Arty journeys...


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Short walk on a very hot day (Coombe Wood)

I went early for my walk hoping to miss the heat - but the heat beat me to it and I had to cut my walk short

I dawdled by the pond - enjoying the shade and the reflections

One of the shrubs had a fiery red halo which reflected beautifully in the water

The gardener was watering plants

I popped in the cafe for a bottle of water - I had forgotten to take one with me but they had run out and were waiting for a delivery. I enjoyed a strawberry ice cream and a glass of tap water at a shady table in the Courtyard.

A tub by the big gazebo had this strange plant in it - I meant to find out if it felt as bristly as it looked but I got distracted when someone on a nearby table lit up a cigarette and the smell wafted over me and I left quickly

I took my sandals off and enjoyed walking on the cool damp grass

These are the flowers that my children used to pick and use as missiles when they were young

The Golden Rain Tree has quite a halo of flowers around it now so it looks as if there will be plenty of lantern like seed pods this year - unlike last year

More of the flowers are  opening on these tall spikes

Lonely Echinacea - the only one that is fully open

- most of them are still buds and haven't yet shown what colour they're going to be

Tiny pinky-lilac flowers - one on the left has opened

I really like the way the light shines through the strands that are left on the stem after the petals have dropped

I can't resist another photo of the quaking grass seeds against these shaggy little raspberry and cream flowers

Masses of blue flowers in the sunlight

Big fan shaped palm leaves

My sandals had to go back on for the gravel and bark paths. I sat for a while in the shade before emerging into the hot sun again

Tiny pink dancers

One gentle touch of the Beautyberry flowers and they disintegrate like dandelion clocks

Rows of crocosmia all facing the same direction

Sunlight through big lime green leaves

The big "unidentified" plant in the wild flower area has sprouted many tufty flowers now. I wonder if the gardener has identified it yet and I'm still wondering whether it will open further and if so what colour the flowers will be

Wild carrot flower with red middle surrounded by cauliflower-like florets and a circle of rose tinted clusters around the edge that are more open

Vibrant blue

Bright pink

Strange colour for a sunflower

A bit more normal 

Wide border - now overflowing with plants

Baby pink with bright pink middles

Something is on its way - what a shame I can't remember what it is

Spiky purple mounds are filling the flower bed near the gate

 Splash of yellow by the pond

A last look at the pond before I left

Thank you very much for joining me

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Butterflies and bees (Coombe Wood) Saturday morning

Cattle trough

Orange candelarbra primulas


When I was looking really closely at this bee photo on the computer screen later on, I noticed that these little flowers have a furry petals which I never would have seen otherwise

White petals with slightly fluted edges and a little pink blush at the centre

The plants in the prairie beds have shot up dramatically

Tall thin grass stems with fuzzy white fluff inside open husks

A pale lilac cloud of strange flower spikes

A mass of green dotted with pink flowers beginning to show

Sunlight through tall leaves and Echinacea buds

Tiny little pinky-lilac bobbles floating in the foreground on delicate stems

This might be a moth with its furry body, double wings and long proboscis going deep in search of nectar . . .

. . . like a bendy straw

My butterfly and moth identification skills are rubbish. I understand there's a "Butterfly Lady" who goes to Coombe Wood from time to time - I hope to bump into her one day when I'm there.

This butterfly is orange and brown with a pale border around its wings

This one wouldn't open up for long enough to let me take a photo of the full pattern on its wings. It looked similar to the one before but much paler.

This tiny one is sitting on grass and clover leaves

One solitary poppy among the grasses

Wild carrrot (Daucus Carota) also known as Queen Anne's Lace. That deep pink flowerlet in the centre fascinates me. Almost every Wild Carrot flower head has one

On some of the slightly curved flower heads many of the surrounding tiny flowerlets are gently tinged with pink

Regular visitors to my blog know that it's not only butterflies and moths I can't identify. I'm not good oat identifying bees or black and yellow stripy insect identification either. This black and yellow flying insect could be a hover-fly. Whatever it is, it certainly hovered expertly around the flower. When getting down low to take the picture I noticed that the underneath of the tiny individual flowerlets are pink too

My cousin goes to Kew Gardens as often as she can and she also writes a blog. She was there yesterday morning - see Photos by H. She wrote yesterday "as a kid, I always hated hydrangeas, for some reason; but now I love them . . . am obviously getting old!" I may be talking nonsense here but I think that when we were children hydrangeas were far more of the mop-head variety with flowers like massive pom poms but nowadays there are more of the lace-cap variety with a circle of open sterile flowers surrounding tiny fertile flowers in the centre. I still don't particularly like the mop-heads but the lace-caps are another matter entirely.

The remaining flowers on the foxgloves are at the top making them bow down

A few tiny white flowers on the plant in front of the banana trees. The hessian, winter protection, still around the base of the banana trees

Clear resin or sap (another identification problem) dripping down Korean Pine cones. When it has been there for a while it becomes white and granular

I couldn't resist another look at the beauty-berry flowers

Gorgeous colours of acer leaves in the sun -

There are at least two kinds of spindle berry tree at Coombe Wood. The little tree has the more striking flowers and berries than the ones at the back of the wide borders. Its buds are still tightly closed unlike the other ones

These leaves look fairly insignificant until the light shines through them

Cornus flowers are wilting and the petals are gradually falling off . . .

.. . . leaving their centres standing upright above the leaves

Some flowers are extremely strange

This view is so green - with little floating dots of red from the crocosmia

Quaking grass and little pink fluffy flowers

There were insects all over the tall unidentified plant in the wild flower area the other day - there were hardly any on Saturday. I wonder what these flowers are going to do next (stay green or burst into colour) and whether the gardener has identified the plant yet

Yellow rattle

Teasel buds

Round to the wide borders - and masses of purple and pink

A bee on the Astrantias

Looking closer at these dainty flowers that remind me of glass because they are so translucent. I love the delicate colours, the raspberry centres, the dome of them stamens - and just look at the partially opened petals at the top - the green veining reminds me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh stained glass designs

Contrasts - vibrant green against shocking pink

Looking closer - one of the little, almost luminous, pearly centres is visible in this picture

A plane flew over - not the normal kind

White in the sunshine - there are so many different kinds of white (as I have mentioned before on my blog). At art college I remember one of my fellow students making a fascinating artwork based entirely on white

These were creamy white fluffy plumes not long ago but they have changed into threads of greeny brown bobbles

Again I stopedp and admire the colour and structure of these flowers

Extravagant pools of red, orange, purple, pink among the green

Neat rows of crocosmia buds about to burst into flamboyant blooms

A sea of pink floating over silvery foliage

Bee coming into land

Pink flowers with shiny green insect

Creamy white butterfly 

Good view of the bendy straw proboscis

Love in a mist seed pods with bright coloured snapdragons in the background

Shy sunflowers

Delicate pale grasses waving among the bright upright spikes of antirrynums (snapdragons)

Back to one of my favourites - lilac coloured dainty flowers

Looking across the pond from under the willow

Massive gunnera leaves

The judging for one of the garden awards has either just taken place or is about to happen. I do hope the gardener wins another award - he certainly deserves it for all his hard work on this beautiful place

Thank you very much for joining me