Hot August Days

Hot August Days

August has been hot and  dry.  Rain showers have passed to the north of us and to the south of us but we remain parched.  The trees must be able to reach lower damper soil with their roots but even they are tiring.  The leaves are starting to change to autumn colour because of the … Continue reading

A Regulus ignicapillus in the hand

A Regulus ignicapillus in the hand

Our dining room faces onto a small patio facing the front garden.  Water and food is placed on the patio for the birds to eat, drink, bathe and generally frolic for our amusement summer and winter. We get large numbers of sparrows and tits with the flock mentality of one for all.  This means that … Continue reading

Special Mission – Year Two

Special Mission – Year Two

Last year we undertook a “Special Mission” to count glow worms on a route of  500 metres in length near our house.  I posted about the Special Mission in July last year.  We were contacted again this year and were on the road at 11.00 p.m. last Saturday. I was a bit disappointed with the photographs I … Continue reading

Not your usual garden flowers

Not your usual garden flowers

Pulicaria dysenterica, or Fleabane, is not your usual garden flower and I can just imagine you thinking – “That figures!”  I thought hard about bringing it into the garden as I was worried that it might be difficult to control as it seems to pop up on the roadside here in the summer time without … Continue reading

Reflections towards the end of July

Reflections towards the end of July

  It was after I read Sue’s post “White is cool” that I remembered that white was our favourite colour for flowers too.  The white oleander was planted in front of the house shortly after we bought it and years before we moved here.  I too loved the idea of a white area.  Crathes Castle garden, near Aberdeen, … Continue reading

The bees and Sweet Chestnuts

The bees and Sweet Chestnuts

Last week I was very worried about the bees.  We are new to beekeeping and we visit the girls everyday (often more than once) just to see how they are getting on as you can learn a lot by just watching them. However, I noticed a strange odour around the beehives and Kourosh confirmed that … Continue reading

Have you seen a glow worm?

Have you seen a glow worm?

This is what a female glow worm looks like and as you can see from its size against the grass stem it is not very big, maybe two centimetres at a stretch.  However, at night time all you will see is a spot of green light. The group Estuaire is trying to study glow worms … Continue reading

June finishes

June finishes

June began with unseasonal rain and showers which meant it was a perfect time to root out weeds from the soft ground and watch the plants grow.  The rain has stopped abruptly and it is amazing how quickly the ground dries up.  The vegetable garden now needs a daily watering. We do not grow a … Continue reading

Summer arrives

Summer arrives

We had almost no Winter this year; and the Spring has been most unusual.  Across the mainland Europe, warm days were interrupted with days of heavy rain and wind. A week ago Amelia and I were driving near the city of Cognac and it was truly sad to see large tracks of vineyards completely flattened … Continue reading

A wet June in the garden

A wet June in the garden

This year the garden has had more rain than I have ever experienced here.  I noticed the yellow sedum had dropped its seeds and new plants were growing in the hollow of the next door stone.  By this time of the year moss would usually have turned to a crispy brown but it has inspired … Continue reading