Arty journeys...


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Two Coombe Wood walks and a stroll down the garden

On Monday morning I had a walk in Coombe Wood. As I arrived I heard a splash and caught sight of a fish tail as it disappeared back under the water. I have read that fish sometimes jump to rid themselves of parasites or to catch insects

The gardener was working hard replanting the flower beds

As I turned the corner by the pond I was very surprised to actually see a fish jump and splash back down into the water

I thought I was quite observant but I keep on noticing things that I haven't seen before. A very colourful large leafed plant is trailing through the fig tree. I wonder if perhaps it had been green before and had blended in with the other greens around it but has recently changed colour (that's my excuse for not noticing this one before)

Bright autumnal splashes of colour are dotted along the pathway at every turn

I am very surprised at the length of time the plants in the prairie beds have been flowering for . Some which I thought were finishing a while ago have had a second or even third burst of life

The paths in between the prairie beds are very narrow and there are a couple of places where a little tunnel has formed as the plants meet each other - and you have to bend down to pass through

Here's my finger by the banana flower so you can get a better idea of the size of the flower

As I turned away from it to look at something else I heard the sound of something dropping to the ground - if only I had looked at it for a second or two longer I would have seen a petal fall off

The petals are thick and fleshy and very quickly turn darker brown

Sometimes I get so caught up in looking at the details that I forget to look at the bigger picture. It's good to look around and up too

I'm sure that last year this acer turned red before the leaves fell off - this year they are turning gradually and dropping a few at a time

Tiny seed pods on a shrub - some are empty and some still contain their seeds

Deeply textured leaves shone even though it was a dull morning

I'm still waiting to see what these are going to do next

Thready webs draped over many plants but didn't really show up unless there was still dew on them or if the sun popped out for a moment to light them up

Looking closer at the pampas grass - little bugs like ladybirds but darker

I'm fascinated by the way these strange leaves are dying - if you look at this one quickly it looks a bit like a grinning mouth with teeth showing

The gardener was still planting 

On Monday afternoon I noticed some new fungi at the end of our garden. There are several different kinds - these are really small and delicate with a slightly purple tinge. 

There are also some iris berries. They're much rounder than the ones that I have seen at Coombe Wood which are extremely flattened

Back to Coombe Wood again and the gardener has made amazing progress with the flower beds by the entrance

A close up of one of the colourful leaves I noticed for the first time on Monday

There are many tiny dancers (Fuchsias) in all different colours dotted around the place

 Holly berries - plump round and glossy

Yew berries - waxy cups 

I nearly stood on these tiny slender mushrooms which were hiding in the bark of the prairie bed path. They look quite big in the picture but the biggest one was no bigger than 2cms tall

All but the biggest one blended in with the bark

Dew drops on the fluffy grass looked like draped pearl necklaces with big glittering diamonds at intervals

Another look at the banana flower just in case this is my last look before the tree is protected for the colder weather. I want to know what it does next - do "petals" keep opening till there is nothing left?

The leaves on this acer are becoming more sparse - a carpet of red, orange and brown lies underneath

I stopped to photograph some winged seeds that hang in clusters.

I passed a large leafed tree which I hadn't really taken much notice of before - I'm usually concentrating on the puff ball mushrooms nearby but they have all been crushed by trampling feet - animal or human. The light coming through the canopy of leaves seemed extra green

Plump red berries - maybe honeysuckle

The Australian pine tree has several brown leaves and some have fallen off but there are now several areas where there is new growth

The gardener was passing with his wheelbarrow-cart. He had previously mentioned that there was a young walnut tree and he showed me where it was. It is protected because the deer had been too interested in it

The gardener also showed me that the Australian pine has either a new leader or cone and possibly new growth at the damaged top. I took some photos and there is definitely some green showing at the top underneath what looks like resin drops

Having had a closer look on my photo this looks like a young cone

Back to the tree with clusters of winged seeds and the gardener told me that it is a snake bark maple.

I have been so busy looking at the seeds that I haven't even noticed the amazing bark - so much for being observant

Another look at the spindle berries - they have almost all lost their orange dangling berries now

It was breezier today - and a few winged seeds twirled down to the ground and each gentle breath of wind brought a light flurry of leaves from the branches

Pampas grass - no ladybird-like insects on it today

More little dancers - pastel coloured this time

These little flowers are like tiny flames - red, orange, yellow - with a flicker or purple

A robin taking advantage of the recently disturbed ground where the gardener has been planting

The hops are coming to an end. Looking up inside the petals it looks as if they have been dusted with brown sugar crystals

Repairs on the toilet block roof continue. It will be nice to be able to go in there when it's raining without needing to keep your umbrella up

In the right bottom corner of the picture above there is a brick trough of tiny plants. These red daisy like flowers are only about 5mms tall

And these strange things are even smaller

 More dainty ballet dancers - red and magenta 

and magenta with deep purple

These look like miniature snapdragons

By the pond the old and the new together - I'm very surprised to see the old seed heads still sending their seeds flying

Thank you very much for joining me


  1. wow, what fabulous photos - love the ones of the robin, and the funghi, and the newly planted beds will be great, they look so neat!

    1. Thank you very much Helen. Yes the rows of new plants are incredibly neat. I like the way they start off like that and then do their own thing and make a tumbling mass of loveliness through which the tulips emerge in spring

  2. Great photos and commentary. It's amazing how much there is to see there, even in the little trough you pictured. My brother, Terence, is 'The gardener'! He does a great job.

    1. Thank you very much for your lovely comment. Your brother does an incredible job - the results are amazing and give so much pleasure to so many people!