Just a brief post tonight because time has almost run out, but I thought I’d just share what may or may not turn out to be a bright idea that I had in the middle of the night. Madame had taken down the 8′ high angelica yesterday because it was beginning to strew its seed everywhere, and much as we love it we prefer to choose where to plant it because it can be a bit of a monster. So the seed heads went into a bucket where we could finish ripening and drying some of them for sowing again, while the leftover stalks all went into the compost heap.
As I wrote yesterday I’ve been reading David Goode’s book on urban ecology and I suddenly remembered he’d written that some invertebrates like to nest, or overwinter in the hollow stems of dead plants. So after a several hours of routine campervan maintenance we slipped over to the allotment and I retrieved the angelica stalks from the heap; cut them into 12″ sections with hole diameters varying from and eighth of an inch to to a couple of inches – more than enough variety for pretty well any kind of homeless creature to find something that suits later on, and then bound them together very untidily with string and attached them to the main stalk which was thick enough to bury a foot into the earth. Every little helps, I hope, because we’ve been waging war on blackfly and asparagus beetle grubs while we wait for the other predators to come to our aid. We pick them off – dozens of them, and squeeze them – which is messy but therapeutic in a strange way.