"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Flowers, Bees, a Moth and a Moorhen at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

I managed to visit Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens for an hour last week on one of the rare dry and sunny days! I find it fascinating to visit the same garden on a regular basis to follow the changes through the months and seasons.

Melon Grounds

I must admit I am not overkeen on lily type flowers but they are certainly stunning visually.

Approaching the Green House

I love rock roses even though the flowers only seem to last a day - the pink flowers on this variety look as though they are made of tissue paper. We had the same species in our garden and lost it the winter before the last probably due to the cold weather and its one of those plants that I have replaced as I was so upset at losing it.

Worryingly I didn't see one butterfly as I walked round the gardens despite the sunshine but there were plenty of bees and insects nectaring on the flowers.

The Green House

Sadly, I seem to have missed the auriculas in full flower

Lower Wilderness

Perennial Cornflower

and roses

Angelica - this plant is usually buzzing with insects

Grass has been left to grow in the North Orchard allowing wildflowers to flourish

I then left the formal gardens to walk round the Extra Gardens which have a range of habitats - three ponds, an orchard, wildflower meadow, small patch of woodland, stumpery, hedgerows and grassland/scrubby areas.

There are always lots of wildflowers to see in this part of the gardens

Yellow Flags are in flower round the North Pond and moorhens are nesting again this year - right in the middle of the pond!

Sorry for the poor "record" shot - its heavily cropped as I only had the 14-42mm lens with me!

I spent ages trying to photograph this Chimney Sweeper - a day-flying moth. It was constantly fluttering amongst the various grasses hardly ever pausing and the autofocus on the camera struggled with all the grass stems in the way! So another record shot. I was really pleased though as I haven't seen this moth at the Gardens before.

This pretty orange flower growing in the New Orchard is, I think, called Fox and Cubs - a garden escape I believe.

I re-entered the formal part of the gardens by the South Kitchen Garden

The sweet peas here are far in advance of my own at home

Walking back to the Upper Wilderness

Part of the Parterre with the Gazebo and New Trellis in the background

A border by the entrance to the Gardens


The Wessex Reiver said...

Loved the chimney sweeper moth, and the fox and cubs. I think we have that in the lawn here, so will check, before now I'd been too lazy to identify it.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Andrew - so glad by the way you are "blogging" again - I had so missed your posts.

Must admit I first spotted the orange flower last year and never bothered checking what it was. This year I've turned over a new leaf and am trying to id any wildflowers I don't recognise!

Dartford Warbler said...

The cold and wet seems to be taking its toll with insects this year and will have a knock -on effect on the birds. I was only thinking yesterday that the angelica flowers in our garden are very quiet this summer.

My son has a patch of Fox and Cubs in his garden and I`m keen to get some growing here. They are pretty and the name is perfect for the colour and form of the flower heads.

Rob said...

It looks like that cracked wall in your 3rd photo need attention soon - an effect of the fine tree behind it, prsumably.

I also like the Chimney Sweeper - I've never seen one of those.

The bees' pollen baskets show how much they like the rock roses!

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - our garden too is very quiet insect and butterfly wise. Flowers like thyme and foxgloves are blooming and normally covered in insects and bees but this year not a sign.

Fox and Cubs, as you say, is so aptly named - hope you manage to get some established in your garden.

Rob - I nearly put a comment about the cracked wall in the blog posting - it does look rather ominous. I must admit I didn't spot it at the time but its very obvious in the photo!

The Chimney Sweeper (what a superb name!!) was very attractive - life "tick" for me! Hope you manage to spot one soon - perhaps in that glorious wildflower meadow near where you live :)

ShySongbird said...

An interesting post and lovely photos again Caroline, you certainly made the most of a rare sunny interlude. I could sit on one of those white seats and while away some time very easily after a gentle wander round :-)

I saw my first Chimney Sweeper Moth a couple of years ago and found it extremely difficult to get a photo!

My Mother used to have Fox and Cubs in the garden although she never knew what they were called and they were self seeded. Very attractive I think! I bought and planted some a couple of years ago but think they have disappeared, I must check! We also had that rock rose but eventually lost it. It was a beauty and the bees loved it.

Tricia said...

Such a sunny post Caroline especially in all this drab weather. So good to see your bees and moth I've seen so few flutters this year... hopefully we'll get more very soon.

A really cheery post .. thank you

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Many thanks Jan. The one thing I really do love about these Gardens is that they are so quiet and peaceful and relaxing. I keep promising myself that sometimes I should leave the camera at home and take a book and just sit and take in the beauty of it all :)

Glad I am not the only one to struggle with Chimney Sweeper photos :)

I must admit I love that particular rock rose species - sadly my replacement is at the moment much smaller than the original!

Tricia - Many thanks. I am so pleased you enjoyed the post - it was a relief to get a couple of hours sunshine and to see a few bees!

Toffeeapple said...

I do so enjoy it when you post a garden ramble. That moth is stupendous, I had never heard of them before; Fox and Cubs is a pretty flower, never seen that either.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Its lovely to know when posts are particularly enjoyed - many thanks :) I was so pleased with the moth sighting - sadly I had to contend with a call on my mobile at the same time I was trying to photo the moth and enjoy it!

Rohrerbot said...

Really really nice pictures of all the bees, moth, moorhen and flowers. Something occurred to me during you write on this post....staying in a spot...I mean really really staying in a spot to know that space vs visiting a place and doing a glance over. I am finding it super beneficial to revisit places over and over again because I learn about all the little spaces critters hide....and of course the plant/bird/animal connection to the various seasons. My particular focus this year has been the Sweetwater Wetlands as they are near to my home....just like these gardens are for you to your place. I really like the look of these gardens in your area. It seems that there is always something to see. Hope you are well and enjoying the start to your week. Chris

Ragged Robin said...

Chris - Many thanks. You are so right about the value of visiting and revisiting somewhere local and really looking rather than just a superficial glance.

I am fine thanks - hope you are too - have a great week.

ps Went looking for Tolkien's Towers this morning. Hopefully, a post later in the week :) And I am loving the first book in the Game of Thrones series :)

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens said...

Wonderful commentary and photographs again Caroline. During the 1940s event I managed to sneak away from the bustle and spent around 45 minutes leaning over the wall filming the moorhen and family who were going about their business undisturbed. I was quite chuffed with what my little Fuji camera got, and hopefully I'll get an entry written about it for the blog later this week.

I didn't much chance to photograph the flora at all last Sunday, But I'll put that to rights in the next day or two.

Thanks again for your supoport of the gardens. The 1940s event was my swansong as the press officer there. Never fear though, I will be continuing the blog, facebook, and twitter sites.

All the best

Graham :)

Ragged Robin said...

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens - Hi Graham. Many thanks.

So glad you got chance to film the moorhen - really looking forward to your post on that :) We've got an old Fuji Finepix camera that David uses a lot and we've always been very impressed with it. When it finally gives up the ghost (the battery compartment has to sellotaped shut now!!) - I think we would buy another Fuji - am very impressed with your results.

I would have loved to come along to the 1940's event - love your blog posting btw (will leave a comment later). Sadly mum has to go into a nursing home and I've got so much sorting out to do that time is very limited at the minute.

I'm really sorry to hear that it was your last event as press officer - you know Graham what a brilliant job I think you have done to raise the profile of the Gardens and bring them into the 21st century. Am really pleased that you will be continuing with the blog etc. Hope you might get the time now to start your History blog :)

I feel really guilty about still having your book btw - its safe and I will let you know when I can make the return "drop"!!!

All the best Caroline

Graham High said...

Thanks for the kinds words Caroline. You've not quite seen the last of me in print yet. I am going out in a blaze of er...

Solihull News is running an article on the 1940s event this week using some of my pics and prose, also my scribblings will still occasionally appear in the CB echo and Gazette as they are just modified blog posts anyway.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. This stuff is never easy: Please accept my best wishes.

I've got nothing but praise for the Fuji camera; they are very versatile little devices. It did brilliantly at Lichfield and Worcester cathedrals a couple of weeks back. Lichfield Cathedral is a very hard place to get decent pictures with snapshot-type cameras

The Moorhen stuff is now up:

I'm trying to make the history blog a reality. I've got quite a wealth of material accumualted over a number of years now, but I suspect we are talking at least 2013 before I will be able to post anything up. Lots of other priorities to take care of, and also this stuff needs organisation. One thing I am not is organised.

Don't worry about the book :)

Best wishes

Graham :)

kirstallcreatures said...

What a super post about Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens,it looks a lovely place to visit, and a nice comment from the gardens too. Rock Roses have such delicate flowers, my parents have a couple of well established plants that flower profusely.
Well done re your photo of the Chimney Sweeper, they are tricky little creatures to capture.

Ragged Robin said...

Graham - good news re: The Solihull News - I must ask David about it although he seems to spend most of his week news editing these days. It should give you good publicity.

Thank you so much for the kind words re: my mother. It is hard to come to terms with her sudden deterioration but places like CBHG help me to escape reality for a while and help me cope.

Lichfield Cathedral is on my list of places to visit when I have more time! I will remember your words though about flash as I really need to get to grips with the flash on my camera as it never performs well!

Good luck with the history blog - I'm not very organised myself (too easily sidetracked!) so can sympathise there!

I'm off now to look at the mooorhen posting!

Thanks again.

Best wishes

Kirstallcreatures - Many thanks Linda for your lovely comment - so glad you liked the post.

You wouldn't believe how many photos I took of the moth - the vast majority a blur of unfocused grass stems!

Graham High said...

The problem with Lichfield is with the windows. One third of the frame is bright light and the other two thirds are in darkness. This plays havoc with auto-exposure and focus. Focus can be fixed if you switch to manual but exposure involved a lot of guess and hope! :)

Flash can also be a bit problematic; many memorials are brass, or polished (or both!) so the flash tends to rebound a bit.

Other than that it's easy! :) :)

Best wishes


Ragged Robin said...

Graham - Thanks for those tips! At least they allow flash - many places like National Trust don't! Although having said that I have never got good results with my flash for some reason and tend to bump up the ISO instead but you still get a very low shutter speed and most photos are blurred.

I really must make the effort to try and visit Lichfield this year - it looks a beautiful cathedral.

Thanks again :)

All the best