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

43 Comments Add yours

  1. restlessjo says:

    Chelsea in September? A different formula, surely? Did they not embrace Autumn? I’ve not seen anything. Will have to resort to YouTube. Still feeling sorry for that bird, Jude. Have a good weekend!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Boring chats to celebs mostly – I think Chelsea is for the wealthy Londoners to parade among each other. You’d think autumn would be a great time to celebrate the wonderful late summer flowers, the fruits, the veg, but it failed in doing that. The show gardens were all very samey. Anyway, I’ll never go there.

      1. restlessjo says:

        I would have liked to, once upon a time. I feel the same about the Summer show at Harlow Carr. The Autumn one is nice though. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•

  2. beetleypete says:

    I was watching a buzzard circling over Hoe Rough yestrday. I later dound what was left of a Wood Pigeon, and I think it had been that Buzzard’s breakfast.
    My cousin was able to show his giant pumpkin at the CFS. Asyou say, a big carbon footprint required to get it from Essex to Chelsea on a truck, and home again.

    Family Fame! My Cousin’s Pumpkin

    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes I saw that pumpkin. A pity they didn’t make more of the wonderful autumn flowers and veg.

  3. margaret21 says:

    Oh poor buzzard – there seem to be a lot of them around just now. I was unaware of Chelsea – I’m one of the few million or so without TV for the last month when the Bilsdale transmitter was burnt down. But your comments make perfect sense. As ever, your photos are a delight. But I didn’t realise you didn’t grow veg. Or do you just not grow brassicas?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Can you not watch programmes on iplayer? Although I found the coverage quite boring and repetitive this year, Chelsea is not what it used to be. I only grow flowers and herbs, dabble with tomatoes and chillies and salad leaves – this year aubergines, but a complete failure.

      1. Aubergines are tricky I have found. But I was trying to grow them in Wales (in a polytunnel).

        1. Heyjude says:

          Mine were inside my conservatory, but the flowers kept dropping. I put them outdoors and when I came to compost them I did see some beginning to fruit, however far too late to actually grow and ripen.

      2. margaret21 says:

        It’s true, we have got i-player, but we don’t bother much. Well done on the veggies, despite the aubergine failure.

  4. I was fascinated by the shape of the small fly’s eyes. It would be interesting to know what the expense and carbon footprint of producing some the Chelsea Gardens is. I do enjoy watching it though. It seems a pity you’re not allowed to actually walk into the show gardens, merely gaze at them from afar (well I assume that’s the case).

    1. Heyjude says:

      I had hoped it would celebrate the lovely autumnal flowers more, but the Beeb seem more interested in talking to the celebs or the designers, but not about the actual plants used.

    2. Heyjude says:

      And yes the public have to admire the show gardens from the paths.

  5. fredgardener says:

    Wow ! Very nice set of close-ups ! The aster season has started here too and before reading my Six I was taking pictures in the morning fog and the rising sun. The bees, hoverflies gradually started to go to work.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Our morning fog has turned into afternoon fog! One of the downsides of being practically surrounded by the sea! Good for drops on flowers though.

  6. I liked your bee series, I have noticed similar behaviour here. Went to Chelsea once and spent most of it trying to peer over peopleโ€™s heads and actually โ€˜seeโ€™ a garden, very over-rated! I am sure you are right, it probably has a high carbon footprint. Missed the coverage this time.

  7. Pit says:

    Great picture of that spider! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was the sunlight hitting the top which caught my eye.

  8. What terrific photographs all round! How lucky to get a buzzard visitor AND capture it on film.

    1. Heyjude says:

      We often see buzzards overhead and sometimes pass by one on a fence or pole, but this I think must have been a young one, it sounded very distressed.

  9. Ann Mackay says:

    I’ve been watching the bees too, but nothing as dramatic as your bee fight! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your thoughts about all that rock are just like mine. The resources used and pollution caused by moving all that heavy rock so far must have been huge. It would be good if Chelsea went environmentally friendly – it might be a bit more relevant then! And I feel sorry for the trees.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one to be having doubts about Chelsea. Environmentally friendly and carbon neutral would be good! I’d also like to see more smaller gardens that we can all relate to instead of the show gardens, most of which I think are landscapes not gardens.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        Yes, it’s all too far out of the reach of ordinary gardeners. And I do feel that the RHS shows should be leading the way for environmentally-friendly gardening. Maybe it’s time for an completely new form of garden show that’s entirely based on that, with none of the wastage, dubious use of precious resources or pollution etc. That would be amazing!

  10. Roguegarden says:

    I love the interactions you’ve captured here. I wonder if the macro lens encourages you to look closer. If so, I need to get one.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The macro lens certainly makes me look closer, if I set it to 1:1 then I have to be about 4 cm from the subject. It is amazing the details you see.

      1. Roguegarden says:

        That sounds enticing, particularly as a way of becoming better acquainted with and informed about, insects.

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