What a glorious Summer we had in Ireland! As I write these words the rain has come back with force. It is good for the land as it had been dry for the past few months.
Our multi-species swards surprised us in so many ways. They were wonderful to look at, with different vibrant tonalities of green peppered with tiny splashes of yellow, orange, and blue as the small flowers made their appearance in early July. They were lush and abundant, full of life. Wild animals seemed to be enjoying the tiny "jungle" too: all sorts of birds liked to land, not only to get savoury protein snacks (bugs on the ground) but also to just "hang out".
While we had planned for and were expecting some cows to pay us a visit to devour the plants, everything changed due to circumstances out of our control, and a tractor had to come in to cut the field. While I was not happy to hear about it, to our surprise the plants grew back to the same height they were in a period of about 3 or so weeks. It was really lovely to walk amongst them, and feel and see all the many species growing in different ways.
I worked very hard to create a proper no-dig bed. My first trial was very flawed as I did not anticipate creatures of all sorts would be walking back and forth. The second one was surrounded by a a good fence to at least make it a bit more challenging for animals to walk through.
Of course, my cats are extremely good circus performers and have been laughing at my attempts to keep them away. Nevertheless the 150 + bulbs of Dahlia varieties that I planted have been thriving. They were well looked after by dear friends, during the very hot and dry spell there was while I was away visiting my family. And since my return I have witnessed with joy the blossoming of several "Rosella" in yellow, orange, and deep red, a couple of striking "Sun and Ice", and a few festive "Franz Kafka" pompons. I can't wait to welcome the others.
As for the few flower arrangements that I have been able to make, they do put a smile on my face, and are greatly admired by a friendly group of honey bees and other insects that have been since visiting our home.