The weather this summer has been absolutely appalling. And that’s not just the whinging of a poor blogger who’s upset about getting soaked on the way to work (although it is also the whinging of a poor blogger who’s upset about getting soaked on the way to work); the dreadful weather has even been affecting our flora and fauna. As reported in this Clare Florist blog earlier this week, butterflies have been negatively affected. Bees, too, have found the soggy weather difficult to deal with.
And plants have also borne the brunt of these damp and inclement days. Grapevines, a plant which demands dry, toasty conditions, have done particularly badly, with growers forced to use special blowdrying techniques to save their harvests. In the wet conditions, the fruit may rot if the ‘caps’, which form on the grapevines in damp weather, are not removed.
Broccoli, cauliflower and strawberries are also suffering, with supermarkets forced to import from Europe and the US as their UK growers report meagre harvests.
But not everything is doing terribly; amidst all the doom and gloom, one beautiful flower has flourished; the bee orchid.
As reported here in the Guardian, Mediterranean plants such as small restharrow and nitgrass have also done remarkably well. "Conditions may not have suited humans, but they have been ideal for flowers like the bee orchid," says Andy Byfield of the charity Plantlife. "We had a warm winter and then the drought in March and April disappeared quickly as the rains arrived. As a result, bee orchids have flourished."
So while you and I are cursing our way to work among a miasma of drizzle and a labyrinth of puddles, at least somebody out there is enjoying the warm, wet weather. Nice weather for ducks, and nirvana for this little orchid.