taking nectar from the lavender.

I’ve noticed more Skippers (this one probably Ochlodes sylvanus) which makes me think the butterflies are doing better than the bees this year.

You may find this caterpillar cute, it always reminds me of a “Push me pull me” from Doctor Doolittle as it is hard to know which end is which (the black pair of tufts on the RHS are at the front!).  It is a Vapourer Moth caterpillar and was not welcome on our Lagerstroemia.  It was carefully removed (the hairs can cause skin irritations) and placed where any damage it can cause would not be noticeable.

In the evening I used to see more Tetralonia bees in the Lavatera flowers, like this one settling down for the night.  Sometimes three or four would share the same flower – either a Lavatera or Hollyhock.  My Hollyhocks have not done well this year.  They do not get watered or receive special treatment and yet they are usually stars at this time of the year but this year they have been smaller and several sorry specimens have had to be cut down.

The Dasypoda with their huge bundles of pollen have been in the Cats’ears at the bottom of the garden but not with the same vigour.

It does look like it is going to be a bumper year for tomatoes this year and we have already had to reduce our four courgette plants to two.

So, walks are best taken in the evening, when there are no bees to be seen but being entertained by the hares that are leaping around at the moment.

29 thoughts on “The heat goes on

  1. My courgette plants haven’t started producing yet but I shall soon share your pain. I can almost feel that heat there – it is similar in Sussex: lovely for sitting with a glass of something cold, less so for mowing or, as I did today, have a bonfire. Beautiful photos, Amelia. Dave.


  2. Lovely photos – love the hare and the Swallowtail! It is too hot to work outside for long here too. Do you have a Chitalpa and/or a Catalpa… are they different trees? I saw what I think were one of each at the Himalaya garden I visited recently, but am completely new to this tree. In any case the flowers are beautiful.


    1. The Chitalpa is a cross from the Catalapa which gets too large for most private gardens. The Catalapa will look beautiful in your Himalayan garden where there is the space to admire it. The Catalapa flowers are also very attractive to bees. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. entering a record period of drought here in Western Washington USA. So far we are still fairly green, (not the lawns) but watering veggie areas with caution. Everything is late, but catching up. Lovely sunsets, and even Northern lights a few days ago!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose you must be as North as Aberdeen just on the wrong side (:)) of the Atlantic. The Northern Lights are such a spectacle. We just have to be content with the glow worms. Amelia


  4. And—– just returned from a stay on my sister’s North Yorkshire Wolds farm. Went for a long, long walk and a hare lead me all the way—-almost felt like Alice, but it was a hare and not a rabbit. They are entertaining to watch, so long as they don’t eat too much of the farm crops!


  5. Goodness me, it is warm and dry this year, isn’t it! Like you, I find it uncomfortable to work outside with the sun blaring down.

    I’m surprise you don’t see bees in the evening. That said, I was surprised to see one at dusk last night. They do tend to forage at all hours and in the rain here, though.


    1. You are right, the honey bees are out late at night here and we still see them on the sunflowers when we are out walking. Usually, when I think of bees, I discount honey bees because they are domesticated bees. I should have been clearer because I meant the wild bees that are usually solitary or nearly so like the bumbles. I don’t know if it is because I cannot get out as much in the sunshine because of the heat or because the flowers may be producing less nectar because of the heat and drought. Amelia


    1. Interesting about the bees but all credit to you to be about when the temperatures were in the upper 30’s! Perhaps, I am just getting tired of these periods of excess heat this year and crabby about the lack of rain for the garden and countryside. Amelia


  6. Spectacular butterfly photos!
    I miss my Lavateras; I had two, and they were such good value, flowering all through the summer. They both died last year after about 3 years, and I read that they’re quite short lived perennials.


    1. I have heard that Lavateras are short lived. Over here they grow very rapidly and I have trouble keeping them in check but I have been successful with cuttings. I think Lavateras are more attractive in their earlier years. If you do decide on any more you could try and keep some cuttings in the wings to take over. Amelia


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