Six on Saturday | life in the garden

Out in the garden at the beginning of the week in the sunshine I was happy to see more honey bees, bumblebees, and other pollinators enjoying the nectar on several plants which are still in flower. Apart from #1 all the images this week were all taken with my macro lens. It’s not often that the weather is still enough for me to take this out into the garden so I was glad of the opportunity to do so.

(1) First, though not strictly IN my garden, was this Buzzard. I could hear the constant mewing of a buzzard from my room. It seemed to come from close by and not in the sky. Looking out from my upstairs window I tracked the noise to the field opposite and then a large brown bird suddenly flew out from the field and landed on a telegraph pole in the lane. The mewing continued so I wondered whether it was a young bird. Occasionally another sound could be heard from further away. The bird stayed on the pole for well over half an hour, crying out the entire time. Sorry, even my longest lens couldn’t get a clear image.

(2) Asters are starting to open now. This little flower was already attracting visitors.

(3) Bee fight. I have never witnessed bees being aggressive to each other before, until I was observing the bee on the top of this Helenium going round and round collecting pollen when another bee alighted on the same flower. Usually bees feed together in peace, not this time. Bee #1 suddenly struck out at bee #2 pushing it off the nectar filled centre of the flower and onto the petals where it sat for a minute or so flicking its proboscis in and out and wiping it down with its front feet.

Bee 1 on top when bee 2 arrives.
After being pushed aside

(4) Deadheading the Calendula in the herb bed I noticed several of the large cabbage white caterpillars were feeding on my nasturtium leaves. I don’t mind. I’m not growing any brassicas so I shall leave them be.

(5) I’m not sure what this flower is, it came from the packet of pollinator seeds which I sowed in the spring. Possibly some kind of cornflower? Anyway, this tiny fly was very attracted to it.

(6) I have left this until the last, so if you are an arachnophobe you can switch off now. The spider species Araneus diadematus is commonly called the European garden spider, diadem spider, cross spider, or crowned orb weaver. One you will most definitely encounter whilst gardening at this time of the year!

This week has been Chelsea week and I am sure many Sixers will have been tuned in to the Beeb to watch the goings-on or maybe even visiting in person – is it just me or does anyone else wonder about the effect these types of shows have on the environment? I was puzzled by the need to transport huge chunks of rock from the Ural mountains – the cost, the carbon footprint of the transportation, the removal of them from their natural place in the world. And the trees. All those big trees – where do they go after the shows? How do they cope with all the moving and re-planting? And how much do these show gardens cost to create? I know some of the gardens get ‘moved’ to other places afterwards where people can enjoy them, but I’m beginning to have serious doubts about the ethics of such shows.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    There is an autumnal field to your collection this week. I wonder if food resources are short for the bees and that is why they had a tiff. I have never seen bees fight.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I was surprised to see it too! Especially as there are loads of flowers in my garden still. Perhaps it was just an instinctive reaction.

  2. That spider has very hairy legs! 🙂 Our orange and lemon trees are flowering and are covered with bees at the moment.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, I have to be careful in the garden at the moment, spiders’ webs everywhere! fortunately no nasty ones. Oh and big black ones in the house! Now those I don’t like.

  3. Wow! Such lovely macro photos Jude, especially the insects, and the spider! I would have loved to have gone to Chelsea Flower Show, but after reading everyone’s comments, I think I will give it a miss.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Nature close-up this week Jude – and beautifully so. Loved the Helenium with its bees especiallyyour opener – And as a bird-lover I also enjoyed your opener. Looks like some kind of bird of prey to me.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a buzzard Tina, a very large bird of prey! Although we have seen them being mobbed by crows!

  5. Cathy says:

    Fascinating photos today, Jude. We get buzzards overhead here sometimes and I love to hear their mewing – somehow it makes me feel there is a connection with long-ago times…

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love hearing them. Hanging out the washing whilst listening to birds is such a pleasure after years of not having a garden.

      1. Cathy says:

        I draw the line at wood pigeons though….! 😁 But yes, towns and gardenless properties are not well-blessed with bird life

        1. Heyjude says:

          There were pigeons at our last place, used to sit on the chimney pot and drive me crazy!

        2. Cathy says:

          Grrr, bloomin’ pigeons…

  6. Beautiful pictures. There seem to have been more spiders than usual this year and so many webs! I think more people are beginning to question some parts of these big shows. I watched a few of the programmes and the florists seem to have made quite a thing this year about using British flowers and foliage which is good.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think that’s the way to go.

  7. susurrus says:

    Chelsea is wonderful when you’re a part of it, and given a magic wand I’d be transported there in a heartbeat, but as their flagship event, it is the snootiest of all the shows and seems to look towards the world rather than the country. I agree that sustainability ought to matter. I find the TV coverage unwatchable too, sadly – the odd bits I saw this year were like lectures. I miss Alan T’s affable, patient good humour. He wore his knowledge lightly. The great, enduring thing about the shows is their honest desire to encourage a love of gardening and the passion of the exhibitors.

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