British Lung Foundation
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Butterflies & Bees, Balmy Breeze & Bushfires, Builders & Breathing.....oh and Yellow Snow !

This summer has been extraordinary, the garden which we plan carefully, a ritual each October, is now almost in full bloom and there is almost too much to look at. It s an absolute riot of colour and is densely packed with pollen packed flowers and plants. I. will try to post a photo once this website settles down. It looks gorgeous and the bees and butterflies love it.

We had a new conservatory built in December and we are really enjoying the extra light space as an additional dining room. This year though has see a huge increase in flying insects which head straight for the open doors of the conservatory and once inside they fly kamikaze style into the roof, sides and doors. In the morning it looks like a battlefield, apparently winged insects dehydrate rapidly in the heat.

I am not squeamish and actually am fascinated by insects and all wildlife (except mosquitoes) and the number of bees this year is phenomenal as well as their size, they are enormous. There is a superabundance of pollen this year and I have noticed that bees are literally "gorging" themselves almost drunkenly and I have even observed a few fights over favourite flowers. Daily Mail headline - "Drunken Bee louts brawling on Hollyhocks". Also have seen many more butterflies and moths than usual.

All these are good environmental indicators and fabulous to look at.

I live in Leytonstone, NE London which was on the news tonight with two large wildfires which are now under control. Our house 100 yds from Epping Forest which is one of the best kept secrets In London, but fortunately the wind was blowing opposite direction.

Me and Carmen have just had builders finish work,brand new central heating and new Vailant boiler, moved from inside to outside the house in special cabinet. All new radiators and every floorboard removed and replaced. Lots of sawing, drilling and dust. Plus other work new cupboards etc.

My breathing has been good the past few weeks and the hot weather has not been too much of a problem. If it is 27 or 28f I feel ok but 30f plus I stay in and keep cool. Boring yes but better than being in hospital ( I had a cardiac bypass in 1999; although my heart muscle is strong I am taking no chances).

Which brings me to the Yellow Snow, no not the Frank Zappa (album Apostrophe) type but worse. We are gifted with a row of three very large, very tall very protected Lime trees the largest of which dominates and I mean dominates the end of our garden. It is not my favourite tree and makes a real mess of our pond In autumn. But this year it has produced more flowers and pollen than all previous years combined. It literally snows fine yellow pollen coating the garden in a fine yellow dust. Fortunately I am not too allergic to it, but it does not help when it is this hot and we are still clearing the house

Up. Thank God I have Carmen to do most of the work, I help in different but beneficial ways - I think......Keep Cool .....Adrian

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15 Replies

What an excellent post - thanks for sharing with us Adrian. We have had a couple of wildfires down in Dorset too - unfortunately started by a couple of sixteen year old lads. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Where I live, there are a lot of alterations going on too, quite a bit of dust so staying out of the way of that and they have been chopping down hedges as well. Thankfully that doesn't make the breathing any worse, the heat without a breeze is managing that all by itself LOL :) xx

Hi Adrian, agree with Scrobs, a great post, I can almost imagine your garden and am very jealous! Libby x

Thanks Scrobby and Libby, my garden is not large, this is London after all but I think it is quite well planned in a compact space about 60 foot or 80 if you include slim side garden. Appreciate your comments ...Best wishes Adrian

Can't you have the lime tree's loped by a tree company Adrian


Yes peta we can do but the access would have to be through the house, which we have only just decorated! It would be a huge job and could be expensive. Thanks Adrian

Have the same problem Adrian, I have a huge ash tree in the back garden, no back or side access, have to have it loped every 2 years, everything has to come through the house, been doing this for 30 years now, hopefully moving in a couple of weeks, end of problem for me. Peta

What a lovely descriptive post. Your garden and conservatory sound lovely.

Ours is very much a cottage garden and no soil can be seen in any flower bed, just how I like it. One end is quite shady, so that has more woodland planting with ferns etc.

Lynne xx

Your garden sounds wonderful and it would be nice to see a photo of it. My son was cutting his grass this week and come upon a bumble bee nest. I never knew that they built nests in the ground as well as in trees ect. The nest was open and there were lots of eggs in it, it was fascinating to see. The bees have now sort of put a dead grass roof on their nest and you wouldn`t know it was there now but my son has marked the spot and cordoned it off so they are not disturbed. I would never kill a bee, it is said that if the bee population died out we would also.

Sue x

Hi SusieQs - We had same a bee nest in our border a year or two ago. I can't remember what bees they were, but were quite small with pale honey coloured hoops. I was a bit worried as Carmen is hyper allergic to insect stings. But strangely they abandoned it after a few days ? Must have guessed they had been rumbled! thanks. Adrian

What a fabulous post, Beatles, you're garden sounds beautiful. (I like your reply when you say your garden is not large - ours is about 16 x 19 ft). We have a raised border around the edge which is stuffed with plants - mainly because it's less work to maintain - and we have one or two rose bushes which were chosen because of their perfume. With the heat this year they are smelling wonderful. There seem to be so few plants nowadays that have a perfume at all, or maybe we don't get the weather here in the north of Scotland to give them a chance to show themselves off. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking forward to more of your posts.

Hi CarrieMe. If you like perfumed roses, try "Easy does it" and " Bloom of Ruth", they are hybrids and very robust and keep flowering if you dead head. They smell fabulous. Cheers Adrian

lovely to hear all about your garden and lime trees, it nice to imagine how another persons garden looks from their description. I've been busy past few days reaping the rewards of my garden, lots of fresh fruit and as you say abundant flowers and pollen for the bees, even the roses have had lots of flowers, both my large roses are scented but not heavy scent and to spite their age still give a good display. Enjoy your garden it's good therapy when ill and keeps us active

A smashing post Beatles. I'm afraid my love of gardening was knocked out of me at my first job. It was with the Bedford Parks department. When I had potted up 53,000 geraniums I sort of lost the will to live. lol. Loved your post though.


Thanks Bobby

I always enjoy your posts too.

Only 53000 ... Wimp ! ... Best Wishes. Adrian

Your garden sounds like a little haven, all that hard work in freezing cold October paid off! loved hearing about it and wish we could see pictures! thank you Adrian :) xxx

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