Orange tips, frogs and purple potatoes

These beautiful Orange tip butterflies are quite plentiful at the moment – or at least when the sun’s shining! The caterpillars of this species feed only on the cuckcoo flower. It’s a spring flower than grows in our meadows and has many local names including Hail Marys. I know the second photo isn’t in focus but I liked the way I had accidentally captured the hoverfly too. I think it is from the species Platycheirus, but open to correction.

This frog was trying to hide in grass  – can you spot him in the first photo? I love to see frogs in the garden as they will eat plenty slugs. Common frog

 

Common frog

Common frog

We’ve finally planted the potatoes. I am about a fortnight behind this year with planting despite the good weather we had for part of April. I have planted three varieties. Charlotte will be the first to crop – most of these are already growing well in the tunnel but the rest I have planted out. Catriona are one of my favourites. They are fluffy, but not too fluffy and have a lovely flavour. This year I’m try a purple variety for the first time. It’s called Purple Majesty and the tubers are purple in colour.

Chitted potatoes

Chitted potatoes – Catriona

Purple Majesty potatoes

Purple Majesty potatoes

The apple trees are really coming into blossom now – so I hope the frost keeps away. We  keep having to chase a pair of bullfinches off the trees. It appears they like variety in their diet and are not content on eating just dandelion seeds!

Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Orange tips, frogs and purple potatoes

  1. Robbie

    Those are beautiful butterflies-lovely! Love the photo with the butterfly and hover fly( looks like our dragon fly which I hardly can capture they m ove too fast!), I love purple potatoes!!! I have been growing peruvian purple which are a fingerling since i have a small garden:-) Can tuck them in small space:-) I don’t have frogs in my garden, but they are down in the ravine which is behind two houses over…I can hear them singing:-) I do have toads and love it when I see them in my garden:-) Happy Spring!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Our dragonflies are much bigger and should start appearing any day now! So you’d recommend the purple potatoes then? – looking forward to tasting them!

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      1. Robbie

        I tried the purple one from Seed Savers Exchange one year-yum, but I love the purple peruvians( smaller for my garden), so I assume these are good too. They are purple + you know me and purple veggies!Love those anthocyanins:-) I just wish the raccoons would not steal mine-tee hee!

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      2. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

        A couple of years ago we grew Mayan Gold. It was small too but did not crop very well for us but did taste good.

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  2. Julie

    We normally grow Charlottes, my youngest is a Charlotte and we like the taste too. But haven’t tried a purple potato yet, they sound fun. Lovely photos of the Orange Tips they have been too quick for me so far.

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  3. Jane

    Well, that’s good news about the frogs as my older daughter and her 2 girls have been looking after tadpoles which are nearly ready for our pond. We have 6 new goldfish arrivals which we feed – do you think the frogs will join in until they start finding the slugs?

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  4. aranislandgirl

    I often wish we had frogs around our garden. Are they prey to cats? I grew up with and am quite fond of them.
    So happy you chose to put the hoverfly photo in. I think it is wonderful how you captured nature in motion that way.
    Not much gardening today. Sitting by the fire writing instead. Kind of feels good for now. Hope the weekend improves though. Enjoy it either way.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Your comment made me wonder if there are frogs on Inis Mor. A quick look at the maps on the national biodiversity website shows no records. Have you ever seen them on the island? Ireland already has fewer species than mainland Europe so it is only natural that islands off our coast will have fewer again. But than Aran has its own unique subspecies of bumblebees (Bombus muscorum var. allenelus)!

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      1. aranislandgirl

        No, I have never seen them on the island. I am trying to remember if someone told me they had before or did I just dream that! Seriously, and so I was hesitant to say there were none. I will ask around some more. My father in law would likely know.

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  5. Miranda

    As usual blown away by the images and knowledge. Loving the pick with the hover fly in it. I found a huge from in my garden in the autumn. I was amazed as we have no obvious bodies of water, natural or otherwise near us. xx

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      The frogs will only need water to breed – so quite happy in most of our gardens if we have some good cover for them

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