February 2024

Late winter is a good time to review things in the garden, what worked, what didn't, what to do next time. And late winter as it will be time to start spring tasks soon.

I noted what flowers the bees liked last summer:

Crepis rubra

foxgloves

knautia

sheepsbit

green alkanet 

scilla peruviana 

red campion

dandelions

iris foetidissima 

borage

poppies

giant scabious

echium vulgare

As I had to move recently, I won't have a lot of self-seeders this spring / summer but I have 40 packets of seeds plus some seeds I collected myself which I will track their growth at Seeds 2024.

Label!!!

 

muscari buds and a few rosettes

my plant photos always seem to be photobombed by one or more of my cats, I decided to check the muscari for buds and Rocky had to check them out too (Scarecrow in the background)

muscari buds

muscari buds

I discovered snowdrops in the garden the other day - I've never had them in a garden before

snowdrops

stone parsley rosette

stone parsley Sison amomum

common whitlowgrass rosette

common whitlowgrass

catsear rosette

catsear

shepherd's purse rosettes

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

this one is just starting to flower

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

swinecress

swinecress

claytonia

claytonia

smooth sow thistle

smooth sow thistle

 

very disappointing visit to RSPB Rye Meads, grassy areas severely mown, the only plants surviving are low-growing rosettes such as dandelion

dandelion rosette

and buck's-horn plantain

buckshorn plantain

buckshorn plantain

I don't expect a wildflower meadow but 15cm, or even 10, would allow something to grow

rye meads severe mowing

rye meads severe mowing

beaked hawk's-beard (Crepis vesicaria) rosettes and others

the first two I'm pretty confident they are Crepis vesicaria and a couple of the dandelions in my previous post I think might be

Crepis vesicaria beaked hawk's-beard

Crepis vesicaria beaked hawk's-beard

and some of these I'm not certain of

magnificent rosettes

The time of year for magnificent dandelions which will overwinter as huge rosettes then in the spring, fresh smaller leaves will take over, I look forward to observing these. I hope they survive. The last time I saw such nice examples, they were mown down, sadly.

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

dandelion rosette Edgwarebury Lane

Vivipary

I'd not seen vivipary (seeds germinating in the seed head) in my garden before until this year. I was excited to see it with my giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) in October.

giant scabious cephalaria gigantea vivipary

then a few weeks later after I put the seed head on the soil

giant scabious vivipary seedlings

Now I'm seeing it on my teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) in early December.

vivpary in teasels

vivpary in teasels

vivipary in teasels

vivipary in teasels

more leaves mid-October 2023

further to my recent Leaves post here are the latest leaves in my garden

Centaurea dealbata (Persian cornflower, now Psephellus dealbatus)

centaurea dealbata

garlic mustard first year (selfheal above and below)

garlic mustard

similar round leaves of campanula

campanula

aquilegia

aquilegia

red campion

red campion

green alkanet

green alkanet

green alkanet on the left

green alkanet

red campion right, others are green alkanet

green alkanet red campion

selfheal

selfheal

selfheal

nepeta

nepeta

one of what I like to call a Frankenstein plant, hairy bittercress and forget-me-not growing as if one plant

some unknown seedlings

nepeta possibly with another seedling as those above

end of Sept 2023

scabious with bee

scabious bee

borage with bee

borage with bee

sawwort

sawwort

fox-and-cubs

fox-and-cubs

knautia macedonica

knautia

knautia macedonica

RSPB Rye Meads end of Sept 2023

some rosettes

bristly oxtongue

bristly oxtongue Helminthotheca echioides

horseweed (Erigeron canadensis)

erigeron canadensis horseweed

another horseweed

erigeron canadensis horseweed

buck's-horn plantain with spent flowers

buck's-horn plantain rye meads Plantago coronopus

early buck's-horn plantain rosette before flowers

buck's-horn plantain rye meads Plantago coronopus

ribwort plantain with spent flowers

ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata

teasels

teasels

left to right, honesty, comfrey, milk thistle above and below the comfrey

bellis perennis left and broad-leaved plantain right

yarrow

yarrow

spear thistle

spear thistle

hawkweed oxtongue

hawkweed oxtongue

Verbascum thapsus

bristly oxtongue in bloom

Helminthotheca echioides bristly oxtongue

yarrow with ladybird

yarrow ladybird

perennial sow thistle

perennial sow thistle

geranium molle

geranium molle

gypsywort with spent flowers

gypsywort  Lycopus europaeus

gypsywort Lycopus europaeus

Verbascum, detail

verbascum thapsus

Verbascum

verbascum thapsus

teasel

teasel

spear thistle

spear thistle

lichen on hawthorn

lichen hawthorn

September 2023

a late fox-and-cubs

fox-and-cubs Pilosella aurantica

corn marigold

corn marigold

 

September Rosettes

 

spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

spear thistle cirsium vulgare

hawkweed oxtongue (Picris hieracioides)

hawkweed oxtongue rosette Picris hieracioides

tree spinach (Chenopodium giganteum)

tree spinach chenopodium giganteum

hoary mustard (Hirschfeldia incana)

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

hawkweed (Hieracium) with a persicaria behind

hawkweed hieracium

bristly oxtongue (Helminthotheca echioides)

bristly oxtongue Helminthotheca echioides

shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

shepherds purse capsella bursa-pastoris

hoary mustard in bloom with extant basal rosette, left and hawkweed oxtongue, right

hoary mustard hawkweed oxtongue

catsear (Hypochaeris radicata)

catsear Hypochaeris radicata

broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) in bloom

broadleaf plantain plantago major

dandelion

dandelion

hoary mustard (Hirschfeldia incana)

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

Leaves - foxglove, borage, green alkanet, etc

snapshot of leaves late summer

When I noticed the buds on the borage in the pot below, I realised how difficult it can be to differentiate plants based on leaves. It could have been green alkanet only the buds made it definitive. Some leaves can be so similar.

I noticed I had a few similar plants in my garden and took some photos. I was thinking they were from only a couple plant families but, in fact, five: Asteraceae (lesser knapweed, fox-and-cubs, melancholy thistle), Boraginaceae (borage, green alkanet, pulmonaria), Brassicaceae (honesty), Caprifoliaceae (Knautia macedonica, teasel, red campion), Plantaginaceae (Foxglove),  Scrophulariaceae (buddleja). This is a snapshot of leaves in my garden this week.

left to right, foxglove, borage, teasel

foxglove borage teasel

and a few days later, thinking corn marigold bottom left

foxglove borage teasel corn marigold

green alkanet, borage

borage green alkanet

borage

borage Borago officinalis

green alkanet with a late flower

green alkanet self-seeded in this pot, it is a great self-seeder

green alkanet Pentaglottis sempervirens

foxglove left, green alkanet right, Chinese lantern top of trough

foxglove green alkanet chinese lantern

in the pot below: top teasel, below fox-and-cubs, right red campion (better view below) and green alkanet

teasel green alkanet fox-and-cubs

fox-and-cubs

fox-and-cubs

red campion, teasel left, green alkanet below

red campion silene dioica

left Japanese anemone, right Pulmonaria rubra

pulmonaria rubra

lesser knapweed (Centaurea nigra)

lesser knapweed centaurea nigra

another view of the knapweed

lesser knapweed centaurea nigra

left knautia macedonica, right fringecups, below right green alkanet

knautia macedonica fringecups

melancholy thistle, bottom right green alkanet

melancholy thistle cirsium hetero phyllum

honesty

honesty lunaria annua

wood avens

wood aven geum urbanum

forget-me-not

forget-me-not

black nightshade

black nightshade

buddleja

buddleja

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