An explanation of the title of this blog...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

What will it be?

It is already about 9" high...answers on a postcard...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Red in Tooth and Claw

Coming back to the house, after a session in The Bottom, I noticed that Chancey was creeping up on something near the wall. Suspecting it might be a lizard, and wishing to give it a chance to escape, I called to him just as he pounced. I didn't put him off his stride, and he ran towards me to offer me his prize; a foot or so of very young, very pretty, Horseshoe Whip snake. He dropped it at my feet, and it started to make its way back towards the wall, but then Charlie Badmash, jealous of any attention given to Chancey, cuffed him around the ear and made a grab for the snake. Knowing that I would deprive him of his fun, he ran off with it down to The Bottom, and by the time I got there, he had despatched it and you can see how sulky he is that I stopped him from starting his meal until I had my photo. It is not a very good photo, but you will see the pattern on the snake if you click on it. Here is a much better one of an adult snake that I found on the web.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a Doddle...

....Sorry, that should be Dodder... click on the photo to see it close up. Those thin red strands are only a millimetre in diameter, and the tiny pink flowers grow out of the strands. There are no leaves because it doesn't need them. For those of you who don't know this plant, it is a parasite that lives on a number of different plants and doesn't have any chlorophyll of its own. Believe it or not, it is a member of the Convolvulus family...a bindweed with a difference..

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New this week...

ASTERISCUS maritimus stands out in the crowd; although The Bottom is full of hawkbit and coltsfoot, this plant has a much stronger egg yolk yellow flower that stands out, even though it is low growing. The pale yellow, shading to white, of CHRYSANTHEMUM coronarium is also easy to pick out, as the flowers are quite large, and the slender stems and feathery leaves of this relative of the chamomile let it dance around in the breeze. The final plant for today is PHAGNALON rupestre, that looks as if it has gone to seed before it has flowered, but its grey foliage is attractive even if the flowers are rather dull.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pale Blue

The small wild Nigella has started to flower. It always surprises me how large the seed head is, just as large as in the cultivated variety. The other blue is an Echium I think, but I haven't decided which one. I need to look more closely at the plant.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Touch of Pink...Again

I have now found more clumps of the Centaurium, and the Convulvulus is much more in evidence than it was when I made this post. I have also found another Silene, much taller and with darker pink flowers than this one, that is quite widespread in the lower left hand corner. It has a much plumper bladder than the earlier one, and the petals seem to curl up on themselves almost as soon as they open; at least I haven't been able to catch them in any other position! Googling around, I came across Silene nocturna, which doesn't open its flowers until just before sunset, so maybe I shall tootle down to have a look then.

I suppose this Knapweed is closer to purple than pink, but it can hold its own.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Little Sport

The wild gladiolas (Gladiolus Italica)were not as badly hit as I first thought. There are quite a few drifts coming into flower, and not only that, but up on The Top, I have found a couple of sports, both pale pink instead of the usual fuchsia. It will be interesting to see if they multiply. They are in one of the bits that I get to weed, so they do have a chance... that April's here...

...there are more flowers popping up in The Bottom. This group all have what I call pea flowers, and range in colour from pale pink of the anthyllis, or is it a trifolium? through yellow, to orangey red. Most are low growing, but the orangey red vetch (not as pink as it appears here) is about 30cm high. I have just realised I haven't included the yellow broom that has seeded itself around the boundary (and invaded next door's gravel drive last year), but my camera battery is on re-charge, so that will have to wait. I did have a wonderfully honey-scented gorse as well, but Ivan the Barbarian dug it out..

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009