ONE of the wonders of living with our wild British weather is that, each year, some plants and insects thrive due to the conditions as others struggle—in stark contrast, it can all change dramatically the following year.
The wet winter that was followed by a bitterly cold March in which it snowed seems to have done wonders for the lilac and, especially, the early roses, which I have rarely seen put on such a blowsy show. Happily, I’ve also seen more butterflies than in the recent past, but, to my unscientific eye, the number of poor bumblebees appears to be as low as ever. It’s interesting to see the EU Court of Justice has confirmed that the European Commission’s ban on the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides on flowering crops was proper and legal—let’s just hope that the move really does give the bees the boost they so desperately need.
However, you don’t need to be a scientist to notice the plethora of fêtes and garden openings happening up and down the land. They are some of greatest triumphs of rural Britain and are a huge credit to the organisers, who are at the heart of it all and put in so much effort to make these events happen. I salute all of them as true heroes of the countryside. MH