Tag Archives | photos

Winged Insects in your Garden

This summer has been damp and the plants have grown lush. In some way this has contributed to a dramatic cut in the number of greenfly on my roses and other plants (perhaps they found other feeding grounds or did not mate as prolifically).

By contrast there have been lots of Bees and Flies and last week the Wasps came for my plums and apples. On the bright side it has been easier to get some photographs that would other wise not been practical. The fly wings show up well against the Cystus that if flowering for the second time this year.

Like many gardeners I regard Ladybirds as posative helpers in the garden. It is therefore a concern to be confronted with the aggressive Harlequin Ladybird that is invading  and threatening our 45 native species. Originally from Japan it was introduced to North America 20 years ago as an aphid control and it now out numbers all American species. Log any UK sightings here.

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Lily Flowered Tulips

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A red ‘Lily Flowered Tulip’ creeping above the late spring snow.

I have just ordered my tulip bulbs for autumn planting.

Lily Flowered tulips are so called because of their unique shape: the blossom resembles a lily, or sometimes an urn. This effect is created by long, pointed petals which tend to bend back; it can give the impression of a six pointed star.

Varieties of Lily Flowered Tulips Include

  • Ballade
  • Ballerina
  • Blom’s Harmonious Mixture
  • China Pink
  • Elegant Lady
  • Fly Away
  • Jane Packer
  • Mariette
  • Marilyn
  • Marjolein
  • Maytime
  • Mona Lisa
  • Moonlight Girl
  • West Point
  • White Triumphator
  • Yuri Dolgorukiy

How to Recognise Lily Flowered Tulips

    • Lily tulips are all classed as Division 6 tulips.
    • They are a small group of tulips, which used to be classified as Cottage Tulips with an hourglass shaped bloom.
    • Lily-flowered tulips with their cinched-in waists and reflexed petals show their distinctive shape off best if not too closely crowded together.
    • In style they are similar to the Ottoman or Turkish tulips of the 18th century.
    • They are a beautiful race of tulips with lovely flowers and gracefully reflexing and pointed petals.
    • The elegant blooms are born on strong wiry stems from mid April to May.

Thanks to Bloms Bulbs

tulip pattern

It is hard to see what type of Tulip is showing in this photograph as the flowers are well blown! (that means they are open to the fullest extent and are nearing the end of there display life.)

Tip toe through the tulips

Because tulips are such showy flowers I couldn’t resist adding another favourite picture to this short collection of snaps.
See also Parrot Tulips on Gardeners Tips

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Purple Flowers that Attract Bees

Is it the nectar, pollen or colour that attracts bees to flowers. May be it is all three!
Just watch bees swarm over Thyme when in flower.

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Cistus only seem to flower for one day then the petals drop. Resting in the sun this Bee seems content with life.

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Foxgloves have long tubular flowers so the Bee has to crawl right in to get the nectar. This moves pollen from flower to flower and Foxgloves then produce thousands of small powdery seeds.

Continue Reading →

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Aquilegia Growing

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Aquilegia are growing and flowering in all parts of my garden at the moment. This Aquilegia canadensis or red columbine hybridises very easily and will self sow if left to its own devices. This Aquilegia Kansas looks very striking in tight groups.

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When I saw this photograph of Aquilegia colombine growing with  Honeysuckle the significance of the names escaped me. The Honeysuckle will flower a bit later than the Aquilegia which I will cut down after it flowers in the hope of a second flush of flowers later in the year.

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The horns of a dilema are shown on this close up of an Aquilegia flower. It pays to take the time to inspect individual flowers as well as the whole plant.
You can acquire or just admire plants as part of a collection

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Aquilegia combine well with other plants and the colours of the Rhododendron work well with the shade of this Aquilegia.

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Whilst it may not be obvious Aquilegias grow as small alpines 4 inches tall like A. Flabellata and as 3 feet high plants and various sizes in between. A good selection of seeds from many Aquilegia varieties are in the  Chiltern Seed catalogue.

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The leaves have a pleasing shape and vary in colour from the yellow green above to grey green and dark green.

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Give Aquilegia a try in your garden. They grow very easily from seed so poor specimens and colours can be weeded out.

Aquilegia

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November’s Backend Bonanza

Americans call it ‘Fall’ and the Brits call it ‘Autumn’ but November’s ‘Backend’ can produce a garden Bonanza.
These flowers are still showing their true colours despite all that our English weather has been able to throw at them.

November Cyclamen

You can tell the leaves know it is fall and the Cyclamen hederifolium know it is autumn and time to flower.

November Fucshia

Dollar Princess was a group of Fucshias I received as cuttings. It took awhile for the flowers to arrive but the late profusion is very welcome.

November Hydrangea

A bit over blown and beginning to loose their colour the Hydrangeas have enjoyed our wet season this year. The reward is going to be a winter windfall of flower.

November Dahlia

The Dahlias have also been a stroke of luck, lasting very well without as much deadheading as they should have received.

November Lobelia

The annual Lobelia has surprised my with its deep blue colouring that has lasted all through summer. It may be the autumn light but the intensified colouring seems to have strengthened as the seasons moved on.

For next year I will try some more Lobelia seeds from Thompson & Morgan

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Photographs and Images of Purple Iris

bearded iris

The Bearded Iris offers a huge range of colours. This is a deep purple variety growing in the Oxford Botanic Gardens. The furry hairs on the petal or ‘Fall’ give the plant the bearded image.

Bearded Iris do well in a sunny, well drained soil. They can provide years of spectacular colour in May – July.

Iris

Other Iris are well adapted to grow in damp conditions.

Iris B

Bulb Iris are useful in rockery and Alpine arrangements and in this case are appreciated by passing Bees..

Iris

The next two pictures are taken as the rain stopped and the light improved.

Iris

Some flowers veer towards the lilac in shade but just about fit into my purple patch.

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Iris are able to stand without staking as this large clump demonstrates.

George Iris

Named varieties include George an Iris reticulata.

Iris reticulata

Another Iris Histroides looks similar to a Dutch Iris but smaller.

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Growing in the Oxford Botanic Gardens with the other Oxford beardies.
25 Iris bulbs from Amazon (the book people not the river).

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Daffodils in Flower

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Daffodils in flower in Oxfordshire.

Helped by  good spring, daffodils have sprung into flower. These are some of our favourite daffodil pictures.

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Daffodils by ruins of Bolton Abbey

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Daffodils by River Cherwell, Oxford

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Daffodil mixture

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Daffodils in front garden

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Daffodils against backdrop of Yorkshire Dales

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A magical carpet of Daffodils

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Naturalised daffodils

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Daffodils close up

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next to a see of bluebells.

Tips on Daffodils

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