Archive of posts with the category 'Plants'

Signs of spring?

We’ve had a few days of warm weather and the garden is bursting in to life. One of my favourite sights at this time of year are crocuses. I love the fact that these early flowers give a splash of colour and provide nectar to the first insects to appear after winter. I also saw another early butterfly, following on from the Red Admiral I saw in January, I saw a Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)... Read on

Another new butterfly in the garden

Whilst clearing up some of the vegetable beds this afternoon I noticed a butterfly species new to the garden. I saw a single Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) feeding on the flowers of the Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) growing in the margins of the pond. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a photo of the butterfly but I did take one of the Fleabane flowers: Common Fleabane flowers Read on

D,E,F – Damselfly, Eft and flowers

Whilst working on stage 2 of the testudarium today I had plenty of time to look out for interesting things in the garden. The first things I spotted was the first damselfly of the year. This is a Large Red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), it was probably a female and had only recently emerged from the pond as it was rather reluctant to fly (which meant photographing it wasn’t too tricky): Whilst clearing a bit of... Read on

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policy…. if you want some really attractive early flowers that is. We’ve got both pink and white Honesty (Lunaria annua) growing and flowering in the wildflower meadow as this photograph just about shows: We’ve also got lots of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) growing under the plumb tree and I’m hoping it will attract Orange-tip butterflies (Anthocharis cardamines) as I’ve seen them in the garden before. Read on

First flowers of 2009

The weather was quite nice today and there was even a bit of blue sky. I thought I’d take the opportunity to replace the supports for the raspberry canes. I bought some met-posts and put some 50mm square posts into them. I then treated the wood and ran wires between them. Hopefully these posts will be more sturdy than the others and won’t allow the canes to be blown over as happened last summer. Whilst... Read on

Winter tidy up

I’ve not been able to spend much time in the garden recently and it was starting to show. Fortunately, a weekend at home and some good weather today meant I could get out and cross a few jobs off the list. The first thing I tackled were the Vervain (Verbena officinalis) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) plants near the house. These flowered beautifully in the summer but needed cutting back as they were getting a... Read on

Summer flowers

For the first time our native honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) has flowered: Native honeysuckle flowers The Betony (Stachys officinalis) I planted late last year has also flowered: Betony flowers At the back of the pond the yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) is also now in flower: Yellow loosestrife in flower Read on

More beautiful summer blooms

For Christmas V bought me some native roses and I’ve been really pleased to see that the plants have done so well in just their first year. Almost all of the plants have flowered and the scent has been great. Burnet rose flower (Rosa pimpinellifolia) The native plants in the pond have also been in full flower: Ragged-robin flowers (Lychnis flos-cuculi) Water Avens flowers (Geum rivale) Read on

Water-crowfoot in flower

The water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis) has done really well in the pond this year. The plants have expanded considerably across the surface and produced a wonderful carpet of flowers. Water-crowfoot in flower Read on

Bristol in bloom

OK, so the title might be a bit grand but the warm weather we’ve had recently has really helped the flowers in the garden. Almost everywhere you look there are flowers or buds about to burst. One flower I really like to see at this time of year is the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). It has masses of beautiful yellow flowers: Not to be out-done, the Bog Bean (Menyanthes trifoliata) in the pond is also... Read on

Bugs, green manure, seeds and bluebells

It was a warm day today and it obviously brought out some of the early spring insects. There were many solitary bees buzzing around our daffodils. They looked like mining bees to me so I suspect they’ll be looking for bare patches of earth to dig burrows in too. I also spotted this adult green shield bug (Palomena prasina) crawling along the branches of my loganberry: Having now received my veg seeds for 2008 I... Read on

Sloe to flower

The Blackthorn/Sloe (Prunus spinosa) plants in my native hedgerow are also in flower at the moment. These shrubs were only planted in December 2006 and were bare root stock. They didn’t flower last year but obviously they’ve now had a year of growth and are flowering this year. Hopefully we’ll get lots of fruit and can produce Sloe gin 🙂 1 Response to Sloe to flower Carol Greenwood says: April 3, 2008 at 3:25 pm... Read on

Has spring sprung?

An exciting day in the garden today. We’ve now got five crocuses in bloom (four yellow and one purple) and they’re really cheering up our view of the garden. Also, for the first time, I saw a robin (Erithacus rubecula) in our garden. I’m a huge fan of robins as they don’t seem that bothered by people, eat loads of slugs and they have a fantastic song. Seeing one in our garden for the first... Read on

Nice bush

The Camelia outside the front of our house puts on a great display every year. On cold February mornings it’s a really cheerful sight. It’s also a fabulous plant to have around for the insects since, at this time of year, very few other plants are in flower. Our Camelia (which came with the house) has masses of pink flowers. Read on

Native roses

Today I planted the native roses that V bought me for Christmas from Buckingham Nurseries. I’m not a big fan of the ornamental roses but I really like native roses. V bought a mixture of species: Sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa) – pink flowers * 2 Dog rose (Rosa canina) – white and light pink flowers * 1 Field rose (Rosa arvensis) – white flowers * 1 Scotch or Burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) – white flowers... Read on

Planting bulbs

Yes, I know, it’s pretty late to be getting my bulbs in but I’ve been busy 😉 I’ve planted a mixture of snowdrops and crocuses around the top of the steps leading up into the garden. They should give us some nice, early colour in spring and be easily visible from the house. I’ve planted lots of daffodils around the greenhouse. I’m also trying to naturalise some Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) around the pond... Read on

First hard frost of the winter

Today was the first hard frost of the year. The thermometer in the greenhouse registered the night time temperature dropping to -5°C. This did mean the morning was very cold but the garden looked beautiful…. so I took a few pictures: Frozen pond: View across the frosty green roof: Frosty edge to the green roof: Frost on a house leek (Sempervivum sp.) on the green roof: Frost on sedum (also on the green roof): Read on

Winter-flowering Viburnum flowers in winter

At first glance the title of this post might seem a bit ridiculous. However, I’ve had a winter-flowering Viburnum for three winters now and this is the first time it’s flowered. The shrub was a present from my mum and I’m really pleased it’s finally started flowering. Some time in spring I think I’ll try and get the plant into the ground, rather than a pot, as I’m sure it will be better for it.... Read on

Veg patch tidy-up and green manuring

I took advantage of a bit of fine weather to do a bit of a tidy up in the veg patch ready for winter. This essentially entailed clearing some of the old veg and putting the plants on the compost heap. I also cut back all the old wood on the raspberry canes since they won’t fruit again. I was quite surprised how few old canes there were given how much fruit we had! There... Read on