It’s been a hectic old time this summer in the walled gardens with it being the school holidays. All visitors use the area in their own ways and for their own ends. Some families just pass straight through on their way from the café to the playgrounds; others meet friends for coffee and cake – a great idea. However some linger longer, spending time looking at flowers and mini-beasts alike.
The Victorian Walled Garden at Stewart Park
One teenager had a bit of a problem with a dragonfly as I remember – shrieks of horror, but then shrieks of joy from a five year old minutes later as it landed on her shoulder and Grandad took a picture. Of course, it had long flown away by the time I had got there, but wildlife is always there, secret, and found only if you are lucky. I think Vincent had the best spot recently of a fox. As for me, I saw what looked like a yellow ladybird. I always like to make a point of showing things like that to any passing children, if they like it or not. Francine did some research and believes it is the Orange Ladybird – orange with around twelve to sixteen white spots, it is usually found on deciduous trees, particularly sycamore and ash. They are widespread in South England and Wales, but are increasing in the North.
It is surprising how many children lose the wonder of insects, or mini-beasts as we like to call them, as they get older – young children still have open minds and accept these bugs for what they are. A grandma and grandad visited recently with their little angel, dressed up for Sunday best with a beautiful pink ruffled dress, and even had pink ruffles on her socks. She didn’t look comfortable at all with the situation. While the couple rested in the pergola, little Imogen “helped” me with the gardening. With a stick in her hand, she stirred the soil in a little hole she had created.
“What you got there dear, what are you doing?”
“It’s woodlice, Grandad,” came the throaty reply.
“Oh lovely, mummy will be pleased when we tell her later, don’t get dirty now,” and she continued stirring away with gusto, a girl after my own heart.
Animal keeper Tom reminded me the other day that without the bees, humankind would die out in a matter of four years – a sobering thought. So let’s not crush the wonder of our natural world, it’s truly amazing and is vitally important to us all. Help in a positive way by planting bee friendly flowers such as Verbena, Sedums, Rudbekia, Buddleia, and Asters. These beauties continue to flower and spread delight for us and give a much needed lifeline for our flying (and crawling) friends that need the food and sustenance on autumn days.
Our hardworking bees sometimes need a helping hand
So let’s go planting and get behind the mighty mini-beasts, saviours of the universe and the human race.