It’s been a while since I’ve dipped my foot in the waters of SOS, having been somewhat distracted by a summer of emotional family reunions, significant birthdays, house maintenance and a staycation or two, but things are settling back down and I find myself keen to share some interesting things from our garden this week. As the post will be flitting through a range of things, including visiting butterflies and birds, I thought that the post title rather appropriate.
So here are my six gardening things for 21/08/2021:
1) Jersey Tiger Moths
Jersey Tiger moths (Euplagia quadripunctaria) have been visiting our garden almost daily throughout the last month. (I know it’s more than one, because their markings are slightly different in the photos that I’ve taken.) These pretty moths fly during both day and night. They appeared in our garden for the first time last summer. Their increase has caught the attention of Butterfly Conservation, who added the moth to its species of interest for this year 2021 Big Butterfly Count. According to the interactive sightings map it is indeed appearing in numbers all over the country.
The moth is particularly noticeable in flight as it flashes its bright orange hind wings.
Have you seen one?
2) Angel’s Trumpet
I’ve not grown Angel’s trumpets before, but have always thought that they look spectacularly exotic, so this year I bought seeds from Thompson and Morgan (Datura meteloides ‘Evening Fragrance’ ). All of the seeds germinated, but I edited the first two out of the compost thinking they were something else (silly me!). I planted the rest out, along the edge of a raised bed in the vegetable plot, where they’ve grown furiously, if in a little bit of a convoluted form. They are flowering now and while I can’t say that I am overwhelmed by their scent, I do adore the shape of the flowers, from elegant furled buds to brazen trumpets. It’s a great plant for easy drama!
3) The Bower Plant
Sown last spring and rather abandoned in our cold greenhouse all of last year, amazingly the little plants made it through the winter and are now flowering:
Not quite the bower they were collected from, but it is a start!
4) Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Rosea’
This border-filling, soft pink, wand-waving perennial came my way, as carefully moss-wrapped divisions, from Cathy@ramblinginthegarden in the spring. They are doing wonderfully and I am very grateful to Cathy!
5) Patty Pans
In addition to my usual courgette ‘Defender’, I am trying out Patty Pans this year.
So far they are doing well. They are hilarious to look at, more tricky to pick than straight courgettes (being like cogs fitted tightly between the stalks). They are probably less productive (a good thing given how many courgettes we are giving away???), but are just as tasty. I haven’t got round to stuffing any yet. I suspect that presented like a fleet of UFOs they will be a dramatic addition to dinner!
6) New bird visitor: A Lesser Whitethroat
The pump for the bubble fountain gave up the ghost a couple of weeks back. It was sad to see birds hopping over the rocks looking for their usual spa bath, with no success. Fortunately, Steve worked his magic and it is all working again now. This morning when I heard the chinking I associate with our resident Garden Warbler, I went out with my camera to take a few pictures. Well, I’ve never seen the fountain so busy! I sat down and started to click away. (I even took a video to capture all the different species coming down to the water, but it is so shaky that it will never see the light of day). And that is how I accidentally took some pictures of a sleek grey bird I’ve never seen before. I put some pictures on twitter for help identifying the species and 15mins later the consensus seemed to be that it was a Lesser Whitethroat (Curruca curruca). Here it is:
Cute whiskers round it’s beak, don’t you think? Happily, a blue tit landed next to it, which gives a convenient idea of its size:
So there you have it. A lot of flitting around, but hopeful entertaining!
Don’t forget to check out The Propagator’s Six on Saturday post and the comments for links to other contributors.
Have a good weekend!