Summer clings on

Posted: Friday 3 October 2014
by Kate Bradbury

September was the driest since records began, and it was unusually warm, as well. This contrasts with August, which was the eighth wettest on record.


Verbena bonariensis

We’ve recently had another record-breaking month. According to the Met Office, September was the driest since records began, and it was unusually warm, as well. This contrasts with August, which was the eighth wettest on record.

It’s been sunny, too. Suddenly I’ve had to start watering the allotment again, as the courgette plants are still producing fruit. Salad leaves are still cropping nicely and the butternut squash are ripening up well. Summer is clinging on.

And there are still so many insects in the wing. It’s been a while since I’ve seen so many butterflies and other insects so late in the year – the ivy flowers in my garden are alive with red admiral and comma butterflies, as well as a variety of hoverflies, wasps and flies. The usual gamut of scruffy common carder bumblebee workers has been joined by buff-tailed and tree bumblebee queens. Will the buff-tailed bumblebees (which are increasingly prone to establishing winter colonies) stay awake and start a new nest now, or go to bed and start again in spring?

There’s plenty still for them to eat: clematis, Japanese anemones, abelia, sedum, buddleja, Verbena bonariensis and gaura are still in full flower, not to mention the masses and masses of ivy.

And yet, where I live at least, the first frost is just around the corner. The mornings have been fresher and the autumn dew has lingered on grass and plants until mid-morning. The robins have started singing more mournfully – a sure sign that winter is in its way. It still seems so far off… but one night when temperatures dip enough to freeze, everything will turn black and begin to fade into winter. 

Have you had a frost in your garden yet or is summer still clinging on?





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Talkback: Summer clings on
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oldchippy 03/10/2014 at 20:25

We have had no frost in Ewell and the leaves are still green just the spindle turning red so far my Norway maple has lost some leaves gone from deep purple to brown other than that every thing is hanging on nicely,plenty of berries for the birds,even cut the grass as it is still growing.Old Chippy.

Ceres 04/10/2014 at 17:28

The conker trees are almost ready to dump a ton of leaves on the lawn but the rest of the garden still looks quite summery. The geraniums are still in full flow. Its been a beautiful September.

oldchippy 05/10/2014 at 16:46

We had our first frost this morning,the grass in the park was white and where the sun was shinning on it it was steaming.