"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

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Garden and brief trip to Herefordshire


Especially for Rustic Pumpkin here are the weeded herb pots! Courtesy of OH who decided to tidy the patio.

The herbs I ordered by post from the National Herb Centre and planted in the border are doing well as are the three lavender plants I bought.

Monbretia will be flowering soon.

No idea what this small shrub is but bees love the flowers. Thanks to Edward Evans - this is a variety of Spirea.

I have had a Passion Flower clambering over an arch for years and some of you will remember that last year it flowered for the first time. This year it is covered in buds and the first flowers are appearing.

Passion flowers have become a symbol of Christ's passion over the centuries and were, therefore, often planted in monastery gardens. The flower symbolised elements of the Crucifixion:

Five anthers represent the five wounds
The triple style represents the nails
The centre of the flower represents the pillar of the cross
The filament symbolises the crown of thorns
The calyx symbolises the halo and
the ten petals represent the ten true apostles

First garden blackberries

Rowan berries are forming.

First turnips from the garden. I made turnip and tater pie which is basically mashed potatoes, carrots and turnips put in a dish in layers covered in grated cheese and put in the oven for 20 minutes. We ate the turnips straight after being picked and they were delicious.


We paid a brief visit to the caravan in Herefordshire at the weekend - just stopping one night. The main purpose of the visit was to take more food and kitchen items and to show it to D as he hadn't been before. We came back early afternoon on the Sunday as we wanted to watch an important Villa match late afternoon.

Early Saturday evening we walked down to the pool and meadow.

I've started keeping lists of the wild flowers, birds and insects I see on the site.

Thistle (exact species of thistle I am not sure of - still working on it!) Edit this is Marsh Thistle thanks to Edward Evans via comments.

Self Heal


Rosebay Willowherb

Herb Robert

Greater Reedmace by the pool


Tiny yellow water lilies are coming into flower.

Wild arum berries are forming


I am still trying to positively id this little yellow flower but think it may be Yellow Pimpernel? Edit - thanks again to Edward Evans confirming this is Yellow Pimpernel.

As mentioned before we have inherited a little garden from whoever occupied the plot before and there is a little apple tree. First of the apples to be picked has been commandeered by Timothy!

Although some way away but viewable from the dining table I am going to watch this tree througout the seasons.

The night sky is very clear at the site and around 11.30 p.m. we looked for the comet which we could see just below the Plough. D tried, without success, to get a photo.

I took a feeder and fat balls for the feeding station and I spent a lot of time sat at the back of the caravan watching birds come to the feeding station.

B has reclaimed the bird bath which was lurking at the back of the garden, given it a clean and filled it with water.

Long-tailed Tit and House Sparrow on the feeders. Blue tits were regular visitors too.



Sunday morning a short walk along the lane



Normally we travel down the M5 and get off just south of Worcester and cut across country via Bromyard to the caravan site. But there are massive roadworks just after you get off the motorway which can create long delays so we decided to try a different route home cutting across country to Ombersley and Witley and then getting on the M5 at Drotwich.

Oast House


However, we got lost! and ended up in Tenbury Wells


It didn't really matter as we were able to get A roads to Ombersley from there.

Fields of Hop Bines in Worcestershire.


We got home in time for the Villa match and results went our way so thankfully Villa stay in the Premiership next season.

*D Photos taken by my son with the Canon SX50HS bridge camera

Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera

Reference: Discovering the Folklore of Plants by Margaret Baker (Shire Classics)

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Garden, Butterflies, Books and a Local Walk


Last week I saw my first Gatekeeper of the year in the garden and also the first Small Copper.

Small Copper

Butterfly Conservation's annual "Big Butterfly Count" started recently and I shall probably do several in the garden. The first at the weekend resulted in Small White x 2, Gatekeeper x 1, Speckled Wood x 1, Peacock x 2,Large White x 1 and Comma x 1.

Garden Flowers

Buddleia is now flowering just in time for the butterfly counts :)


Pot Marigold

A month or so back I thought I had lost the oregano I was growing in a pot as I forgot to water it during a dry spell. I watered if madly for several days after I found the leaves all shrivelled and then decided it wasn't going to recover but oh look! the other day I spotted that new leaves were appearing and it had survived! The pot by the way has now been "weeded"

In the wild flower mini meadow - Self Heal, Scabious and Knapweed are now flowering.

I spotted this unusual insect on an astrantia flower. It is a Digger Wasp Cerceris rybyensis Many thanks to Steven Falk on Twitter who identified it for me.


This is a lovely little poetry book by a lady who grew up on a farm near Coleshill. Many of the verses related to local places such as Coleshill and Lapworth.

The Ann Cleeves "George and Molly" books are improving as the series progresses and I really enjoyed this.

This had a rather disturbing topic of a missing child but the book was very good. Another series I am enjoying immensely.

On Sunday D and I went a walk and found a public footpath at Bickenhill which we had not used before. The hedgerows especially with brambles in flower were very good for butterflies - Commas, Red Admirals, Small Tortoisehells, Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown and "Whites".




The lane reached a field and again we walked along the hedgerow towards the M42 in the far distance.

Soldier Beetle

Meadow Brown

Common Toadflax







This old phone box has been converted into a place where people leave books they no longer want for other people to borrow which is a lovely idea.


It was a nice walk and good to get out in the sunshine and we didn't see anyone at all on the footpath or in the field. The countryside finally seems to be becoming quieter or at least locally.

*D Photos taken by my son with the Canon SX50HS bridge camera

Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera