Wednesday 11 August 2010

Looking up.......

Before I start my post today I would like to say thank you to Jane for the gifts she sent. Soap, a lavender bag, a book mark, and seeds were in this beautiful pouch that Jane made. I love the colour and the detail on her craftwork.
Jane also made the button, which I think is beautiful. Her lovely work can often be viewed on her blog. Jane also includes writings about her childhood, which I can thoroughly recommend..........

As we walk an area, we often look around or down, but rarely up. So today I thought I would do an 'up post'. The first thing I spied was Kentish cob nuts.
The squirrel has taken most, and he does not like to share, so I think he will probably finish them all. Such a meanie!! Squirrels can be mean......
Plums.......I am blessed with several large plum tree. This year looks like another bumper crop. I am delighted........I will to try to get to them as soon as they are ripe. Starlings love this crop........wasps are also a contender.
Native Hornbeam do very well on heavy clay soil......I planted many trees when I moved here, this is one of them. I love the seeds.
Staghorn I planted for it's lovely autumn colour.
Native hawthorn runs through the hedgerow in the garden. It supplies flowers for early pollinators in spring, and haws for the birds in autumn.
Pine cones.......beautiful......I have loved them for as long as I can remember but hey, who doesn't?

Rosa rugosa......for me personally, she is the star of the rose world. Her beautiful blooms, with their delicious scent attracts numerous insects. When the hips are ripe finches and robins will feast on them.
Teasels have just finished the autumn goldfinch will flock to them.
Another worthwhile wild flower..........
As I walked towards the house (and still looking up) to my amazement I noticed a Merlin sitting on the shed roof. These birds are incredibly shy and not often seen. Sadly their numbers have dropped in recent years. This is not the first sighting. Our eyes met, and I could not move......I was totally locked in the moment. So very close, I knew as soon as I put my camera to my eye she would be gone. Sure enough she was, quick as a flash. Beautiful moment.......beautiful end to the day.


  1. Things are looking up. Those plums are a beautiful hue of blue. I can see why the wildlife love your garden. It is fulllll of goodies. I almost cry every time I see a pine tree. I miss our pines so much. What a beautiful end to your stroll about the garden. Your pouch full of goodies is quite nice. You are mightly blessed.

  2. Lisa....I can truly understand you missing your pines. They are beautiful trees.....perhaps one day you may plant a sapling??

    Everytime I pass the plums, it makes my mouth water......

  3. Lucky you seeing a Merlin Cheryl!!
    We have lots of staghorn at the cottage, and they are beautiful, I can't wait to see them in Autumn.
    Your garden is way ahead of of ours - no seeds or endgame flowers yet!

  4. Hi Dan, I was indeed so very lucky to see the Merlin. Sort of thing I dream of.....

    You will not be disappointed with the staghorn....their autumn displays are magnificent......

    My garden is running to autumn and I really don't understand why as yet......

  5. Thank you so much for your thanks and mention and for your so kind comments on my blog!

    This is a lovely post Cheryl - we too have a cobnut tree, at the end of our driveway and it's not the squirrels who eat them but the badgers! I looked out last year to see what the crackling and crunching noise was and there were 3 of them out there! They came every night till the nuts were all gone and it was lovely to see them although they are not really welcome in the garden as they are so destructive. We too have plenty of rosa rugosa all along our boundary with the wood and though it makes me sad to think summer is on the wane when I see those wonderful hips I have to admit they are beautiful. Glad you had a good walk through your garden and finished by seeing the merlin.

    Jane x

  6. Kentish cob nuts--I learn so much on your blog. And I think of sumac as somehow quintessentially Michigan... so news there, too. :) Love your garden, as always.

  7. You are welcome Jane. Thoroughly deserved.

    Badgers are wonderful creatures. When we first moved here they visited the garden regularly. I did not mind. Sadly one day while walking Nella, I found one of them dead on a tiny lane. It had been shot. I have never seen a badger since and that saddens me immensely. I am sure you know by now, my view is, everything has a right to live.......but that is just my opinion.

    I love autumnal colours and the change over from summer to autumn. There is something so nostalgic about it. I always feel more mellow this time of year......

    The merlin was amazing will never forget it.

  8. Hi I drive the lanes or walk Nella along them, there are for the taking. They are very much part of this landscape and look particularly beautiful when they drip with catkins in the spring....

    The staghorn was given to me as a sapling. It has done really well here. I must have a female, as tiny trees are popping up around her.
    With climate change it is good to have native and non native mixes.....who knows how the landscape will change in years to come.

  9. Hi Cheryl,

    Oh to have an orchard or copse… one day maybe… if I’m very lucky!

    I don’t get to look up so often, with no mature trees in my garden, there’s no need to…

    It must be wonderful to have a plum tree, it is something I would like to have. Growing up a neighbour had one in their garden and we got to eat the windfall, also someone a few houses away had one, they lived near a small patch of grass and trees where we used to play. I have to admit to breaking and entering their garden to steal the plums!
    Years later as I joined a local operatic society, the owner was also a member and we confessed to our crime! :)

    Amazing encounter with the Merlin, the closest I’ve ever got is a Sparrowhawk… Not quite so interesting, but majestic regardless.

  10. How sweet of Jane! The button is amazing; I wonder how long it took her to make such an intricate piece. It's always interesting to see some of your native plants--the Kentish cob nuts are something new to me, and I'm not familiar with hornbeam either.

    Things are looking up--it's still hot here, but the forecast is for more comfortable weather next week. Maybe I'll finally feel like working in the garden then!

  11. Hi Liz.....the fruit and hazel trees are dotted around the garden. They were here when we moved. I do have plum trees in the copse.......they do very well. Only thing is I have to climb a ladder to pick them. I am not known for my

    Scrumping eh! Why not........did you enjoy them? or did you feel guilty? I love to walk the lanes with Nella in the autumn and pick fruits from the hedgerow. Usually they are warm and sweet, just how I like them.

    The Merlin was amazing......but I would have been just as happy to see a Sparrowhawk. I love all birds of prey...... it is the eyes.

  12. Hi is 21C (73F) today and cloudy. I have worked in the garden all day and felt happy to be there. What a difference it makes when the temps are cooler.

    Jane is a wonderful craftswoman.....she has been showing the buttons she makes on her blog.They are mini works of art.

  13. Dear Cheryl,
    Your world is magical! Wow....seeing a Merlin and having dear talented friends...perfect weather to garden in. Magical indeed.
    I am hoping for a cool down and some has been so very hot for too long. I have been trying just to keep alive some newly spring planted bushes but I think they are gone. I am watering the pear tree hoping it will make it to the next rain....
    I long for Autumn and the cooler days and glorious colors. For now I will enjoy your glories.

  14. Dear is a relief to lose the high temperatures....I do hope that things cool down for you soon.

    I hope the pear tree will survive. I remember you planting the sapling. I shall keep my fingers crossed.

    The merlin was extremely magical. In medieval times the birds were respected. They are in decline here and quite rare. I have seen her hunting several times. She is welcome.
    I wonder what message she brings.......

  15. Hi Cheryl,

    I think if my Magnolia does not flower again next Spring I will replace it with a Plum of some sort… I have a tub of plums on my desk right now – I love them.

    As far as I remember we gorged ourselves on the plums for a few days, and they were delicious! Ha ha. I guess it’s far better than eating sweets and crisps! :) We also used to pick Blackberries and such in some fields nearby – grew up in a small town in the country, surrounded by farmer’s fields. But the Plums were far nicer.

    Indeed, it’s the eyes with BOP’s! Those piercing golden eyes many of them seem to have… I’d love to go to a falconry centre and handle some. How amazing.
    ‘Back home’ there’s a Butterfly farm and I recently discovered they also have BOP’s and do displays, so I’m definitely going to go. I last went when I was in brownies would you believe! It had only just opened and I do remember there being Barn Owls but was unaware of the displays.

  16. Hi Liz....i love plums to! They are always so juicy. I used to make plum jam and plum crumble. Don't seem to get the time these days.

    I have been to many bop displays. They have them at Leeds castle which is around 15 minutes from me. They are amazing.

    They also rescue injured barn owls, which often cannot be released into the wild. Whilst I am not overly keen on captive birds, at least they live a reasonable life......

    Have a lovely weekend................

  17. Kudos to Jane...very pretty.
    Your little Rosa rugosa berries look like tomatoes.
    Teasels are very attractive just the way they look now.

  18. Hi Patsi.....the hips do indeed look like a very autumnal feel to the garden.

  19. What is it about ordinary brown pinecones that is so fascinating? I adore them and I don't really know why. I remember as a child, finding pinecones was so exciting! As if they contained magic. Mind you, I think it was a bit of a disappointment once you peeled them open that there was really nothing much on the inside.

    A merlin! Oooooo! Merlins gently awaken our inner vision and inspire us to seek out our life purpose.

    I think the garden gate is creaking open just little bit....