Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bee visits.....

 Whilst working in the garden today, I noticed a queen bee on the heather.     Woken from her slumber due to mild weather, nectar was on her mind.
 There are plenty of blooms around.     I know I often speak of the joys of Mahonia but it really is one of the most beautiful shrubs you can have in a winter garden.   The bright yellow blooms bring light on dark days and the perfume is sweet and intoxicating.    There were several honeys bees amongst the flowers today.
Primroses surround the old apple tree, making a pretty scene.    Thinking that Spring has arrived they are blooming away merrily.

What a strange year it has garden seems to be in a state of confusion.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday safari

 The grey heron flies over the garden most days.     He even visits the pond in hope of finding something to eat.
 I am so lucky to live near a river and be so close to these beautiful birds.
As he flew over my head, I was fortunate to get an image.   It is not perfect by any means, but it does show his lovely wing structure.    I also love the pattern of his breast feathers........

Happy Sunday safari............

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday safari....Small copper.

 The Small copper lives for a month.
 She lays her eggs on sorrel and dock.    I have both in the garden.
I live in hope that she will use the plants :0)

Happy Sunday safari.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunday safari

 My father gave me this Aster a few years ago.   He could not remember her name.   She looks beautiful covered in morning dew.
 When a butterfly visits, the flower fades away.    The beauty and fragility of the butterfly is all that I see.
Some of our butterflies are in decline......they need our help.      They cannot ask, but I can, on their behalf.   
It does not matter how large or small a garden is, we can all do something to help them.
Here are some of the  plants much loved by butterflies:-

Verbena Bonarienses
Hemp Agrimony
Sweet Rocket

And perhaps, if you really want to help, you could plant their host plants.    Nettles (I know, we gardeners do not like nettles) but they are the host plant for many of our butterflies.
I understand you do not want them in your borders,  but a pot of nettles in full sun could make such a difference.   Wouldn't it be wonderful if gardeners across the UK put a pot of nettles in their garden :)

I do so hope you are enjoying this unusually warm October......

Happy Sunday safari

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday safari

Sunshine, always follows rain.............

Today services will be held right across the UK to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
This date is written on my heart.   It is a day I shall never forget.
I shall personally have a quiet moment in the day, a time for reflection, a time to think of those that lost their loved ones.      I shall light a candle...........I shall pray for peace.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday safari....spiders and their webs.

When I was a child I always  knew when there was a spider in the house.   Mothers screams could be heard for miles :)   Father would always stop what he was doing and go to her aid.   I would follow, watching him scoop the spider up and take it into the garden. 
I learned to like spiders.    Despite the fact mother did not like them, she loved showing me their webs in the garden.   She would  write poetry about their artwork,  often with a romantic theme.
 Yesterday morning when the garden was shrouded in mist, and the sun was trying its best to come out from behind the clouds, I walked the garden looking for webs.    I was not disappointed.
The garden was full of these wonderful creations.
Spiders are near the top of the invertebrate food chain.   They are a valuable asset to any garden.
 There are many species of birds who are partial to spiders and a healthy population will prove a bonus to Dunnocks, Robins, Thrushes and Wrens.    All these species are regular visitors to this garden.
So next time you see a spider please spare it.   Just a glass over the top, a thin piece of card slipped underneath and you can transport the spider to the garden :)

I leave you with the phrase that my father would say to me each time we removed a spider from the house:

"If you wish to live and thrive,
Let a spider run alive."

Poppi and Riley know this rhyme, and both put house spiders in the garden for Mummy........

Happy Sunday safari

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday safari

I watch the frog.......
The frog watches the insects feeding on the Eryngium........
 The frog misses his prey and lands in the border.  He looks cross.   He made me laugh.   I like the frog.
The cool damp weather is still with us.   There are times when the sun shines,  they seem all to brief.
The plants seem to enjoy the weather.
 The lack of insects makes me feel a little sad.   The garden seems empty.    I have missed the bugs this summer.
I sit with the pigeon........he is a loner.    He has been here all summer.

I leave you with the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes

On every stem, on every leaf,......
and at the root of everything that grew,
was a professional specialist in the shape of a grub,
caterpillar, aphid, or other expert,
whose business it was to devour that particular part.

Perhaps next year will be a better year for insects  :)

Happy Sunday safari.........  

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday safari

I love this time of year.   Walking towards the next season, for me, is always a pleasure.   I love the changes.
 Autumn is my favourite season.   She is knocking at my door.   I feel a nip in the air.
The garden is full of life.    When I see the creatures that inhabit this space, I cannot tell you the pleasure that it gives me.
I nearly missed the holly blue.   She blends in well with the nigella bloom.     
Wasps have been a nuisance this year.   We have two nests, one in the loft and one in the copse.   Hornets are eating them.      I have lived alongside hornets for the last ten years.   They use the old trees in the garden to make their nest.    I have found them to be passive.    I like hornets.
When I saw the Emperor dragonfly early one morning my heart missed a beat.    I could barely breath.    I had left my camera inside.    I flew into the house :)     One photograph before he took flight.   This beautiful creature has the largest wingspan of any British dragonfly.       They live for one month, after a nymphal stage lasting two years.    Each year they love for them never fades.   They really are such magical and mystical  creatures.

Happy Sunday safari.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sunday safari.

The juvenile Green Woodpecker is very vulnerable.
 There are too many Magpies in the garden at the moment.   Beware, little one.
 The copse is a wonderful place for birds to hide.   Overgrown, and more than a little out of control, it gives much needed shelter to wildlife.     We all need shelter :)
Butterflies have been few....I have missed them.      Meadow brown seemed to have increased in numbers.     They hatch between June and August.     The Suffolk poet John Clare seemed to describe them in his Shepherd's Calender for June 'Where their old visitors in russet brown, the haytime butterflies dance up and down.'
Wasps are eating the plums.   I do not mind, there are plenty to go around.   I am happy to share.
Sharing is good......I am a first born child, we take care of siblings that follow us.   Sharing is good for the soul.
Pretty bee.   I do so love the bees.
I wonder if the honey bee has come from the village.     We have several bee keepers.    I shall be a keeper of bees one day.   I will wait until the grand children are a little older.
The humble bumble will always have a place in my heart.    Such sweet and gentle creatures.
My mother tells me  when I was small, I would sit in my Grandparents cottage garden and watch them for ages.   I have always had a connection with Dumbledores.......bless the bees.

Happy Sunday safari.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Research by Butterfly Conservation shows over a third of our British butterfly species are threatened with extinction.   Loss of habitat following intensification of farming in the countryside over the pass 40 years and a succession of damagingly wet summers have contributed to their decline.

This year I have seen far less butterflies than in recent years.   I intend to extend my butterfly borders during the autumn.   I will also make more spaces for hibernation.

My garden would be less without these beautiful creatures........  

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Reed Buntings........

Reed buntings have been feeding alongside sparrows for the last two months.
I managed to get two very poor photographs today but I am really pleased because now I have a visual record of them. I love the male reed buntings white collar, moustachial streak and black head. I am smitten......they are such a sweet pair.
The female will build her nest in a tussock of rush or among dense vegetation close to the ground. The river is only a mile away. Maybe they will bring their young to the garden. I live in hope.
I shall be using 'Sanctuary' as a wildlife diary.......I need to keep a more accurate record of the creatures that frequent the garden. You are more than welcome to visit and leave a comment if you so desire.
Take time to smell the flowers will be used to show the progress in the garden and the flowers that bloom there.