I was meeting a friend at Coombe Wood so I went a bit early for an extra walk beforehand.
Having seen bumble bees in the last stages of their life cycle on my last visit, it was lovely to see so many bees and bumble bees happily buzzing around.
Masses of little buds are beginning to open on these little plants, which are almost hidden in the abundant growth of the prairie beds.
Looking closer at a bee and the curls on a coneflower centre.
I love the colour of the pink cone-flowers with the michaelmas daisies.
The gardener was cutting the edges.
Water droplet hanging from an abutilon flower - a tiny reflection of the stem clearly visible.
Acer seeds turning brown.
Very round seed pods, all growing upwards, each one with a spike on top.
Acer leaves changing colour at the tips.
Spindle berries - getting pinker each time I visit.
The unidentified (I still haven't found out if the gardener knows what it is yet) large plant in the wildflower area - covered in barbed green bobbles - they look soft from a distance but are spiteful.
If I hadn't gone and sat on a rock to wait for my friend to arrive I might not have noticed that the miniscule moss in the cracks in the rock was curly and had fluffy white seeds on it.
After a drink in the cafe courtyard we had a walk. The hops growing over the arch look rather splendid at the moment.
During our walk at one point, as we turned a corner, we could both smell a scent for a moment - it reminded me of candy floss but we couldn't work out where it was coming from.
A bee with orange pollen sacs.
Pollen scattered all around the centre of this flower and the stamens look almost as fluffy as the bee.
Plenty of pollen grains scattered around here too.
Peachy coloured flower.
My friend noticed something I hadn't seen before - one kind of grass had produced some amazing bottle-brush like plumes with tiny red seeds on - each plume had a white tufty tip.
Looking closer at purple and plum verbena flowers.
I watched a bee as it crawled round and round in an ascending spiral, collecting nectar and pollen.
Tiny flowers lit up by the sun
Such bright colours.
A glimpse of something else opening in the wide borders.
I like the flamboyant unruly burst of petals all doing their own thing towards the centre - curling here and there - a burst of individuality.
Mass of petals, happy bee - contrasting with the grid like mesh in the back ground.
The patterns in the middle of the sunflowers (any flowers to be honest) fascinate me as they open up and do all sorts of fancy things, beginning at the edge and working in towards the centre.
The sedums remind me of a patchwork quilt at the moment, with clumps of flowers at different stages, covering the plants.
Pastel greens and creams with pale pink and vibrant deep pink.
As I turned a corner I could smell the candy floss like scent that my friend and I had noticed on Tuesday afternoon. I still have no idea where it's coming from.
Very few of the cornus fruits are left on the ground now. I wondered if they have decomposed very quickly or perhaps they've been eaten by birds or squirrels. (I even picked one up to see if that was where the scent is coming from - it's not from them.)
The archways where plants meet above the paths are so inviting - it feels as if I am entering different worlds to explore each time I go through one.
Last year there most of the flowers were left on the hydrangea and they skeletonised over the winter but this year the flowers seem to be dropping off.
I wish I could get nearer to this flower but I'd have to walk on the flowerbed to get any closer and the flower beds are pretty full at the moment.
Strange holey, fluted lichen or moss.
Lacy network of buds over large shrubs. These will open later as showers of bells.
The intense colour of these berries stopped me in my tracks.
More delightful clusters of cyclamens have pushed up through the carpet of pine needles. We can think of Autumn as a time when plants die but there are new things coming which love Autumn and Winter.
A couple of branches have fallen from the big tree behind the hut.
I noticed the neat edges that the gardener had been cutting on Tuesday afternoon.
Callicarpa berries gradually turning colour.
Korean pine cones.
Abutilon bright and cheerful in the sunshine.
A blanket of Michaelmas daisies.
Drifts of plants, bands of colour.
The blue spiky bobbles have turned brown (Echinops).
Some of the tall grasses have turned gold and shed their seeds.
Other varieties still have seeds dangling from them.
I think these can also be called cone-flowers. I like the way they throw their yellow petals back and raise their faces to the sun.
Standing back and taking in the abundance of colours, textures etc.
As I walked around slowly I felt as if I was at an art exhibition, pausing every so often to take in another masterpiece.
Enjoying the broader view
while still absorbing the way the sunlight catches the edge of the petals
or illuminates a patch of green and yellow.
The zebra grass confuses my brain - I always have to remind myself that the pale patches are patterns on the leaves and not light shining through them.
Tall pink grasses in the sunlight.
A splash of jewel-like flowers.
The yellow petals really stand out against the blue sky.
The Quaking grass seeds are fragile now, disintegrating and dispersing.
Teasels and spiders webs in the sun.
Such regular patterns on these strange flowers.
Zingy citrus yellow.
Of course there has to be a cosmos or two (or three!) in my post while they're still flowering.
Sunlight glittering on the bees wings - they're covered in pollen dust.
Someone had hung several sunflower heads in the branches at the end of the long shelter.
Hops and blue sky.
Big fish (and little fish) in the pond.
Red dragonfly sunbathing on a rock
and another one on a curled up leaf.
Thank you very much for joining me.