Sunday, 17 July 2011

Safari Sunday

Time for a quick catch-up… it’s so easy to get behind on photos at this time of year and yet I know in a few short months I’ll be struggling to find anything at all!

This weekend we’ve finally had some rain; even if it did ruin my plans to go to Chatsworth… Oh well, it’ll have to wait until September/October now once the kids have gone back to school and it’ll be quieter. It’s been very dry here, with only a day of rain here and there it just hasn’t been sustaining the plants/grass and my lawn is now yellow and crunching when I walk on it.

Here’s some grass in the city centre (photo taken with my phone):

A tree with most of its leaves dead

Now obviously it’s going to be warmer in a city centre (urban heat islands, traffic and all that) so we’re not suffering quite so much, but my lawn is yellow and crunchy:

I’m so far behind on photos that I haven’t managed to post about Clumber Park, Old Moor or the trip across the peak district… One day, maybe.

I find the juvenile Sparrows to be a little too bolshy… or stupid, I’m unsure which. They don’t seem to check for danger before coming to the feeders; but I am sure as they get older they will get far more cautious.

Our butterfly numbers have also recently increased quite dramatically; with the arrival of the much-missed Gatekeepers, although I still don’t have as many as in previous years…

However, I have had a number of Small Tortoiseshells – which normally I have very few of. (I stalked some on Friday, photos to come at a later date)

This Comma wouldn’t pose nicely for me.

Ladybird eating aphids

See the bug in the top right? I think it might possibly be a lacewing larvae? What do you think? I didn’t notice it until I uploaded photos.

Gatekeeper, I think

The poppies are finally blooming… But they’re tiny! Grrr and I thought that this year I’d finally cracked the Buddleja border and it was actually going to be full of blooms and looking gorgeous… Now I wish I’d kept it well watered.

I can’t believe the Aquilegia are still blooming… I’m not even dead-heading them… The blooms are very small though but even the leaves and dried seed-heads are adding their own splash of colour

Nicotiana and rose in the background

The Cupid’s Dart (Catananche) has FINALLY bloomed… It feels like I’ve been waiting for ever for it, and very pretty it is too.

Gypsophila is very cute and delicate

Knautia is blooming away happily, although I haven’t seen many insects on it yet?

Shasta Daisies are growing alongside ragwort and actually look quite pretty

I’m unsure what this is, its leaves look chrysanthemumish/feverfewish?? It’s from a mixed seed collection, which didn’t state the seed contents!

Feverfew and Veronica continues to impress me :)

One of the Blackcurrant Fizz poppies, this one is probably the only ‘normal-sized’ one. Grrrr

Anyone know what this is? Also from an unknown seed mix, is it morning glory? Only it blooms all day! It looks like a larger blooming flax flower.

Dahlia ‘Happy Days’

Heuchera adds a little interest to the Buddleja border…

Looking at the poppies and other blooms from down on the decking, you can see just how much shade the Buddleja casts.

A new Geranium for me… ‘Thurstonianum’

Double Petunias in the hanging basket…

New Echinacea ‘Lucky Star’ is next to ‘Harlow Carr’ and I think will make a nice combination

Tess of the D’Ubervilles is looking better this year, it took quite a beating when the new fence posts were put in, but it’s bounced back nicely.

Monkshood has masses of blooms, I have to stand on the tier to take these photos otherwise I look like a dwarf next to them!

Sweet Peas need cutting for vases… They started off with lovely long stems but gradually the stems have become shorter and shorter, is this due to lack of water?

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


Cheryl said...

Phew Liz, that was a long post :)

We have had so much rain in the last few weeks, everything is lush and green. Flowers are mushy.....
I am hoping we will get some sunshine soon.

I am so envious of your poppies......I have absolutely none of the blacks. I seem to have large reds popping up everywhere, which is nice but I would have liked the peony poppy or blackcurrant fizz to have made an entrance. Nevermind, such is gardening.

I love cupid's dart...always grow them. They are a very short lived perennial (at least that is what I find)

I cannot believe you still have aquilegia in bloom. Mine have finally finished their display.
They have been amazing, havn't they.

Tku for the stroll around your seems to grow larger each year......

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Ah, I had assumed you would be suffering drought as well! Interesting :)
I've been holding back on planting things because it's just so dry, but hopefully I'll be able to get some things in tomorrow.

My poppy display is very poor this year because of lack of rain the seedlings just stopped growing - I'm so disappointed as I sowed so many different types and so far only have these blackcurrant fizz and some of the dutch flags. My parents have an amazing display and I will most definitely be stealing some of their seeds in the coming weeks.

I'll sow some more Cupid's dart so I have some in the future as I think it's a bloom I won't want to be without.

Indeed, I can't believe how long the Aquilegia's have been blooming for, the deep purple one also has some blooms left. I think they first started way back in April or early May!

Haha, I wish the garden did grow... Sadly that isn't the case, I just think it's more a case of me getting to grips with the garden and gradually sorting out the areas I don't usually show on the blog :)

Esther Montgomery said...

Ladybirds came early here then vanished. I found a dead one in a pot but that's all.

Baby sparrows are strange - they don't twitter - they shout.


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'm surprised with all the dry weather you've had that your Columbines are still blooming! You actually helped me ID a rogue plant I found yesterday in the orchard. It was clear it had hitched a ride with a plant that a friend had given us, daisy-like, with cut almost fern-like foliage. I'm now sure it's Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). I'll have to ask her if she has some growing in her garden to be sure, but I think it is! Thanks!

Shady Gardener said...

You were busy!!! There are some really pretty photos there. Hopefully your weather is good and you're enjoying your summer! :-)

Liz said...

Hi Esther,

Yeah, we also had lots of Ladybirds early on, then they disappeared... Then I saw loads again, they've now vanished once more but I do now have lots of babies - seen seen another one, eating loads of aphids on my Iris leaves.

Baby Sparrows shout? Lol, adults do too! heehee, they nest in our gutter on the front of the house and always shout at me if I'm in the front garden or walk up to the house.

Liz said...

Hi CV,

It's crazy that the Aquilegias are still blooming, I've never had them go for so long and as you say - it's been so dry! We've had rain over the past few days now, however it's been mixed with sunshine so has been drying quickly. Hopefully the plants have had a nice long drink though.
The Feverfew is very nice, if you'd like to keep it! At least if anything for vases around the house - although I don't think it smells very nice... I had a sniff when considering to bring some in and decided against it lol.

Liz said...

Hi Shady,

This summer has been lovely actually and for a long time daily temps were in the early to mid 20's every single day, so although not scorching hot it was certainly warm and pleasant. For the past few days it's been grey, rainy and sunny and today we're supposed to get some very heavy rain with weather warnings for flash floods - I just hope we dodge it here :)

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Hi Liz, so much loveliness, despite the lack of the wet stuff. We've had lots of rain here, by comparison. So sorry about your poppies, it is always so disheartening when you plan and dream and plant and then the wretched things don't perform as you expected. Beautiful colour though. I also love that geranium, such a delicate flower, beautifully captured. The center of the "Happy Days" Dahlia is exquisite, like a miniature crown of thorns but of pollen. Chatsworth will be much more fun in September than it would have been in the rain. And you can always bring out the extra photos of your trips to enliven the long dark winter days on your blog?

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

PS Glad I am not the only one to have experienced lots of ladybirds early on only to lose most of them by now.

debsgarden said...

Great photos, especially love the one of the ladybird. You really have some nice flowers, considering your lack of rain. June was extremely hot and dry here, but July has been better, with much more rain. It feels and smells llike a jungle out there, and the weeds are having a party!

easygardener said...

Lovely puictures. Is your flower some variety of Convolvulus tricolor. They are usually a darker blue but yours looks very similar. There are definitely more butterflies around this year compared to last year. I can never understand why this fluctuation happens in the various insect groups.

shirl said...

Wow Liz… what a wonderful feast for the eyes as I have my breakfast cuppa reading this! To match your long post… a long comment ;-)

As you know, I'm seeing a familiar picture with the small tortoiseshell but so far I’ve only spotted one at any time. Would love to see a gatekeeper here :-)

Great capture on the larvae, I’ve done that too and it is a great surprise. Love that image. Re house sparrows, they learn pretty quick – good to see they are nesting around you :-)

Re plants and garden… I’d send you some rain if I could. We had torrential showers last night on already wet ground. Hope your plants cope. I remember Beth Chatto saying (of her gravel garden that she didn’t water) that hard pruning in times of drought can invigorate a plant to come back and flower.

Love that tiny gypsophila. Funnily enough my Knautia (looks like same one) is a buzz with bees. Lol… your bees must be buzy on other plants in your garden. I’m sure they will find theses flowers soon :-)

So many wonderful images. Really like that Geranium ‘Thurstonianum’ a lot. Love your border peeks too -so summery. My outlook this morning looks more Autumnal.

Finally, to the Heuchera adding a little interest to your border mine are making my borders! I’ve divided a lot and have larger plantings with a mass of these tiny flowers that are attracting so many bees. It’s wonderful to look at. My fav one for foliage colour at the moment is topical with my breakfast comment – Marmalade! I love that one and would recommend it :-D