Monday, 28 June 2010

Skylark rising over the common

I could sit and watch these birds all day, if I could just spot them in the sky, sometimes we can stand and look and look but we cannot pinpoint them and focus on them, although their song is so clear, it can sometimes be so frustratingly impossible. Then when we do find them they keep rising higher and higher until they vanish from view, which is probably why we can't spot them all the other times.

And then trying to photograph them when their wings are beating so fast you just end up with a blur, we are getting better at this and have managed to finally get a couple of pics. So for now these are as good as we have got

Monday, 21 June 2010

Large Skipper

My first one recorded in my garden this year.
It does look like a moth doesn't it but I can assure you it is a butterfly. The large skipper can be identified by it light chequered pattern on its wings. Which this one has, so a large skipper it is.

Not a great photo, I will try and get a better one if it returns.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

More aroma gardening and welcome to new visitors

Having enjoyed a day outside, weeding mainly I finally found time to take a look at my herbs to discover that more are now in flower.

Sage. Salvia officinalis; this poor plant is clinging on to life, I think this will be it's last season, I have two new plants, potted up waiting to take it's place, I use the leaves in stuffings, served with roast pork and chopped up in a liver dish.

Lavender Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Blue'. This is a new herb for me, I have had french lavender before but with totally purple/blue flowers not with the white top petals, I am guessing that it is going to need protection against frosts.

Jacobs Ladder, I don't consider this to be a herb although it is mentioned in one of my herb books, so I am including it in this post, it happens to be one of my favourite flowers at this time of year so it deserves a mention. We have it self seeding all over the garden and today I had to pull several plants up from my gravel, which I was so reluctant to do but as they were in the middle of the path I had no choice!

I also had more visitors to my garden today, including this painted lady butterfly, on some of my chives, such a good source of nectar for so many bees and butterflies this year.

and this frog, there were actually two frogs but the other took cover to quick for me to photograph

 What a great day in the garden

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Red Admiral Butterfly

This one is living up to its name and is looking very battle weary.

Poor thing, This is the first one I've seen in my garden this year, hopefully we will have some stunning ones later on in the summer

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Aroma gardening

I do enjoy sitting outside at this time of year surrounded by my garden flowers and herbs. If I hadn't started making jewellery, I may well have started a business with herbs instead, I can't imagine a garden without any. Every year I discover new varieties which I can't resist buying to be planted along side my old favourites.
The herbs are just starting to dominate the garden now and over the next few weeks many more will burst into flower, so to keep you up to date with the herb progression, I will show you a small handful at a time.

The first herb to flower in my garden was the Comfrey, this is great for the compost a good handful is put into the compost every time anything else is added, it also attracts so many bees. Freshly picked leaves can be placed on cuts, bruises and open wounds to promote healing and apparently the leaves can apparently be cooked as a green vegetable and served with a cheese sauce, I will have to try that some time.

The next one to start flowering was my chives, I really like the chive flowers, so I have several groups of chives planted around my garden, in pots and directly in the soil. Apparently you can add some flowers to salads for a delicate flavour or add to vegetable oil after a week the oil will take on a lilac colour and is great on salads or for cooking, personally I like to add cut stems to potato salad.

More herbs to follow later !

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Tonight the common was transformed by this a beautiful layer of mist

Tonight this layer of mist appeared over the common, so ethereal.

Earlier these two Mute Swans flew over, so graceful

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Need to feed the family, whatever the weather

It is grey wet and miserable outside, but that doesn't stop the birds, they still have plenty of hungry mouths to feed, so this morning from the comfort of my dining room through double glazed windows I took these photos of some very soggy visitors to our bird feeders.enjoy!



Blue tit


House Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Collared Dove

Wood Pigeon