30 Days Wild – Day Nine

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Tuesday 9th June:

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My courtyard garden shows that you can make a difference to wildlife in a space like this. I have seen 4 different species of bumblebee as well as various other insects visiting my plants. There are plenty of great books with ideas for container gardens, and growing your own veg is so much fun 🙂

I didn’t have a very wild day at work today but I spent the evening in my ever growing garden re-potting some courgette plants. I love getting my hands dirty in the soil after a long day at work – it really helps me wind down. My potted garden is set out in the communal courtyard and I spend a lot of time looking after it because actually, strictly, my estate agent said I’m not allowed to have pot plants in the communal area so I’m keen to keep it as nice and neat as possible. My neighbours really like it though and have commented that I’ve brought a bit of life to the concrete.

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Bombus pratorum, the early bumblebee on my garlic chive flower. She stayed there all night sheltering from the weather and left the following afternoon.

Last year I made a great effort to grow my own vegetables but this year I got a bit distracted by my bee fascination and I’ve opted for lots of bee friendly flowers. I scored over 1000 on the Bee Kind quiz which I was pretty pleased with considering the size of my space. This evening there was a lovely little early bumblebee, Bombus pratorum, on the underside of one of my chive flowers and a cool colourful but as yet unidentified flying thing on my heather plant.  I had three hairy footed flower bees last month which got me really excited!

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Unidentified flying thing. Any ideas?
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My first thought was that this was a large bee fly, Bombylius major, but due to it’s distinctive cream coloured face I’m pretty sure it’s actually a male hairy footed flower bee, Anthophora plumipes, on my cat mint. A beautiful bumblebee sized solitary species.

In May, a new couple moved in next door to my flat. They moved over from India because the husband is studying for his PhD over here. The lady often pops out to say hello when I’m in the courtyard and this evening she came out again to see if I wanted any help. I feel bad for her because I’m out in a t-shirt and shorts and she’s wrapped up in a cardigan, shivering! Today she helped me with the courgette plants and told me all about a women’s festival in South India where courgette flowers play a really important part. I showed her my herb plants, we crushed the leaves and smelled them and I told her all the English names. I tried to explain how we would use them in cooking, like rosemary & lamb, tomato & basil or mint & peas. It was really nice to share those moments and to share our knowledge as well 🙂

All images subject to copywrite. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

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