I do enjoy my florals, grown quite a few from seed, bought bedding and a couple of more expensive specimens. But it must be said that the most fascination has come from my two prize weeds – Ragwort and Spear thistle.
Originally, I kept the Ragwort because of the interesting leaves, knowing nothing about it at all. Then I saw an exotic looking ‘butterfly’ and started researching both. Then I sought permission from our landlord, who also owns the meadow. I find it fascinating that Ragwort – Senecio jacobaea – is toxic to horses but Cinnabar Moths choose this to make themselves inedible, apart from cuckoos, apparently. And the flowers are great for bees. The other day there was a (carpet?) beetle sunbathing on a leaf and now there is an empty web. The article suggests that it could be from a harvestman spider but I wouldn’t know. The blossoms are starting to open and there are a lot. It doesn’t appear to have taken much damage from the heat or the caterpillars and it is a surprise that it is almost as tall as the Spear thistle.
The Spear thistle looks like it might be bolting. Some of the spears are still limp and wilting and there are still many buds ready to open. The prickles haven’t suffered at all and they can still draw blood! The bees love it. And bees were the original motivation to do all this.
There is more evidence of disturbance at the ladybird stately pile. It, or they, appear to be making their own alterations so whatever is doing this looks to be setting in quite nicely. Apparently mice and rats dislike the smells of lavender, rosemary and sage, all are growing nearby so something else I hope. Squirrels will leave gnawing signs or place them neatly and I have never seen a squirrel around here, so unlikely. The mystery deepens.
The other ladybird stately pile has also been disturbed, or more accurately, demolished. I suspect next door’s cat, which has been seen making a tour of the garden perimeter.
The crowning glory on safari are the humble wood pigeons chicks in the Bay tree. Very awkward angle but able to make out 2, possibly 3 chicks. Our pet name for them is Rock pigeons from their cooing ‘Wall Street Shuffle’ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=foT1ITubs1A
The corncockles Agrostemma githago are just opening. These were grown from seed, apparently toxic and rare in the wild now. Supposed to be popular with bees, will watch with interest. Of the plants I sowed, only the Borage and Nastutiums have been extremely popular in preference to alternatives but clear favourite has been the brambles. These have mostly gone over now and are heavy with fruit.
Advisory Arachnaphobes… Spider Below
How can something so ugly be so interesting?