September around the garden
Autumn is well and truly set, a time of plenty even though the shortening daylight hours are an early warning of more challenging times ahead. For now, there is much to celebrate, a long menu of ripening berries hit their peak in the hedges, especially Elderberries, and attract the attentions of local Robins, tits and also Blackcaps, preparing for a longer mission.
Remarkably perhaps, our Rowan trees are already stripped of berries; young Blackbirds, unopposed over the last month moving from these to Blackcurrant and Raspberries. House Sparrows, temporarily absent from our eaves, are to be found out on country lanes, gathering along recently harvested field entrances, flying up in noisy groups when disturbed. Another temporary absentee is the Goldfinch, a late breeder and more likely to be feeding on a traditional food source such as Thistle heads before coming back to us to feed on the honeycombed seed heads of Teasel.
Butterflies are at their peak right now, sustained by nectar from their favourite plants such as Verbena bonariensis and Sedum spectabile. These rockery plants require minimum care and attract day flying moths as well as a procession of butterflies.
Next task in the garden is a pleasant one: harvesting of the Apple crop. I hope to leave some fruit to ripen on the trees, to encourage late butterflies and birds and store as much as we can’t eat. Windfalls and bruised fruit are a bonus for wildlife in the dead of winter, when memories of autumn plenty have faded.
In September, look and listen out for
Flowering Sedums and Verbena: magnets for Butterflies and moths.
Swallows and House Martins gathering in mixed groups, around village streets and gathering on wires: a social before the great shift south.
Visit our online shop drop in to the Irish Garden Birds shop located within the Blooms and Rooms garden centre at Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford, County Wicklow.
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