Monday, 23 May 2011

Today in the garden

Cold wet windy day today. This morning I spotted a blue tit with 2 fledglings on my patio and also a great tit with 4 on the washing line. No chance of a photograph though. Don't know if they are the ones from my nest boxes but I haven't seen any activity in them for a day or two so presume they have flown the nest. There must also be many nests in the hedges and shrubs around the garden so could have come from one of those.

Also saw a greedy robin, with a green caterpillar hanging out of its beak, trying to fill its beak with bread crumbs. I am surprised it didn't drop the caterpillar. Hope it made it back to his nest and gave it to the young ones. (better for them than the bread)

On the garden steps today were several broken snail shells so I presume a thrush must have been using the steps as an anvil to get some juicy snails.

The primula vialli is open more now and such an attractive new addition to my garden.

The wind has damaged a lot of flowers today and many of the poppies have lost their petals

Yellow flag irises by the pond.

Ox-eye daisy in my little wild meadow area.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A day in Middle Earth

On Saturday we went to Middle Earth Weekend with our grandchildren. This is held annually in Birmingham at Sarehole Mill near to where J RR Tolkein lived as a child. It is the place that gave him the inspiration for middle Earth in his Lord of the Ring books.

There were lots of interesting things for the children to see and do and some quite viscous natives.

Jasmine enjoyed her candy floss

And Zachariah ate most of his ice cream

Daddy managed to finish what he couldn't eat

Jakob and Stuart wanted to try on all the knight's equipment

Jakob tried on the heavy chain mail which weighed 3 stone and had 20,000 metal links

We saw wizards and strange tree people

And is this a tiger?

Finally a try at archery, which is harder than it looks

Looks like we brought a fairy home from middle earth!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Wednesday in the garden

This is the resident of bird box number 2. A pair of blue-tits were bringing a regular supply of fat green caterpillars today. They pop in and out so fast it is difficult to photograph them. Just caught this one with its head popping out.

These are a new addition to my garden and are planted at the edge of the pond. they are primula viallii.

Lots of flowers in the garden at the and they attracting numerous bumble bees. Lupins, forget me nots, geraniums and allium in flower at the moment in the flower bed

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Garden update

Good news on the nest boxes. A lot of activity going on in both of them so I think there must be young in them now. This one at the bottom of the garden has somehow been knocked sideways, by what I don't know. It hasn't disturbed the pair of great tits nesting in it. This one has what looks like a juicy caterpillar in its beak. I have seen blue tits in and out of the other box but not managed to catch them with my camera yet.

Today there were a lot of honey bees buzzing around the cotoneaster. If you look closely you can see very full pollen sacs on its legs. No sign of any honey bees. Maybe it is a bit early for them or not warm enough yet. It has been a bit chilly today and quite windy

The pond water is still looking rather green, but not maybe as bad as it was. I have put two doses of barley straw extract in but not sure how long it takes to show any effect.
Saw a newt in there again after going a week or more with no sighting.
Still a few tadpoles but their numbers seem to be diminishing. None with legs yet.

The bright summer flowers are starting to open, and typically it has started to rain the last few days. This ruins the large blooms as it tends to wash the petals away.

Clematis above and below

This lovely large poppy has beautiful flowers and has been here since we moved into the house 16 years ago. Pity the flowers don't last long, especially when it rains.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sick lupins

I think I must have been starving my lupins. First the leaves started to turn yellow and when the flowers opened they were looking very pale and smaller than usual.

The flower above is the colour they usually are and below shows a rather sick looking one and the yellow leaves. These are both on the same plant.

I think I should probably feed them more often so out came the miracle grow and now hoping things will improve. Maybe a bit too late for the two affected plants but I have treated all of them.