Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wild About My Garden


It's Wild About Gardens Week, so I thought I'd show you some of the latest wildlife photographs from VP Gardens. This year's theme is gardening for pollinators, so I've started with a common carder bee on Agastache 'Blackadder'. This has been in flower since May and is my number one bee plant this year.


I've enjoyed watching the lavender go 'sproing' when the bees land on it over the past few weeks. It's still warm enough to eat lunch and drink coffee on the patio so this has been great entertainment as the pot is right next to the bench where I sit.


Of course the mass descent of small tortoiseshells into my garden happened after the Big Butterfly Count finished last month. The red admiral butterfly always makes a late appearance here and I've yet to capture one with my camera...


I had a bit of a surprise whilst tidying up my tomatoes recently. I heard a kerploosh in the water tray below and thought I'd dropped one in there. About a minute later this handsome chap appeared instead. I wondered about the lack of slugs around my tomatoes, now I know why.


I've not really thought that much about the harvestmen in my garden before, but finding this one posing in my dahlia pot made me go and find out a little more. It's another of those unsung but useful invertebrates which help to keep our gardens tidy.

Warning... some of the more squeamish of you won't like the next photo, so scroll down quickly past it if you need to...


I always feel autumn is well on its way when these orb spiders appear. Later this month there'll be plenty of opportunity to take more photos with the webs sprinkled with early morning dew or raindrops. It's a magical time in the garden.

What's wild in your garden this week?
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Other recent wildlife related posts you may be interested in:

19 comments:

  1. What a cutie that frog is!
    I have those spiders, too, but I had no idea of their name.
    Have a beautiful&warm autum.

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  2. Lovely pictures, you've certainly got lots of wildlife. I tidied up the raspberries yesterday, and there was so much wildlife around, more than usual I thought. All sorts of spiders, dozens of crane flies, frogs in all sizes and there are still bees on the bee friendly flowers that the boys planted. I've so enjoyed having bees in the garden this year, I shall try and make sure I grow flowers for them every year now.

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    1. The annual invasion of craneflies into our bedroom has just started CJ - it's a bit alarming when they fly into your face after we've put out the light!

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  3. Great images VP, so nice to see wildlife being enjoyed in gardens and photos are the best way to inspire the plantings of plants for pollinators - good job :-)

    Woops... now I'm a garden wildlife blogger and I missed this... thanks for the thumbs up! I've got some great hedgehog images and video footage to sort but perhaps not in time. I'm bit distracted at the moment :-(

    For blog visitors visiting Veg Plotting today and interested in seeing hedgehogs in their gardens - a dish of water tucked in a corner of the garden will be greatly appreciated. Watching hedgehogs at my feeding station (via IR cam) in the evenings I am always entertained by how quickly their little tongues lap up the water and how long they will drink for :-D

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    1. Thanks Shirley, especially for the hedgehog tips. For those of you who don't know Shirley and are interested in gardening for wildlife, she has the perfect blog for you :)

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  4. Spiders, lots of spiders! Everytime we go up and down the garden we had to break down cobwebs that they have woven right across the pathway. Webs out of the way are left alone though to do their thing :)

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    1. I nearly ate a cobweb with my lunch the other day! As I pulled the strand out of my mouth, it brought home just how strong those webs are.

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  5. Have you seem many peacock butterflies this year, Last year we had hundreds on the plot but this year they seem to have absented themselves.

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    1. I've seen one or two Sue. We don't tend to have many down here, so this year has been about the same. I'm envious of your hundreds on your plot - that must have been quite a sight.

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    2. It was - we have a row of buddleias on the plot and the flowers were covered but they flitted around so quickly that I couldn't count them. I should have filmed it really/ This year the poor August weather seems to have reduced butterfly numbers although we have had speckled browns which we don't tend to see on the plot.

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    3. We've had speckled browns for the first time in the garden this year and I saw one a couple of days ago in Shropshire too. It'll be interesting to see how this butterfly features in the Butterfly Count results - I wonder if our observations mirror a wider trend this year?

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    4. Just had a look at the results and speckled woods are bucking the general decline trend - up 28% this year. Looks like our observations are spot on Sue :)

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  6. Lovely to see the residents in your garden, enjoying themselves on your flowers. Today when I have been cutting back, I have left seed heads on the soil as there are so many Ladybirds about. All the plants seem to have 2 or 3, also plenty of shield bugs. We still have lots of various bees, mainly on the sedums and asters. Having had lots of butterflies all summer, now we just see the odd one.

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    1. It's a good year for shield bugs this year Pauline and it's great to see the ladybird populations are up this year after their very slow start in 2013.

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  7. Lovely post. One of the things I enjoy best about the garden is watching the wildlife - the bees are a special joy.

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    1. They're a great excuse to relax, enjoy the garden and to notice what's going on around us Colleen :)

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  8. Super. Looks as if you're getting a lot of fun out of the new camera!

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    1. I'm having lots of fun with my new camera - thanks Helen :)

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