Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Very Happy Caterpillar

First he was a little shy and unsure of himself

After a good heart to heart, I saw his walls begin to crack

All he wanted was some love

And a hug!

Seriously now, if anyone knows its ID I would be eternally grateful. I’ve searched on many websites trying to find out what type it is. It’s a hefty guy as you can see from the below photo, and I have found photos on websites… Only they never had ID’s on them! Highly frustrating.

Then yesterday I found this Lady running around:

At first I thought it was a Pine Ladybird

But after checking on the good old internet, I discovered it’s actually a Kidney Spot Ladybird

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday Safari

Well, these photos aren’t from today unfortunately as it’s been raining pretty much all afternoon. Some were taken yesterday and others taken in the past week or two!

You may wish to make yourself a cup of tea and take your time with this post, as there are plenty of photos to come…

First we start with the drumstick Allium, this is the only one left, many of my Alliums have disappeared, whether they’ve simply died or been eaten I know not. This one is in a large pot next to the back door, it’s quite a sad sight at the moment actually, but it did look wonderful in the spring with a range of different bulbs.

This sunflower is now past its best, and still sat in its pot after Mr Pete never planted them. I don’t think I’ll bother next year with them as it’s always down to me to sow them, pot them up and then plant them!

The Veronica and Campanula are magnets to the Bees, both sit in the new border I’ve been building up this year to the left of the kitchen door.

A wild poppy gets ready to burst open in front of the Lavetera… The red and pink do clash, but when I was planting them I wasn’t to know the Lavetera were to come up pink, I took my chance that it would be white! Whoops…

This Coneflower has done very well this year and is looking particularly wonderful, perhaps next year I will have a go at planting them in the garden… I’ve never had much luck with them as they always get eaten by the Slugs/snails. At the moment they are always kept in pots by the house away from any nasties and regular patrols helped ensure they would survive.

Sea Holly is in flower and the flowers/stems become more and more brilliant blue by the day. I have a few dotted around the garden – mainly because I forgot I had already bought some so finished with another 6 to add to the collection! They’re beautiful, so it’s no big issue!

Verbena… My new love, it had barely begun flowering and I had already fallen in love. I love its spires, and it’s possibly one of the most difficult flowers to photograph, for some reason the colours just never come out right!

In the new border Verbena Bonariensis towers over Verbena Hastata Rosea, Sea Holly, Cosmos, Gaura, Nicotiana and Lavetera. Sunflower and Roses can be see in the background. Some of the Cosmos have flower buds on them at last! Hopefully next year they’ll be flowering much sooner, I have no idea why they have taken so long.

Bought Cosmos however have been flowering for months now in the main border to the left of the kitchen door, it is backed up by Lavetera and soon to be joined by more Cosmos and some Scabious (also taken a long time to flower!)

Buddleia is in full flower, many Bees come to it, sadly fewer Butterflies do though! It has grown in to a monster this year, I can barely see out of the spare bedroom window anymore. The plan is to chop it back/down, but I want to have another elsewhere in the garden before, it is far too big to be in the main border near the house but at the same time also provides us with much needed shade from the sun on the decking… It’s a tough decision!

Shield bugs are everywhere at the moment… This guy has chosen the Montbretia (crocosmia) as its home… I’m unsure whether to be happy about them or not. They’re just too cute as babies!!!

Shield bug on Nigella…

The Nigella are at the other side of the main border facing in towards the grass rather than the decking. They sit nicely with the Nicotiana and cornflower, they were all planted rather hastily simply to fill some space, next year I need to put more thought into it as I always have difficulty getting to the middle of the bed thanks to my silly planting and the huge Buddleia that likes to attack me as I attempt to weed. As a result I have some rather large willow herb and too much grass beginning to take over!

The Angel’s Fishing Rod or Dierama has opened more now, it really is a wonderful colour, and I hope for more next year. At the moment it is quite isolated in the side border next to the fence, until the climbers begin to cover the fence it all looks rather static along there…

Sweet Pea are providing me with plenty of pleasure at the moment, I have a vase regularly topped up with their wonderful flowers and their perfume is intoxicating.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Agapanthus, I love it, only it’s impossible to take nice photos of, especially when it’s in full flower!! I have yet to master its angles, and trust me I’ve been trying for a few years now!

The black Hollyhock is an odd one out in its border, I planted it in the new border on the right due to having put little thought into others around it. I need to plan where it can go next year, or at least get some other dark flowers…

My only pink Californian Poppy, they’re like Gold dust! However next year I plan on having more as I’ve spied some seeds online.

And finally the wild poppies… They are lovely, a little out of place, but I couldn’t be without them.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Hoverfly and the Cosmos…

It was a beautiful relationship...

They cannot survive without the other

And the world would not quite be the same…

The Hoverfly and the Cosmos

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Harvesting Dangers

If you plan on harvesting any plants today, or indeed have hopes of growing and harvesting your own plants next year, beware…

Let this blog be a warning to you all… Your veggies/fruit may turn on you!!

When faced with danger, carrots can become very aggressive…

Not content with attacking a fellow carrot, it moves on to larger prey…

Panic sets in…

And it lunges!

Direct hit! Haaaaaalp

Ha! Not so big and clever now are you???!

Oh, and not forgetting the Beans, don’t worry about those though… But I would watch out for those tops and tails flying around!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Mystery... Is it solved??

The Mystery Plant is flowering… I don’t know whether to wait for more flowers to come out to put you all out of your intense misery!


The horrible weather seems to have disappeared… It’s actually a beautiful day, windy but glorious.

We watched an adult Fox last night in next door’s garden battling against the winds and rain. He didn’t look too happy! No photos though, the rain was battering against the window and we could barely make him out let alone get photos. He seemed to be eating something substantial and burying it around her garden. We then think he came into ours – and left some presents for me… Not impressed. I think it’s time to get some moth balls and hopefully that’ll deter him, so far the onion doesn’t seem to be working (but it stops the cats)

So, what do we have here…??

Perhaps another angle will help…

Can you tell what it is yet?

So, do you know what it is?

I’m in love already and there’s only the two open so far!

Friday, 17 July 2009

It's a miserable day...

Today the weather is foul, grey with a little more grey and light drizzle - sometimes heavy rain. As it's quite clear I will not be getting out this evening, here's something to cheer myself up:
Sea thrift is doing very well this year, I think I will have to move it next spring because it was planted too closely to the Geranium

Geranium taking over the sea thrift, it has lovely dark bronze leaves - great for Autumn/winter when everything else is dying away.

Honey Bee? on the masterwort, at its peak I could guarantee there would be at least 5 bees on it at any one time. Next year it will need dividing, at the moment it is covering my Agapanthus - I hadn't expected it to be *quite* so happy!

Campanula, also a bee magnet! Sitting on the decking and I can see the drone of the bees as they visit the wonderful little stars.

I think I might just be in love with the Cosmos… I sowed lots of seeds myself and must've had around 15 plants come up. All have been planted however they are still not flowering! I'm rather offended by their lack of flowers so far, I sowed the seeds a long time ago probably way back in February or March so they have had plenty of time to flower. They're now very large and bushy… but they're teasing me!
The actual Cosmos in flower are some I bought on the way home from Norfolk - 40p! At that price there was no way I could turn them down!!!

A hoverfly sits sunning itself and having a wash

The Aquilegia leaves have changed colour and are now providing lovely pink shades - no need for the flowers anymore!

Lavender bought a few weeks ago, I have yet to decide where to plant it… It was bought as a replacement to the lavender we ripped out. It had been pretty much killed by the snow earlier in the year and only had small sections showing signs of life. So we removed it and now the space left behind is home to the American Wisteria.

Strange looking things found dotted around the garden… I think they're Hoverfly Larvae that turning into adults… Certainly the second one appears to be a Hoverfly Larvae, but I am unsure about the first…

Verbena bonariensis… I have so many of these now… They're amazing, drifting in the breeze and add great height without taking over an area. I have planted 10 young plants this year, as well as having 2 more mature plants. So plenty for the Bees, Butterflies and Birds (Goldfinch eat the seeds) I also have another, wonderful Verbena with flowers on spires… I will post photos next time as I haven't yet processed the photos… They're beautiful too, I like to sit by the border and stare at them.

The Allium - Purple Sensation has gone to seed and left behind this wonderful structural explosion.

Lavertera is in flower, they were 'beauty mixed' and seem to be either this pink candy striped colour or white, both are lovely and a welcome addition to the garden this year.

Next year I will have to move the Veronica, the campanula has taken over this year and the poor Veronica is trapped in a corner…

And finally onto the wild poppies, although I generally shy away from warm colours… I just cannot, not have wild poppies and this year in particular has been a bumper year for them. Usually they never come up where I sow them but one will pop up somewhere random and only produce small, poor flowers. This year I have two very large plants with dozens of flowers. I hope I am as successful next year!