Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pollen Beetle

The Goatsbeard is covered in pollen beetles, each about 2.5mm (one tenth of an inch) long..

This one fell onto my hand while I was taking photos and I was fortunate enough to capture it as it opened its elytra and showed its wings.

An unidentified millipede

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Chrysalis Snail


I had a look at some of the mini-species lurking in the undergrowth of the back garden.  This is the Chrysalis Snail (Lauria cylindracea) - a common snail of woods, hedges and walls.  It's only 3mm or 4mm long compared to the common Garden snail which is 35mm to 40mm high.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) is one of the native plants I have in the garden. It has taken over a spot by the pond and doesn't seem to mind how much I cut it back to keep it in its place without overflowing too far. It's a very accommodating plant.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Irises 'Arctic Age' & 'Silverado'

A Father's Day present from last year from Bryony and Mark was Iris 'Arctic Age'. It has made a perfect Father's Day present for this year as well as it is flowering in the build up to Sunday.

Another Iris from Bryony and Mark was Iris 'Silverado'

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Gardening shoes

I think these may have reached the end of their useful life!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Garden Villain

But he looks so innocent when he's a youngster.

Monday, 13 June 2011


Among the annuals I've planted this year are Calceolaria.



and Osteospermum.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The pergola

We are much more used to sitting on the patio and looking through the pergola in the reverse dircetion.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Gap

This is the gap in the front hedge that loss of the Fuchsia created last winter. Just clearing out the dead wood has been a massive job and I've left some in there to act as a support to a Clematis montana 'Freda' that I've bought to help fill in the hole as quickly as possible. To my surprise, in clearing out the dead wood I eventually came across the bottom of the main trunk and there were some new shoots growing from it so the plant itself has survived. Just twenty years to wait for it to fill in the hole again.

Fuchsia genii

Fuchsia Dr Foster

I also bought a Fuchsia genii and a Fuchsia Dr Foster to help with the gap filling. I also have a successful cutting of Viburnum plicatum which I shall add when I can reach the spot I want to plant it. That's still buried behind more dead wood!

While at the nursery I bought another Fuchsia (F. hatschbachii) and it was my original intention to replace the Solanum with it. Jo has since mentioned how much she also liked the Solanum so for the moment I shall leave the space there in the hope of replacing it.

I also got two more Clematis and their future location has yet to be decided.

Clematis 'Bonanza'

Clematis 'Arabella'

I was thinking of having one by the front door. There was a climbing plant there (before our time) and the trellis still remains. But the spot gets no sun at all. Would a Clematis flower there I wonder? I think I'll keep one in its pot for a year or two and let it grow up the trellis. If it fails to flower I can then move it.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Froghopper larva

I have been very remiss of late and not shown many insects on this blog (though my pictures of the Ceanothus did show a honey bee and a carder bee).

I accidentally brushed against some cuckoo spit the other day and this froghopper larva ended up on my hand.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Some more flowers

Clematis jackmanii .

A double Clematis I brought from the caravan - unfortunetaly it lost its name in the process.

The Dog Rose is giving me great pleasure.

The Sambucus Black Lace has a lot of flowerheads this year.

A patio rose - I think it is British Olympic Gold.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Speckled Woods

 The most common butterfly in our garden is the Speckled Wood.  It happily plays around both front and back gardens and can be seen for much of the year.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Baby Great Tit

The baby Great Tits have just flown their nest and this one was sitting in my Cox Orange Pippin.  Mummy (or Daddy) was perched nearby cheeping - obviously telling the little one not to move while the big scary monster pointed a camera at it!

Catching up with some flower news

Last Winter's snow may have looked very pretty but it had a fairly devastating effect on my garden plants. I lost all my Cordylines, my Hebes, a Clematis, and a host of other plants. The two most unfortunate losses were the Fuchsia which provided much of the front hedge, and one of my favourite plants, the Solanum which hid the corner of the shed from view. However, there is always a bright side in any garden and this year has been exceptional for a few plants.

The Clematis montana was a huge mass of flowers - at least twelve feet high and sixteen feet across.

The Viburnum plicatum was a mass of flowers and will be covered in berries in the Autumn.

Similarly the Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' is covered in flowers. As always it attracts a host of bees.

A few years ago I began to grow a natural hedge with native British species in it and for the last couple of years it has been excellent. One disappointment was that my rose hadn't flowered in it. On 31st May that was put to rights and it has produced a few flowers now - much to the delight of the bumble bees.

The annuals, such as these Petunias, are looking good.

And Iris 'Victoria Falls' is splendid.

The yellow Iris Helen gave me have thrived in the marshy area and are making a good display.