Tag Archives: flowers

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #146: Focusing on the Details

This week’s lens artist photo challenge is all about focusing on details. There is nothing like seeing the close up detail of flowers to really appreciate their beauty.

The photo below was taken by a lovely old stone building. But what caught my eye was the dandelion catching the sun.

And the intricate details of a dandelion clock or seed-head always fascinates me.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #105 – Spring

Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything is returning to life. Daffodils bring sunshine to the garden.

As do dandelions and with them come the bees, bringing back the buzz of insects.

There are leaves starting to come on the trees and the birds are thinking of nesting and bringing with them songs.

The frogs return to the pond, and their chorus adds to the sounds of spring .

And my favourite wild flowers – primroses, bringing with them their delicate scent.

Spring brings so much to our lives and above all is hope and renewal.

Flower Displays

Again I find myself reminiscing about last summer. The day we visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales was probably the hottest and sunniest of them all – so not the best day to photograph the amazing displays of flowers in the gardens.

One of my favourite areas was this planted wheat field with traditional “weeds” – in other words flowers – this is how wheat would have grown in the past before chemicals.

Botanic Gardens, Wales

Botanic Gardens, Wales

I used the pop setting on the camera to get some interesting affects.

Botanic Gardens, Wales

Botanic Gardens, Wales

Inspired by Lens artist photo challenge – on display

 

Six on Saturday

After a week with little rain, the wet weather has returned and so my own garden is showing little new, bar a little aster. However, I was at the biodiversity day at Enniscoe House today near Crossmolina, Co Mayo, giving a talk on pollinators and managed to get a few wet photos from their lovely walled gardens – they have a formal garden and vegetable area.

  1. A rather weathered dahlia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2. I have this Japanese anemone but their’s (unlike mine) was putting on a great display of flowers despite the rain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

3. A lovely sunflower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4. Rosehips – not sure what the rose is but the hips were quite big and long (and a little blurred!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. There was still roses in flower too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. And finally apples – they had a quite a few varieties.

Thank you to the Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday

Charlotte’s Garden

We have just returned from our annual trip to Wales to see my husband’s family. When there, I always like to include a garden visit, and this year we were in for an extra treat as we stayed at self-catering accommodation at the Old Oak Barn, near St Clears, where we got to enjoy Charlotte’s garden every day.

Charlotte's Garden

Charlotte’s Garden

Charlotte has the most beautiful flower garden, but she also grows vegetables (which we also got to enjoy). Her garden is a riot of colour, form and scent.

Charlotte's Garden

Charlotte’s Garden

So I thought for this week’s Six on Saturday I would share some of the highlights from her garden.

  1. A pot full of pink cosmos greeted us.

Cosmos

Cosmos

2. Charlotte grows in mixed beds of flowers and vegetables. Every looks so healthy. And the lettuce and peas were delicious.

Vegetables

Vegetables

3. She had a couple of different poppies, which self-seed around the garden including this dark one and this really flouncy one.

 

4. She has beautiful roses, here are just two examples.

5. And her lupins, like my own, are popular with the bees.

Bee on lupin

Bee on lupin

6. She also grows teasel, which is another great wildlife plant being good for bees and later on for birds who will eat the seeds.

Teasel

Teasel

So that is my six and to finish just a few general photographs of Charlotte’s lovely garden. We all really enjoyed our stay at the Old Oak Barn and would recommend it for anyone looking for Self catering Accommodation in Wales. For more information you can following the link:

Old Oak Barn

Gardens for Pollinators

Spring just around the corner (I hope). So it is time to start planning the garden. And with a new UK scientific paper out telling us that allotments and gardens supported the highest bee and hoverfly abundances, our own gardens are a great place to start helping our local pollinator populations.

If this is something you like doing I thought I could provide you with a list of Pollinator Friendly Plants. This list is based solely on what works in my garden. The garden is situated in Co Mayo, Ireland.  We have relatively mild climate but we do get frosts, and they can occur anything from late September till May. We have both native wildflower areas and cultivated areas with flowers and also a vegetable plot.

Best Garden Flowers and Herbs

White tailed bumble on lupin

Delphiniums – the bigger bumblebees,  like garden bumblebees love these.

Lupins – a number of different bumblebees will use them and I have also seen honey bees try (but I don’t think they were successful).

Russian Comfrey – these plants are always full of bumblebees.  Carders, early bumbles, love it. A number of hoverflies also feed on it especially Rhingia campestris. Another great positive about this species is it keep on flowering once it starts.

Poppies – I have pink, opium poppies that self seed in the vegetable plot. It appears to be a magnet for honey bees but white tailed bumbles and early bumblebees will use it to.

Snapdragon – again a favourite for carder bee.

Nasturtiums – these self seed in my vegetable plot. Again they will be used by a variety of bees.

Bumbles on sage

Bumbles on sage

Sage – a wonderful herb that is always buzzing in my garden. Appears to be particular favourite of common carder bees.

Oregano – grows both in the greenhouse and outside. The one in the greenhouse is always full of white tailed bumbles, the outside ones less so. The plant is probably happier and producing more nectar in the warmer greenhouse.

Calendula – hoverflies love this flower.

Fennel flowers – another favourite for hoverflies.

Borage – another great all rounder for bumblebees and honeybees.

Native Flowers and plants

Foxgloves – again suit the larger bees like garden bumblebees.

Ragged robin – this plant does well near the pond seems a particular favourite of green veined white butterfly.

Bumblebee on dandelion

Bumblebee on dandelion

Dandelion – a brilliant early pollen source.

Ox-eyed daisy – hoverflies and butterflies will both use this.

Willow – I have both native and cultivated willows. The catkins are really important for bumblebees queens emerging from hibernation early in the spring.

Fruit blossom – Again I have native and cultivated forms. Hoverflies seem to love blossom, but bumblebees and butterflies will feed on them to.

 

Interestingly in the scientific paper just published a number of these plants have also proved popular in the UK. The following nine native plants were found to have significantly more pollinator visitors than expected based on their abundance – Creeping thistle, Wood avens, Common hogweed, Cat’s ear, Ox-eye daisy, Creeping buttercup, bramble/blackberry, Autumn hawkbit and Dandelion. And the non-native top five were: Borage, Butterfly bush, Common marigold (Calendula), Lavender and Comfrey.

Further reading

A systems approach reveals urban pollinator hotspots and conservation opportunities

Katherine C. R. Baldock, Mark A. Goddard, Damien M. Hicks, William E. Kunin, Nadine Mitschunas, Helen Morse, Lynne M. Osgathorpe, Simon G. Potts, Kirsty M. Robertson, Anna V. Scott, Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Graham N. Stone, Ian P. Vaughan & Jane Memmott

Nature Ecology & Evolution (2019) |