Back home

It was good to be back home and back in the garden.  The weather was kind to me and my first day was warm and sunny and I was out first thing to take stock of the garden.

Potager overgrown

It is frightening to see how overgrown the garden gets with some warmth and rain.

Flowering radishes

Even the radishes had flowered!

Flowering leeks

So had the leeks.

Halictus bee in leek

This Halictus bee enjoys the leek flowers as do the bumble bees so I don’t have the heart to cut them down.

Potager

I have cleaned up this part of the potager.  A word of warning – do not weed in low rise jeans and a short tee shirt.  I now have nasty sunburn across the lower part of my back.

Blackcurrants

There is so much to do!  The blackcurrants need picking.

Cherries

The cherries are just about ready and strangely the birds have left us some this year.  Perhaps because they are not very sweet and don’t have much flavour this year.  I was relieved to hear that other people around have the same complaint so it must be the strange spring we have had.

Reine de Reinette

The Reine de Reinette apple tree has an annoying habit of setting too much fruit so the little ones have to be knocked off so that decent sized fruits mature.  I have two Reine de Reinette trees.

Hydrangea cutting

The Hydrangea cutting K. took from our bush has flowered before we have found it a place and planted it.

Salvia

The little Salvia my friend Linda gave me at Christmas was put in the trough so that I wouldn’t lose it in the borders.  No need to worry about losing it now!

Anthophora in Salvia

My cute little Anthophora love the Salvia.  They remind me of little koala bears the way they hold onto the flowers.

Halictus species on radish

This is another problem, the bees totally distract me.  they are everywhere and I keep finding different ones.  This Halictus is feeding on the radish flowers.1-IMG_9571

The poppies are everywhere, just like the bees.

Halictus/Lassioglossom

The poppies are favourites of tiny Halictus or Lassioglossom bees.

Two bees

They are so tiny you might not realise that they are bees unless you look very closely.

anthidium

Every time I pass the Nepeta, the bees attract me.  This one is Anthidium florentinum, I think, a new one to the garden.

Bobby James

I try to appreciate the flowers that are almost past like the Bobby James rose that is only getting established now but like a lot of ramblers will only flower once a year.  I’ve entirely missed  my peonies.

Valerian seed

The Valerian is just about over and the seed heads are floating  around the garden and new plants will probably appear next year.  They are very welcome and are a bright addition here and there.

New Dawn

Several of the roses like “Shropshire Lad” have not done well in the cold rainy spring but “New Dawn” above has kept its bright green foliage even though it is not well-situated in a shady area.

Canna leaves

This Canna leaf has me guessing.  I don’t know what has made the holes but if it was moving from right to left it was finding the Canna very nutritious and growing at a steady rate.

There is so much to do in the garden that I despair to getting it back into some semblance of working order.  There are still seedlings to plant out that are flowering in their seed trays but the garden is still beautiful, if unkempt.

My first dinner back home was sea bass caught in the Gironde estuary by K. served with our new potatoes and fresh-picked peas followed by our strawberries for dessert.  It re-enforced the good points of having a garden and I  looked more calmly at the work ahead with a full stomach.

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37 thoughts on “Back home

  1. Hi,
    Some fantastic pics and an interesting catch up. Would you mind if I used your pic of the poppy and bees and the valerian in my teaching? I’m finishing off pollination and fertilisation next week with Y6 and they would illustrate my summary presentation really well. Hope you don’t think I’m being cheeky but it would just be for pesonal use and wouldn’t be published although feel free to say no!
    best wishes
    Gaynor.

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    • I would be very happy to think my photographs are being used for educational purposes. There is a tendency for people to say bees meaning honey bees and not think about the huge number of other bees that are around us. Thank you for being so polite and asking permission. I think the usual is to give me a credit in mentioning that they are my photos. If you have any problem I can send them directly to you in any format. Amelia

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    • I’ve started back at my gym classes too, so my body is letting me know I’m home. All I had time to do in the UK was walk the dog. Unfortunately it is a West Highland Terrier i.e. very short legs and a lot of sniffing.

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  2. Despite your reason for being in the UK, I’ll bet you are really glad to be home… K did a stalwart job on your blog!!

    The canna leaf remind me of “The Big Hungry Caterpillar” book…

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  3. Welcome back, it’s good to have you posting again, not that we didn’t get some excellent post while you were away!

    I love all the pictures you have of the huge variety of pollinators your garden attracts. Being an Aussie, I especially loved your little Koala 🙂 Thanks for the great photos.

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    • That’s so true. We started this one from scratch so we are very paternal (or maternal!) towards it. A lot of our plants are cuttings or spare plants from friends and I always think of them when I pass the plant.

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  4. Good that you are home and I can look forward to more of your wonderfully observant posts about bees. Those little Halictids are everywhere at the moment — I’m always fishing them out of the swimming pool.

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    • This morning is cooler and I noticed they are still on the poppies whereas the other bees are not around, except for the bumbles of course. I saw very similar ones on aubretia in Surrey, they seem to be less sensitive to the cold.

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  5. I get so distracted by bees too, I’m always stopping to take photos of any I spot whilst walking past people’s gardens. You have a brilliant variety of bees visiting, your garden must be a real treat for them.

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    • Welcome back, I’ve missed you although you have a wonderful husband to blog in your absence! Returning to a garden after even a short time away can be daunting so don’t try to do too much too quickly and be careful the sun is very strong at this time of year.

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    • I think I am attracting different kinds as I plant different kinds of flowers. The Anthidium are also called carder bees as they gather “wool” for their nest from fluffy-leaved plants and I’ve got lots of those now. Amelia

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  6. Welcome home, Amelia. Who knew leek flowers were so beautiful? Lots to do in the garden? Tell me about it! It is so distracting walking about the garden at work – there is a ridiculously long list of jobs to do. Dave

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  7. Welcome back! I have my leeks flowering too and I decided I’m going to plant some in the garden for next year, they look better than many other expensive white garden varieties! My cherries are gone already and they weren’t very good this year either: too much rain in spring and then too hot and they grew and burst before maturing, not very sweet and very short lasting with all those skin cuts.

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    • That is not a bad idea to plant the leeks for their flowers. Our neighbours have already said they are going to give us leeks to plant out from the ones they have seeded earlier. There are always too many for us so I think I may put one or two in the front garden near the peonies and Achilea.

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    • Actually, I am not so fond of roses and I leave them to my husband. They are too fussy and difficult for me. I like tough plants that can look after themselves. I must admit I,m happy to have them when they flower!

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        • I like useful things and roses that give rose hips are very useful and I think the rose hips are very pretty. However, none of our roses give good plump rose hips – so no rose hip tea. I have eaten raw rose hips from wild roses I’ve found in Scotland and some of the roses hips were very good. I haven’t ever made rose hip tea though I suppose it might be possible to do this even with small rose hips.

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