Friday, June 29, 2007

Rain and cold

The weather has been so cold and rainy for so many days, I haven't taken a lot of pictures. Looks like it might be a nice day today... maybe.. I hope... so maybe I'll get some gardening done and take pics.

Here's a viola growing in the stepping stones amongst the chamomile.

A lovely viola with a watercolor face.

Feverfew self-seeded here and there, waving happily in the cold wind.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The farmer's field

(typical sounds heard coming fron the farmer's fields.)

This month' s Tree Festival will be hosted by Wrenaissance.
I thought I would post a few pics of the farmer's field, a view I see from our front door. There are several lovely big trees seperating the fields.

A May dawn.

The sun rises almost in the north here during summer solstice.

Early summer fog, blurring the sunrise.

My imaginary friend, Dusty, galloping along... hard to keep up with her!

A winter fog.

Crows in the sky. Sometimes those trees are filled with cawing crows.

One evening recently, a balloon was drifting along, caught a pic of it through the farmer's trees.

And finally, a Sims2 dress inspired by the farmer's field, with swallows in the sky.

If you too love trees, do join the monthly tree festival at Festival of the Trees. This festival will be one year old on 1 July, so Happy Birthday!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flowers of midsummer

Song of the blackbird. These are frequent visitors to my garden.

"Hi hi" waves a cheeky viola. There are several flowers opening up for the first time today, midsummer's day. The faeries have been through the garden and put thier magic spell on these, and the plants respoded by waking up and having thier first look at the summer day.

Feverfew, when these start blooming, I know summer is truly here.

The first field poppy greets the day. And as is common with these, it has planted itself into my veggie garden. See the rocket behind it?

A chrysanthemum daisy with a little insect.


And the first philadelphus flower.
Have a magical midsummer's day, and let's hope the fairies visit all your gardens.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Attack of the Giant Hogweed

Ellis Hollow has posted a link to show the differences between several similar looking plants. Thank you for that link! It's NOT giant hogweed after all, what a relief. It seems to be a cow parsnip, in my wildlife book it's called hogweed. Just plain hogweed. It's a smaller plant and has different leaf structure. I was imagining going out there in goggles and a radiation suit to get rid of the plant! As it's only a harmless hogweed, I will leave it, cutting off the flowers before they turn to seed. I'll leave this post as it was though, a reminder of a horrible nightmare that never came to be.

I found out a few facts about this giant hogweed I have growing in my front garden.

On YouTube, I saw this: Giant Cow Parsley
One of the comments there is this:
"Giant Hogweed stings. If you grab the stem, it vibrates in your hand and then it fires off a terrible sting. Also they can grow just about anywhere and are the only plant with intelligence. Some even have emotions."

In my younger days, I used to listen to Genesis (when they still had Peter and Steve, they lost it after those two left). Genesis had a great song about this weed. Here are the lyrics:

*Genesis* › "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed"

Turn and run!
Nothing can stop them,

Around every river and canal their power is growing.

Stamp them out!

We must destroy them,

They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.
They are invincible,
They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Long ago in the russian hills,
A victorian explorer found the regal hogweed by a marsh,

He captured it and brought it home.

Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

He came home to london,

And made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens at Kew.

Waste no time!
They are approaching.

Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter

Strike by night!

They are defenceless.

They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.
Still theyre invincible,
Still theyre immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Fashionable country gentlemen had some cultivated wild gardens,

In which they innocently planted the giant hogweed throughout the
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

Soon they escaped, spreading their seed,

Preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.

The dance of the giant hogweed

Mighty hogweed is avenged.

Human bodies soon will know our anger.

Kill them with your hogweed hairs

Heracleum mantegazziani

Giant hogweed lives...

In Wikipedia, I read this:
"n the UK the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1982 makes it an offence to plant or cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild."

It also says it is a photo-toxic plant, which
that after touching the plant, ones skin will burn and blister when exposed to sunlight. And the scars can remain several years. The sap can cause temporary or permanent blindness.

What kind of monster is this plant?? EEEK!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

June Bloomday (part 1,roses)

Song of the tiny wren, press the play button to hear one of the birds that visit my garden.

It's Bloomday again! Visit Carol's
May Dreams Gardens and see what's blooming around the world today. Here in Ireland, we've had several days of rain and wind and dark chilly weather. It seemed futile taking pictures this morning in the garden. Most didn't look too good, the flash went off several times. So maybe half my pictures are from earlier in the week.
First is part one, the roses:

Celestial Rose blooms start from the bottom of the bush, and new flowers open succesively traveling up the bush to the top. This is pretty much one of my favorite roses. The leaves are beautiful and soft, the plant has hardly any thorns, it has a magical scent.. like what I would imagine a faerie-tale rose would smell, the color is a soft blush pink with bright yellow stamens. The only drawback is that it is not a a perpetual bloomer, it blooms from mid June to mid July, maybe if I'm lucky, a few more after that now and then.

There's been a lot of wind and rain for the last few days, blowing petals to the ground. Can you see the cat? That's Pippin, he likes to lay there a lot.

The Dark Lady, she's in my herb bed.

De Meaux.. I had ordered White De Meaux, and gotten a pink flower instead. So I looked in the David Austin catalogue, and noticed that I have one called De Meaux. Not sure if it has reverted to its original state, or did they send me the wrong one. It is quite pretty though, a very tiny plant with small flowers, and a wondeful scent. Maybe I will someday make my "Pixie Garden" and put this cutie in the center.

Graham Thomas, I love the color, such a lovely soft yellow. But the plant itself is a bit untidy and tends to rust.

Marinette, a very spindly bush, quite slim branches, it tends to fall over in our winds. But lovely large flowers.

Wild rose, Moyesii "Geranium"

Scintillation, a slightly wild looking rose, very pretty and scented. I moved it earlier this year next to my shed, it will hold the rose up as it tends to climb.

William Morris. I moved this one out of the Peppermint Woods, and further into where it will get more sun during the day. This rose has the biggest, heaviest flowers I have ever seen. Thier stems can't seen to hold the blooms up, so they tend to droop. Luckily, it's a tall plant, so in the future, when it gets taller, I can sit underneath and look up at the flowers.

June Bloomday (part 2)

Song of the swallows, press play to hear my favorite birdsong of summer. I can hear them all day long flitting around the skies above.

Part two: the flowers
Asarina "Red Dragon" I have this haging plant just inside my back door, which I usually keep open all day in nice weather. Don't they look like long snouts with lips at the end? I think they are singing thier flowery songs in chorus.

Bees on the calendulas. My garden is full of bees this year, sometimes I'm afraid to get sage or thyme for dinner, as the bees seem to know when I'm near and get a bit perturbed.

The clover is blooming all over the grass, looks so pretty, I tend to mow around the prettier patches. Plus, I don't like disturbing all the bees collecting nectar.

Geranium Caffrum with the yellow zizia nestled inbetween. Sorry for the poor quality photo, it's just so dark out today, and the flowers won't hold still in the wind. Below is a pic from last week.

A couple people have asked about this flower, "geranium caffrum". They have mistaken it for corn cockle. The blooms do look very similar, don't they?

There are three honeysuckle flowers open already.

Self seeded Malva. I'm glad this came back, it always looks nice with the red rose next to it (which hasn't bloomed yet).
Rain rain rain... Well, I am glad for the rain. It had beed quite dry these past couple weeks.

No idea what this is, a weed? The flower looks like cow parsley, but I know it isn't. It has giant fuzzy leaves that look quite exotic. I like it, so it can stay.
*edit* I've ID it from my wildlife book. It's called Giant Hogweed. Where have I heard that word before? A Pink Floyd song? no.. Genesis! Must have a listen now.

My dianthus are starting to open.

One last oriental poppy. Soon I will have field poppies, I see lots of them all over, with buds. No blooms on those yet.

Thunbergia, I have that by the back door also, climbing up into the asarina.

And finally, I have to include the violas, sweet lil blooms. See the fringy pink in there?

"Tee hee" giggle the viola faces.

Other flowers in bloom:
Daisies (lawn daisy)
Dames Rocket
Feverfew (just starting today, one or two blooms opened)
Geraniums (scented and pelargonium)
Nigella (just starting a couple days ago)
Verbena (just starting a day or so ago)
Welsh Poppy

If you'd like to participate in the monthly Bloom Day, do up a post about all the flowers blooming on the 15th of each month, then visit May Dreams Gardens and leave a link.
Have a lovely summer! And hope it warms up for all you Irish and Brithish gardeners soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Early morning

Early every day lately, there is a beautiful foggy mist hanging in the air. As the sun rises, the mist evaporates quickly.

Busy spiders set up thier web first thing in the morning.

Celestial roses greet the day, slowly unfurling thier silky blush petals.

Bees buzz through the air, gathering honey for thier honey jars at home.

And Salix squeels in delight to see an ultra tiny viola, with winky eyes and petals dark as night.