Category Archives: Garden

Six on Saturday

We have had a few visitors this week in the garden. First the hawthorn shield bug. This I think is it’s final instar before it becomes a full adult.

Hawthorn shieldbug

Hawthorn shieldbug, final instar

The second visitor was a red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidararius). I very occasionally get red-tailed bees in my garden, though I see them elsewhere in Mayo. For some reason they don’t seem to like my garden. This chap is a rather worn and weathered male.

red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidararius)

Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidararius)

And yes the pumpkins are getting to pumpkin size. My children are already claiming theirs for Halloween! They have five to choose from. I have one decent sized squash and one little one.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

We have plenty of autumn raspberries this year. If the weather stays mild we should be able to continue harvesting for a couple of weeks yet.

Raspberry

Raspberry

I just wanted to share this photo, I did mean to take the carder bee, but the hoverfly popped in too! Comfrey is still flowering and the bees love it.

Comfrey with bumble and hoverfly

Comfrey with bumble and hoverfly

I know I have shown this poppy before. It is always popular with pollinators. Here a hoverfly and a solitary bee are sharing the same flower. Pollinator season is nearly over so I have to get my fill in!

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Poppy with pollinators

 

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

 

 

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Garden Silhouettes

The latest Lens artist photo challenge is silhouettes – here’s some from the garden this week.

Garden spider

Garden spider

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poppy seed head

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fennel seed head

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carder bumblebee on comfrey

There is certainly a feel of autumn to this collection:)

Six on Saturday

We have had a minor disaster this week in that strong winds (not even a storm, but a gust of strong wind during some heavy rain) felled one of my favourite apple trees. Both in 2017 and in 2018 it was also our most productive tree so a big loss.

Annie Elizabeth tree

Annie Elizabeth apple tree

Here in the west of Ireland we have had a very wet spell with what feels like constant rain. So while there are good blackberries and autumn raspberries, many are going rotten because of the rain.

Blackberries

Blackberries

We have a reasonable crop of cob nuts, but each year we loose a lot to nut weevil grubs. We wait to see what this year brings.

Cob nut

Cob nut

It’s all a bit negative isn’t it – so here is some positive news. The chicks are growing. They have been moved out to the polytunnel during the day, and are enjoying consuming chickweed which tends to seed itself in the poly and greenhouse!!

Growing chicks

Growing chicks

While in County Clare I really saw the value of scabious as a pollinator plant. We do have a small patch of wild devils-bit scabious but it is one thing I will try and grow more of next year. I also hope to try out some of the cultivated forms too.

 

Finally for this weeks six, Osteospermum. In one of my previous gardens, this plant did really well, but it has failed to thrive here in the west. This time I bought a potted plant and just re-potted it in a larger pot. And this is its second flowering. I will over winter in the greenhouse or polytunnel and maybe keep it as a pot plant for next year.

Osteospermum

Osteospermum

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

 

Six on Saturday

I managed to get another photograph of a dragonfly today. I spotted this one while cutting the beech hedge. It was a little worn, possibly having been caught out in a couple of the very heavy showers we had today. I think it is the blue form of a female common hawker, but open to correction. Neil has corrected me – it is a Brown Hawker, Aeshna grandis.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Finally the coneflowers are flowering, but there doesn’t appear to be many flower heads.

Coneflower

Coneflower

The chicks are growing and they had their first explore of the greenhouse today.

Chicks

Chicks

And look what my daughter found in the garden, left over from the Easter bunny!!

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And finally we have been enjoying the first blackberries from the hedgerows and bog road!

blackberries

blackberries

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday

This week in the garden, the first cherry tomatoes…….

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

Last few days have been damp, with plenty rain and falling temperatures. Not sure if we will have enough heat left int he summer to get any decent pumpkins and squashes, which are still very small.

Mini pumpkin

Mini pumpkin

Earlier in the season I had scattered the remains of a wildflower seed packet on a bed and some lovely (rainsoaked) cornflowers came through.

Cornflower

Cornflower

And some pot marigolds. These used to seed themselves all over the vegetable patch but I will have to sow some for next year as I only have the odd plant now.

Pot marigold

Pot marigold

Also self-seeded is this chicory plant in the poly tunnel. I just love these lovely blue flowers.

Chicory flower

Chicory flower

And finally, also self-seeded this time among the leek plants are these red veined sorrel plants. They are a nice addition to the salad bowl if harvested young.

Sorrel

Sorrel

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting “Six on Saturday”.

 

Six on Saturday

I do need a bit more late summer colour, but there are still a few things flowering in the garden.

1. American elder flowers later than our native elder so rarely produces fruit. It smells lovely though.

2. Finally some cosmos flowers. Not as many this year as previous years as I had poor germination, but always great for colour.

Cosmos

Cosmos

3. Soapwort, as name suggests can be used to make a soap substitute. Bees like the pretty pick flowers too.

Soapwort

Soapwort

4. Astilbes – I divided this plant last year and the one in the new bed is doing much better.

Astilbes

Astilbes

5. First courgette!

Courgette

Courgette

6. And nasturtiums, with a bee!

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Nasturtium

That this week’s Six in Saturday. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday

In my own garden again this week. I definitely need more flowers for this time of year as the delphiniums and lupins have pretty much gone over.

1. The day lily is doing well, but I never did divide it last year so must try this year. I saw some lovely day lilies at the National Botanic Garden of Wales which I will post about soon.

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Day Lily

2. This is an old heritage climbing rose (sorry did not keep the name). It has a lovely smell. It was slow to start but has a good few blooms now.

Climbing rose

Climbing rose

3. This poppy seeds itself all over the vegetable plot, adding extra colour and food for the bees. I have scattered seed in the flower bed but for some reason they never germinate there.

poppy

poppy

4. The yellow loosestrife is getting crowded out by the day lily – another reason to divide the latter!

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife

5. In the vegetable garden the potatoes are coming on nicely despite being set late. I have always liked potato flowers.

potatoe

potato

6. And the runner beans are doing their thing too.

Runner bean

Runner bean

You can read more Six on Saturday here.