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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wildlife Garden

Trying to make the most of the good weather. Some photo's from our Wildlife Garden. ( a small area at the bottom of our garden, recognised by the Somerset Wildlife Trust .)

This first picture is not as good as I hoped for but just shows some type of bee or fly feeding on the head of a Thistle. It had a large proboscis

Since I added the description below I now thnk that the photo simply shows the Flower head beginning to open. I'll check again today and it should be much clearer now!!
On the same thistle I noticed this unusual collection of eggs? They were sitting in the crown of an unopened thistle flower head . They look like eggs to me, but what insect chooses a thistle flower head before it has opened?

Also just starting to flower is this Ragwort, probably Common Ragwort. I have been trying hard to use a key to pin down as to whether it is Common,Oxford, Hoary or something else. Its certainly not Silver as I saw that last year on the Cornish coast and it is quite different.

My favourite umbellifer, Wild Carrot.  Clearly showing the small red flower in the centre and the prominent bracts. Very distinctive.

Wildflowers at the Olympic Park. Should our traditional nature reserves add non native flowers?

Extract from an  article in the Gurdian Newspaper.


Click here to see the article

Matthew Appleby.

If you want to see the big ideas coming out of British horticulture, there's no better – or bigger – showcase than the gardens and meadows of the Olympic Park in Stratford.
The 250-hectare site in east London has been filled with 4,000 trees, 300,000 wetland plants, 15,000 square metres of lawns and more than 150,000 perennial plants, in an ambitious scheme designed to delight visitors to the Games and leave a legacy of a permanent park once the Olympics are over.
First, there are the wildflower meadows, 10 football fields-worth of them, carefully planned and sown to reach their peak just in time for the torch's arrival in east London next Friday, and sporting a suitably Olympic gold colour scheme. Wildflowers are having a moment: sales of cornflowers, field poppies and other pollinator-friendly blooms have tripled this year, influenced by Sarah Raven's TV programme Bees, Butterflies And Blooms, and Chelsea show gardens packed with wispy natives.

Please read the full article.
Interesting comments about the use of non native species which is not a new feature of the English countryside. Many plants seem to have been introduced many years ago.
This links well with the differing points of view generated by the "Fields of Dreams" in South Petherton which are currently benefiting no doubt from the sunshine. By comparison our 4 acre meadow in Curry Rivel is managed to show off plants and flowers which are native to this part of Somerset. Its a challenging thought to consider changing our policy to deliberately  bring in , say , flowers from South Africa or elsewhere. We have a meeting of our management group and I might ask for opinions on the subject.