Garden Views-09-September 2019

September began with a glorious still sunny day, cooler than of late and one in which,

with recent light rain, the upper hay meadow exploded with waxcap mushrooms. 492 were counted in a detailed sweep across the part of the meadow contained within the mown path, so it’s likely that over 500 were at that time present within the whole roughly one acre field.

These would seem to weigh in at about 5 kg, and possibly represent about 500 Kg of below ground biomass of fungus. A huge additional carbon sink in a permanent pasture, but also wonderfully colourful, though in even modest length grass with an underlying mossy base layer typical of our damp upland meadows, one has to look quite closely to spot them all.

Mainly the Fibrous waxcap, Hygrocybe intermedia, there were also examples of the Golden, Hygrocybe chlorophana, Citrine, Hygrocybe citrinovirens, and Glutinous, Hygrocybe glutinipes, waxcap present, right at the beginning of the month.By the end of the month, more species were fruiting, with some in all of our 6 fields.Just as last year, the Asters and Sedums seem unusually late into flower, Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ really only beginning at the end of August, and still by early September, no honeybees visiting the just opening Sedum flowers, but still large numbers of butterflies and honeybees in the garden during sunny spells.

After the initial lovely weather a period of sunshine and generally light rain with mild temperatures kept the weather quite benign, and then in the middle of the month a high pressure system built which gave us nearly a week of very warm and sunny weather.

A huge boost which ended with autumnal weather proper beginning around the 23rd with, at last, some significant rain to flush out the by now algally strewn stream bed stones.

The Cyclamen hederifolium were in full stride by this time of the month, and the annual big cut back also getting into gear. Always a wrench, but necessary in a wet climate garden heavily planted with spring bulbs.

The use of the growing beds between the PV panels has worked better than expected, in spite of their short season with full, un-shaded light, with some lovely carrots and squash…

The last 10 days saw, often heavy, rain every day, with a total of over 150 mm falling which made a generally quite sunny month with over 333 KWH of light, into a heavy rainfall month at 202.2 mm.