"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

Friday, 5 August 2016

Ryton Organic Gardens (and Bees Galore)




We visited Ryton Organic Gardens last weekend. A Bee Festival was being held on the Saturday and Sunday - sadly, by the time we had decided which day we were going all the lectures, workshops and bee walks had been fully booked :( However, the Garden had lots of bee-related stalls and was full of different bee species and hopefully I will be going on a second Bee Walk with Steven Falk at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens the weekend after this so all was not lost!

Ryton Gardens cover an area of 10 acres and are the home of the UK's leading organic growing charity (Garden Organic). There are many gardens each with a different theme. I have visited a couple of times before with a friend but earlier in the year.

There was a display on Biodynamic Gardening in the Reception area.

The herb garden in the right of this photo has around 200 different species of herb.

The World's largest flower pot!

Bees and hoverflies

The Kitchen and Allotment Garden which has companion planting and plenty of bee friendly plants.

These yellow daisy type flowers, which I have also seen in National Trust Gardens, were very very popular with the bees and hoverflies







The Biodynamic Garden

The Paradise Garden is a tribute to Geoff Hamilton and is divided into town and country gardens.

The Wildlife area had many features to encourage wildlife such as a log pile and bug hotel.

The Rose Garden which is planted with a mix of David Austin roses (by coincidence we passed his nurseries on our way to the Dower House at Morville recently) and herbaceous perennials to encourage biodiversity and reduce pest problems.

Murals in the Exotic Plant Garden

Even more ideas for bug hotels

B enjoyed looking round all the different types of compost bin

Low Maintenance Landscape

Apples in the Orchard

A lovely afternoon out even if I did miss the talks!. No cake this time as they had sold out!! but I did come home with another Verbena bonariensis. I did see some of those little pink/white daisies for sale that were covering so many walls in Devon. I really regret not buying a pot but B was hovering nearby and he is not happy if I but too many plants as he says we don't have room for any more. I am still trying to persuade him to get rid of the first big lawn (not needed now the children are grown up) and cover the area with lots of herbaceous borders and raised vegetable beds but as we are still considering moving it may well be a waste of time.

Apologies for the vast amounts of photos again - there will be fewer in the next couple of posts!

*D denotes photos taken by D with the Canon SX50HS

His bee photos were a lot better than mine which are heavily cropped as I had the 14-42mm lens on the camera.


Margaret Adamson said...

Sorry you were not wuick enough to book the lectures but you certainly thenhas time to take al thses gorgeous photographs. A wonderful day out to a great place. I hope you have a lovely week ahead of you.

Rosie said...

Lovely photos. There seem to have been a few changes since we last visited which was quite a while ago now. We took a friend with us to an apple weekend and she bought an apple tree which came back with us in the back of the car. I remember all the food in the cafe was apple themed too. Hope you enjoy your forthcoming bee walk:)

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - thanks so much Margaret. The gardens are lovely and there is a lot to see. Have a great week too :)

Rosie - Thanks very much Rosie. I do remember when I went with a friend some years back in the late Spring I loved the Bee Garden which was full of blue and yellow Spring flowers. We had soup in the cafe that time which was lovely. Parts of the Biodynamic garden especially the water feature are being re-developed.

Millymollymandy said...

I would love to visit this garden! Everything they have is the sort of thing that really interests me. I like those interesting insect hotels and especially the little shed that was for the bugs and not the humans! But I'm so disappointed that there was no cake - next time you must get in there early! No virtual cake is dreadful! :-)

D took some great pics of the bees. Guess he has found the macro button!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much Mandy. I do wish they were closer to you so you could visit - you would love them :) There were a few flapjacks left which would have suited D and I but B is a lot fussier :( !!!

He took dozens of photos of the bees (many blurred!!). I think he tried different settings, auto, av and macro. I must remind him to check again (if you can) and see what setting he was using for the better photos! Do you use macro for insects with your Canon?? (Apologies if I have asked you this before as I am sure I have!)

Caroline Gill said...

I'm sorry you missed the talks etc. - as we did this year at the Norfolk Festival of Wildlife, but it was clearly well worth going. The photographs are superb. I wonder what those yellow flowers are - they are certainly full of attractive pollen!

I love the insect hotels. I know there was a craze for painting bird boxes ... and then folk were worried that the paint could be harmful to fledglings. I painted my insect boxes last year ... and the paint has nearly worn off. I guess it may be best to leave them be(e!)?

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much Caroline. I really should have got my act together but the problem was not knowing which day we would go and who would come with me. The Bee id workshop is the one I really would have liked to have gone on.

I've just done a google search for the yellow daisies without much success - Inula orientalis looks similar but not quite right. I know as mentioned NT gardens have them sometimes. If I find out I will let you know!

The insect hotels I bought from Morrisons already had some paint on :( I think you can get non-toxic paints - there is a brand called Lakeland Paints which looks good although I suspect expensive. I much prefer water based paints indoors as I loathe the smell of other paints but OH refuses to use it as he reckons it is rubbish to use :( I think if I were you I would probably let them be(e) - lol re: that part of your comment :) Or see if you can get lead-free, bird-friendly paint/varnish.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - re: yellow flower (am still searching!) but it looks more to me like Elecampane (Inula helenium) although still not 100% certain!

CherryPie said...

I love your photos of the different bees. I am currently enjoying watching the bees on a sunflower in our garden. The sunflower was a gift from one of the birds :-)

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you so much. Bees in the garden give me endless pleasure too :) What a lovely story about your sunflower :)

Countryside Tales said...

You do find some spectacular places. It's a good year for bees I think x

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - thanks CT. Ryton Gardens are rather superb - wish they were a little closer :) Wonderful to see so many bees :)

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, RR, for your kind and helpful replies. I think I will leave the insect boxes as they are for the rest of the season. I used (child-proof) non-toxic acrylic paints. And, incidentally, in my art class, I have switched from oils which gave me allergies (cough) to Chromacryl/Cryla acrylics, which have been fine. I add thickener if I want an impasto effect. I still miss the blending facility of oils, though, and the fact that acrylics dry a bit too fast.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Happy to try and help :) I think to leave the insect boxes as they are is probably the best decision. I have noticed the RSPB suggest that if bird nestbox wood needs to be treated you should use a safe for animals water based preservative such as Sadolin and then only paint outside and leave to dry/air before use. There again perhaps what is safe for birds may not be safe for bees???

Interesting what you say about art paints and allergies. I know my son used to get dreadful headaches when he used to paint his warhammer models and any sort of household paint (unless water-based) gives me a cough. My husband has taken up art again since retiring and he has just switched from water colours to acrylics! (although not for allergy reasons - he is just trying different mediums). Bearing in mind your comments I will steer him away from oils should he suggest them!!!