Yesterday's great leap forward in the garden. Well, small step.
Another side of the kangaroo apple trimmed away. The plan (and I do have one, although there is much evidence to the contrary) is to leave the main trunk as a feature. It's nicely twisted and sculptural. (Sorry, I went a bit Kath and Kim there.) It will provide a good base for climbers or epiphytes, as long as I use species that are sun-hardy and not too lively. So far, finding the first hasn't been a problem. The second, as you can see, has been much trickier.
A bird bath (but not a naff one) in the middle and some butterfly-attracting plants around the margin would look good. (And plants for the blue-banded bees, which have been zipping around the kangaroo apple as if they haven't eaten in weeks.) Anyway, something easier to keep under control. I'll just have to make sure there's nowhere for the neighbour's cats to hide.
I kept an eye on the fauna while I pruned. Plenty of bugs, including this hopper, Siphanta (Flatidae). I love the way these insects rely on camouflage until you get too close and then they sidle around to the other side of a stem in exactly the way a thorn wouldn't.
But — and this is really disappointing — I didn't seen any praying mantids. Not even their oothecae. I'm not sure why they're not around because the garden has a lot of suitable food and no pesticides.
I'll go on looking.