We have returned to cooler weather but still only small amounts of rain. As we approach mid-June there are endless garden jobs to do. Today is was planting out brassicas, cutting back rosemary and taking some cuttings, weeding and potting up. So here is this week’s six, and thanks to The Propagotor for hosting Six on Saturday.
Large bellflower, Campanula. The first year I planted these they put on a big display and then got toppled by the wind. Since then they have seeded themselves here and there as individuals.
2. Here meadow cranesbill and yellow allium, both of which I showed in previous weeks, but I like the colour combination of the two together. If you look closely you may see a white tailed bumblebee too.
3. This is the same wild meadow cranesbill as the blue one above, which again seed themselves happily in the gravel and I then move them on. This one I moved to one of the wildflower meadow areas. It is not fully white, but has a slightly purple tinge.
4. I really like foxgloves as do some bumblebees.
5. Sage – the outdoors ones are now in flower, though some of the flowers seem burnt – which is quite possible as we did have a late frost, though it could also be wind burnt.
6. And finally this week Worcester berry – it is like a cross between a gooseberry and blackcurrant. These berries will get darker in colour. Seems to be a good enough crop this year – so may get a pot of two of jam.
Bees, as many of you know, are one of my favourite garden visitors, so providing them with food is important to me. Bumbles are currently busy feeding on comfrey, sage, lupins, foxgloves and delphiniums. The early bumblebees seem to really like the comfrey, while the carder bees are concentrating on the sage. While tailed bees I have seen on buttercup and lupin, while the big garden bumblebee queens that are still around are going for the foxgloves as well as comfrey. It just shows that having a variety of flowers in your garden is important if you want your help a range of bees.
White tailed bumble on lupin
Foxglove – is this normal for a culitvate foxglove?
One lovely new sighting for the garden was a humming bird hawk moth, feeding on sage flowers. This is an amazing day flying moth that looks, and acts like a humming bird. We hadn’t seen one since the time we lived in the UK, so great addition to our garden list. if you want to see what it looks out check out this link.
We are back from our annual trip to Wales to see my husband’s family and have returned to a garden that resembles a jungle. The grass in the meadow seems to have grown about a foot in our absence and some of the vegetables (though not all) have grown too. But more about the garden later in the week.
First some highlights of our Wales visit. Grandma and Grandpa’s garden was awash with flowers, the roses in particular caught my eye.
Meanwhile, in the hedgerows and banks along the Welsh roadsides, foxgloves with their tall pink spires, seemed to abound.
One of the visits we made was to Dinefwr Park, a National Trust property and home to a herd of White Park Cattle. This is a very old cattle breed but it is also very rare with only about 1000 animals worldwide. The breed is descended from Britain’s original wild white cattle. Because the white cattle look so noble they were enclosed in parks by the nobility during the middle ages but when these estates started to decline so too did the cattle. The cattle are white with black spots and black on their muzzle, ears, eye-rims and feet. The wide-spreading horns are usually black-tipped. As they are an ancient breed the animals still have a matriarch system, i.e one of the females is in charge. In Dinefwr the matriarch is Miranda – she is the oldest female in the herd (at about 16 years of age). During the Second World War a small number of the cattle were shipped to the USA, where today two herds still remain – one in Texas and one in Montana.
Miranda, Park White Cow
White Park bull
The park is also famed for its ancient trees. They have nearly 300 trees that are thought to be over 400 years old. One of the oak trees is estimate to be 700 years old. We didn’t get time to see that one, so will have to make a return visit.