Sunday 26 June 2011

Sunday safari

A mist hung over the garden early this morning.
For a brief moment, I thought I had missed summer and stepped into autumn.
The nursery web of the wolf spider, looked quite eerie.
By midday, temperatures had risen.   No fluffy clouds today.
Bees enjoyed comfrey blooms,
and cerinthe.
It appears hoverflies like them to.
This little chap seems to have the right idea.
The warmth brought  butterflies into the garden.    The small skipper never stays still, I was lucky to get this image.
Meadow Browns arrived around two weeks ago.
 Drone flies feed alongside honey bees.    They are very similar.
 This insect is new to me.   I believe it is Lissonota Sp. (Ichneumon wasp).  
A sparrowhawk is hunting in the garden.   He has already taken two young birds.    I saw him on both occasions.    I was rooted to the spot the first time.  He was only a couple of metres away, when he flew off with his victim.

It looks as though the next few days are going to be hot hot hot.......

Happy Sunday safari

Thursday 23 June 2011

Careful, there's a monster out there........

                                       I have joined the village 'Gardeners Society'   It was founded in 1889.     There will be many outings.    I am looking forward to visiting Sussex Prairie Garden.
                                                               Baloon flower
The garden is in full flow.   
                                                            Clematis florida var sieboldiana
I cannot seem to keep up with it.
                                                    Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'
As soon as one job is finished, there is another waiting in the wings.
Mr P's words come back to haunt me on such occasions........
"You have created a monster, how on earth will you manage in the years ahead."
                                           Hemerocallis 'Golden Chimes'......gorgeous scent
I have thought about that....each and every time I add another border or extend one.
                                                    Hydrangea Paniculata Vanille Fraise
My great grandmother gardened at 93.....perhaps I have her genes.
                                                                   Inula magnifica 
I believe that gardening keeps me fit and healthy.     My diet is full of fruit and vegetables and all the good foods that we should eat these days.   I walk Nella two - three miles each day. 
I am optimistic.....I am sure I will cope:)
One of  my favourite wildflowers.     The corncockle is not a native.    However, for centuries it used to appear, together with poppies, cornflowers and others, in fields of wheat and corn.    Unfortunately, corncockle seeds gave an unpleasant taste to bread, so, with the advent of modern technology and extensive use of herbicides, this very pretty flower became almost extinct.    
Extract from     Starting out with native plants by Charlotte de la Bedoyere.

However, because it so attractive and rare, I personally, think it  is well worth cultivating in gardens.   If anyone in UK would like seeds, do not hesitate to ask.   It is not invasive.
I collect seeds and show them in situ during the Spring.  

Enough said....time to go back to the wheelbarrow:) 

Monday 20 June 2011

Sunshine and showers.

I am not a fair weather gardener.     I love to be out in the elements.
Today, has been a day, of sunshine and showers.       I must confess I quite enjoy working in the rain, providing it is not too heavy.      
I cannot believe tomorrow is the longest day......the Summer Solstice.
How quickly time passes...........
I always feel so happy when I am in the garden.
Sometimes I just sit......
and let everything flood in.
There is always something to surprise......
Gardens are such mystical, magical places.
Flowers are in profusion,
mallows are amongst my favourites,
and just perfect for this cottage garden.
Aquilegia 'Dragonfly'.      So nice to see her blooming amongst the grasses.     I never used to like yellow blooms.   I love to see them in the garden now,  they always brighten the dullest day.

Happy Summer Solstice.........

Thursday 16 June 2011

A day in the life of a wildlife gardener.

Each day the mallards come to take a bath in the pond.    They leave such a mess, plants upturned, and worse of all they disturb the sediment at the bottom of the pond, which blocks the filter.    We all prefer to wash in clean water....I suppose it is the same for ducks.
Sawfly larvae are stripping the silver birch trees.    I remember the words of Piet Oudolf (my hero) "Such instances pass, and most plants have evolved to cope with such onslaughts."
The pigeon is back, I think he is ringed.   He looks healthy.....well he would be, this restaurant caters for everyone's taste.
Butterflies are back.   Not in huge numbers, but they are here. 
So many species in decline.   When they visit the garden, for a brief moment in time, I feel everything is right with the world.
Leucanthemum 'goldrush' a new planting....temptation is a terrible thing.
Evening Primrose......a weed to some....wildflower to me.
Cerinthe planted in the border.   I have not done this before, I usually keep them in pots.   They are growing into 'mini shrubs' and look absolutely exquisite.  Note to self: do this next year!
Maltese Cross spreads like wildfire in this garden.    I like her, especially when mother nature gives a helping hand and ox-eye daisies appear beside her.
Oh dear, another new planting.    I told you temptation is a terrible thing.    Veronica grandis.....well she is lovely, isn't she?     And of course, the bees will love her more than I do....
Rambling Rector and I have had such a battle.   I gave him the best of everything but for two years he failed to bloom.    I was about to give up on the 'Rector', so pleased I didn't, for now he scrambles through elder and is such a pretty sight.  More than that, his perfume is exquisite, and delights this gardener from dawn till dusk.      As I stand taking in his beauty I hear the skylark sing.   I walk to a clearing, I cannot see him, he is too  high but I can hear him.   I think of Gramps and recall how many times we stood together looking at the sky......looking for the skylark.
I go inside to find my treasure box.    Photographs, precious images, of my time spent with Nannie and Gramps.      Sweet memories......I loved to feed the rabbits....Ha:) I am still doing that now.
Just had to show you this one.   My Nannie had found me in the goose pen, I was feeding them.   Everyone else was frightened of them and would not go in without a stick to 'shooo' them away.
They never hurt me but then I liked them.    Nannie really told me off....and Dad took the photograph.   I think my face says it all.   Mr P always says my facial expressions say more than words ever can.....I think he may be right.....Ha:)