Garden Views-09-September 2016

September began with a couple of fabulous warm and sunny days, before heavy rain and  cloudy skies returned. The first 2 days saw the annual Welsh fifteen moment exceeded, when the garden was filled with over a hundred pristine butterflies, on Buddleia, Eupatorium maculatum and the just opening Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’/ ‘Herbstfreude’.S1000107 (2)S1000106 (2)S1000101 (2)S1000094 (2)S1000084 (2)4 days then passed, before even a glimpse of sun returned.SDIM8977 (2)SDIM9010 (2)SDIM9074 (2)SDIM9073 (2)SDIM9055 (2)SDIM8995 (2)SDIM8996 (2)SDIM8975 (2)But the weather settled down again, with some lovely dry warm days, morning mists and even on the 14th, temperatures hitting 26 degrees C on a day I took myself off for a manual scything course, with Philip Batten at Scythe Cymru.s1010018-2sdim9247-2sdim9278-2sdim9237-2sdim9245-2sdim9259-2A year of exceptional grass growth, meant that our lower fields were inadequately grazed, so many areas needed late cutting, to continue the good progress to greater floral diversity.s1020003-2s1020007-2sdim7890-2 (Lower meadows in July 2016, above)

And raking off, which is less fun and frankly hard work, resulting in a series of yurt like hay ricks being produced – some of the drier ones having fodder potential, the wetter ones being left open to heat up and rot down. I have a plan for these next year.sdim9283-2sdim9293-2Through mid, to late September, we had many glorious sunrises, and the annual crop of fabulous spider’s webs to marvel at.sdim9231-2s1020010-2s1010114-2s1010081-2sdim9261-2sdim9197-2sdim9201-2sdim9190-2sdim9381-2sdim9281-2sdim9235-2 And the second sighting of a Ruby-tailed wasp, Chrysis ignita, on the wooden terrace table.sdim9311-2Before heavy rains began to limit outdoor activity, during the last week of what had turned into a very pleasant, first month of the autumn. Monthly rainfall was 173.5 mm, which was slightly above average for this month here. However the PV inverter record showed just how gloomy the light generally was – nearly 20% less than in 2015.sdim9457-2sdim9397-2sdim9408-2sdim9384-2sdim9373-2sdim9399-2sdim9403-2sdim9336-2sdim9330-2sdim9373-2