Arty journeys...


Friday, 17 June 2016

Afternoon Walk in Coombe wood (Summer planting and wren sighting)

Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk in Coombe Wood.

Looking through the gunnera which is growing incredibly rapidly - the flower looks like a bottle brush or a pine tree. The water hasn't cleared yet and the waterfall wasn't working

A much smaller plant, also by the pond, with very similar flowers. I wonder if they're related

The gardener had just finished planting the summer beds and was about to go and put plants into the cattle trough opposite the entrance. He showed me where there is a wren's nest. I watched the wren parents coming and going - obviously feeding young. Can you spot the wren in this picture?

Many black and yellow stripey creatures were out and about gathering nectar. Some are bees but some aren't. I will probably call them all bees. I really like the different stripe widths on this one and its huge eyes

This fluffy bumble bee's pollen sacs are bulging with pale coloured pollen

These have come out since my last visit - such a bright yellow and orange

I think these are exquisite - the palest pink petals with delicate veins, lemon yellow pollen on dark pink anthers and fine hairs where the petals join the centre

Have I noticed these before? Similar to alliums - they may even be alliums

Tiny rich red acer seeds peeping above lime green leaves

Crinkly flower buds growing from the rocks - that aren't actually real rocks - they are pulhamite - invented by James Pulham in the 1800's It looks like gritty sandstone

A drink in the cafe courtyard

 Hops growing rapidly around the arch

Pink roses outside the gents

Nasturtium - such bright orange and I like the way tufty bits on the lower three petals contrast with the yellow centre

Delicate grasses wafting in the gentle breeze

The prairie beds are filling out rapidly

Quaking grass - incredible shaped seeds

Gorgeous colour, lovely veins 

Lovely variety of leaf shapes and colours - and there's the rusty coloured fern in front which I mentioned a walk or two ago - now tinged with green

Looking closer at the fern

I mentioned the cascades of tiny white flowers on a previous visit. The whole shrub is now cloaked in lacy blossoms

The ferns under the trees have shot up so quickly that the fading of the lily of the valley happened in secret

 A tall leafy shrub with subtle little white flowers which are mostly higher up on the plant, is shedding petals which settle on leaves further down until they are dislodged by the breeze

Somewhere around here I noticed a delicious scent, similar to the scent of the yellow azaleas but they have finished now. I couldn't find out where it was coming from

Cornus kousa or Japanese dogwood (I think). The small ornamental tree has suddenly turned very pale with all of those subtle green hint-of-a-tint flowers

Some of the petals have a rosy blush near the tips

Bees lurked deep in the funnel like foxglove flowers

Some of the thick waxy red petals are falling off and revealing the inside

Hydrangeas starting to open

There's another of the green shiny beetles that I've not come across before this year. I have found a similar one online but not with the huge shiny thighs this one has

or this one on the poppy

Yellow rattle - I think the flowers look as if they have budgerigars or canaries peeping out of them

The grasses either side of the path from the yew arch to the little hut have been allowed to grow long and it's full of different colours from pale green to purple as well as wild flowers dotted here and there. A little strip along the edge has been mowed

Little purple flowers

Very ordered leaf formation on this plant

Pale fluffy flowers

A large black bird strutted along the lawn

It amazes me that the wide borders can be so empty for part of the year but things are happening under the soil  - then it all shoots up rapidly - you can almost see it growing at the moment

Happy bees - at least four in this photo (two in the background)

I love this delicate pink peony

and there are a lot more to come

Back to the wrens nest and further attempts to catch them coming or going.

Wren peeping out

Arriving - tail view

Looking at the newly planted summer flower beds - some areas are quite full already while others are quite spaced out. I know they will fill our quickly though

Mixture of yellow and lilac

Looking closer at the yellow - interesting that the bees were all over the lilac flowers but I didn't see any on the yellow ones

The hedge at the end of the long shelter by the sundial is covered in blossom and bees
Wandering around the newly planted flower beds

Back past the giant leaves of the gunnera - like huge basins collecting anything that drops into them

Finally the trough opposite the entrance that the gardener is also responsible for

Thank you very much for joining me


  1. what beautiful flowers again, and the wren is gorgeous, I don't think I've ever seen one before. it was very well camouflaged in that first photo, I only saw it when I enlarged the picture.

    1. Thank you Helen. I've seen wrens but never going to and fro from their nest and obviously feeding young. Lovely!