Friday, 5 August 2011

Flutters and Flowers

Ok, I’m about to apologise yet again for the Butterfly photos. It’s just that there are so many around that it’s difficult *not* to take any photos of them. They entice me, sing to me; taunting me to come closer and take some photos.

A Peacock and Red Admiral

Then a Gatekeeper attempts to muscle in and shove the Red Admiral out (funny how the background looks white when it was a sunny day…)

After reading a post over at: Plantaliscious I discovered that these Bees with the yellow bums are in fact leaf-cutter Bees, they’re regularly seen on the Cosmos and Bird’s foot Trefoil. It’s been blooming for months now and keeping the Bees extremely happy.

And this cheeky baby Shield Bug thinks the Trefoil is also a good place to hide.

Harlow Carr rose has another flush after no blooms for a week or two, I bet my regular readers have all been missing her… ;)

Susan Williams-Ellis also has another flush; she’s been struggling a bit with the dry weather… In fact a lot of plants have and I’ve been trying my best to water everything more and we now have lots of Sweet Peas, yay!

Some interesting lichen on the Magnolia Stellata

Turns out, one of the best times to get close to Butterflies is when they’re, urm, otherwise engaged…

Lliatris makes interesting shots

Ragwort has been attracting the insects like a magnet… You need this in your garden if you don’t already.

Just look at all these Hoverflies on this Burnett!

Sea Holly is another magnet, although you can only see the one Hoverfly on there, be assured that there are normally swarms of Bees and Butterflies too.

Look at this growing in the pebbles on the tier… A Tomato, I’ve even begun watering it, we’ll see if we get any fruits!

Just to finish this blog post with…. More Butterflies…

Today we’ve had three Peacocks and one Red Admiral; just waiting for the Painted Ladies now!

See, there is a reason I’ve been leaving the job of moving this wood until after my dissertation is finished!

Gatekeepers on the Coneflowers

How many ‘keepers can you spot on this Ragwort?

I'd have to estimate there were between 10-15 Gatekeepers around the garden today, at the same time as these on the Ragwort I also had one on some sea thrift, another three on Ragwort elsewhere, the two on the Coneflowers and then the odd few flitting around the hedge. I'll miss them so much when they're gone!

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


VW said...

Amazing how many butterflies you have in your garden. I guess I'd better plant more butterfly-attractors is I want to see more of them in my yard.
Your pictures of Harlow Carr keep this rose on my 'to buy' list for next year.

Janet said...

Don't think I've ever seen a gatekeeper this far north ( NE of scotland)" . We were walking the dog in a field of ragwort and thistles yesterday alive with bees and flies and at last some butterflies. An insect photographer said that you have to get "eyeball to eyeball" with them. I think you did that. They flew off before Icould manage it!

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz,

I am so pleased your garden is full of butterflies. Apart from gatekeepers and the odd blue, I have been saddened by the lack of visits in my garden. I do hope that this is not a sign of their decline in this area.

Ragwort is great isn't it. I love it. It now re-seeds around the garden, and for me, that is not a problem.

Your rose Harlow Carr is very beautiful. The colour, for me, is perfect. Long may she bloom.

I have leaf cutter bees in the garden. One is laying her eggs in a half buried pot amongst the creeping thyme. It is in a trough on the deck, so I can shelter it in the winter months.
Such pretty little bees.

Have a lovely weekend....raining here, just light drizzle.

Liz said...

Hi VW,

I would've thought you already have a good number; with the coneflowers and salvias? Your best bet is going for natives; although yet none-natives are also good. The best plants here have been Ragwort and perennial wallflower (although Ragwort is seen to be a weed). The Gatekeepers love the privet hedge, and I think they probably lay their eggs on it and we have a long hedge which must be 50/60metres going along the entire length of backgarden and house. In our case I think we're also lucky because there's parkland/woodland nearby with long grass - which is what a lot of Butterfly caterpillars eat - as well as an elderly couple who I think aren't very able-bodied behind us who for the past couple of years haven't cut their grass over summer, leaving it to grow very long and again is a great larval foodsource.
If I had a larger garden I'd leave a space to grow wild too, but for now I'll have to take advantage of 'lazy' neighbours.

Liz said...

Hi Janet,

I don't think I've seen any Gatekeepers up your way either, there's usually plenty of Scot Argus' and Wall browns as well as Red Admirals and such.
(I normally stay near Aviemore)

If you stay still long enough and move slowly or only when the breeze blows then you can quickly sneak up on them... Also I find at this time of year they seem to be far more accommodating compared to a month or two ago when it was very difficult to get close.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I'd imagine your lack of Butterflies is just due to the cold and wet summer you've had. Next year I bet you'll see far more. Perhaps this is why we haven't seen any Painted Ladies yet - as they arrive in the UK generally in the south and work their way up, but if it's been wet then perhaps they've avoided the UK this year.

Yep Ragwort is great, we've got a few plants around too... One in the middle of the lawn that I even mowed around. I think next year I'll try to keep them only to the borders because I'll end up with patches of no grass dotted around.

Funny you should mention the Leaf-cutter bee laying in your pots, as that's exactly what was happening on Janet's blog - the one I linked to! She found little rolled up parcels of leaf. I've never seen it here but I have seen Bees taking away leafs.

It's drizzling on and off here too! Surprised me as I hadn't expected it to be dull today...

Nutty Gnome said...

*Sigh*! When can you fit me in for a macro photography lesson Liz?!

Wonderful amount of butterflies. We've got plenty, but I've not seen so many in the same place at the same time here.

Liz said...

Hi Liz,

At the moment I'm quite tied up with work; yesterday I managed to get a virus on my computer so wasted another day doing very little - although I did decide to write on paper instead so I at least managed to get something done even if I do now have to waste time typing it all up! It's put me back even further, as my tutor wanted to have my first two sections on Monday to read over and get back to me... However I'm a little mixed about that as we were told that tutors should really only read the one chapter - the intro otherwise the dissertation can end up becoming theirs because they have too much input. But it's a good deadline to give myself anyway, so then I can move my attention to other sections and not worry about it so much.

I was freaking out that the virus had corrupted my literature review chapter as I tried to open it and then word began to mess up... I hadn't yet backed up that section and it would've been 4,000 words lost! Thankfully it appears to be ok, but I really ought to email it to myself regardless.

So as for a lesson, well it could be in the next few weeks sometime; but perhaps it's best to wait until after September 5th (eeeek, just less than a month!!!Oh noes)

Previously the Gatekeepers have mainly been around the Privet hedge, and it's been very difficult for me to estimate how many there are, but now they've started moving onto the plants I can now get a much better idea - of course I'm not complaining though! :D
I managed to get a few things planted earlier just as it was beginning to spit - didn't last long though! And the ground although not rock hard was very dry - I'd expected it to be quite damp with the rain the other day and then some more overnight... But I do feel better now I've managed to get some seedlings into the ground, they will be late flowering but I'll be happy if they manage to bloom.

Bridget said...

Great pics, especially the close-ups of the Butterfly.

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Liz, Don't ever apologize for more butterfly pics - your photographs are awesome! Love the Harlow Carr rose. P.x

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Great shots, I particularly like the lichen and liatris. I am so envious of all your butterflies. I only ever seem to get a couple at a time, and then mostly large whites. Think I need to find a corner for some ragwort. Love your leaf cutter bee photos, their yellow tums match the trefoil perfectly! And thanks for the link.

ps Always happy to see Harlow Carr ;-)

PatioPatch said...

Hi Liz - just wondering, do you stick your butterflies to the flowers else how do you get such great shots? Your flutters are prolific but elsewhere many of us have a dearth.

Nutty Gnome said...

Oh ye gods Liz - nightmare! At least you didn't loose your Literature Review section - that would have been a real bummer!

Just think how relaxed you'll feel by September 6th! And how happy you'll feel when you get your results too!

Hang on in there my friend - it's not for much longer!