All the plants are packing up for autumn now, but none of them bother to show off as much as the honesty plant.
I could gather all these seeds for next year, but is more fun feeding dried sunflower heads to the chickens. It sends them into a frenzy of excitement. Chickens love frenzies. This one is nearly as good as the day of grated stale cheese, which led to a spectacular squabble. Encouraging chickens to fight is Not Funny, honest.
Normally, our Australian visitors would be packing up now. Bags everywhere computers collaborating with printers to make check-in ‘Impossible’. Not this year. Right now they are all over Instagram gleefully announcing the first day of spring and gloating about daffodils in their gardens. They need a good gloat, especially the ones in Melbourne who are still locked down with no end in sight.
The end of summer is like throwing up. You might dread it, you can’t delay it and, when it’s over, you feel fine. September brings whiffs of mist in the mornings, bright sunshine and a delicious nip in the air. To stave off the shortening days we have added extra tacky lights to the new shelter.
It has hosted dinners, games and music lessons, survived a thunderstorm and already procured bookings for birthdays. It’s a safe place for gathering and could generate emotional prosperity right through winter.
Guidelines allow 6 people from 6 houses or 30 people from two. Common sense allows something in between. With rules. Wash your hands, back off, don’t sit there, only use that toilet and don’t touch doors on the way in, have a cup of tea but don’t touch the pot, back off again, yes you can touch the cat, she doesn’t seem to have COVID. No I haven’t sanitised her, do you sanitise your cat?
You have to really want to see each other to put up with all that and sincerely believe that your own rules make sense. Everybody has different rules, so we are all busy training each other.
We need to party somehow. Like the wasps. They know how to do it.
For months they kept out of the way helpfully pollinating plants and eating pests. Then they got pissed on rotten apples, crawling drunkenly around, getting the wrong end of the stick and thinking that the beer in your hand was brought out for them.
This week, thousands of them have moved on to this willow tree.
The willow aphid secretes salicylic acid which is basically aspirin. Wasps love this drug and are hanging around in clumps, completely off their faces.
Outside the garden furlough is tailing off, jobs and businesses are vanishing. Financial prosperity is slippery unless you know a minister and have some dodgy PPE for sale.
But we have a shelter and the wasps have their willow party.