As the height of summer draws closer the flowers in the wildlife patch in the garden have grown tall, their leaves intertwining with one another as they all naturally compete for light and water.
In June the oxeye daisy takes a leading role, with the large flowerhead, around 3-5cm in width, drawing your attention. The sweet buzz of hoverflies are a constant sound at the moment as they are drawn to the oxeye flowerheads. The plants have grown tall, around 100cm, and are a main attraction for the insects. Greenfly cover some stems, which in turn attract the ants who milk them for the sweet honeydew they produce – the life cycles are in harmony in the wildlife patch.
The foxgloves stand tall, a spike of light pink bell-shaped flowers are a huge attraction for the bumblebess. Their deep buzz fills the air before silence as they crawl up the tube. This plant is a favourite of long-tongued bees, such as the common carder bee.
The mullein takes centre stage when in full flower, the huge spike of yellow flowers impossible to ignore as the plant stands over two metres tall.
Common knapweed adds a dash of purple on the edge of the dominating white oxeye daisy display. They are a perennial and will grow to over 60cm in height.
Herb Robert continues on with the pink-purple theme. Found away from the tangled mass of daisies and knapweed is a large plant in the corner of the patch. The leaves of this plant are intensely lobed and the fruit is distinctive with a long point.
Several mallow flowers grow on one plant, and with their dark purple striped petals they are now a prominent feature.
Throughout the year the flowering stars of the wildlife patch change, along with the season. In early spring the yellow flowers of primrose and cowslip are much admired, before the red campion flowers, followed by the white phase of oxeye daisies, then once again dominated by the colour yellow, this time carried through by the mullein.