Safari Sunday

Surprisingly, the butterflies are still around… Nights are chilly, sometimes almost cold enough for frosts. At this time of year, the Asters are very important for insects; this may go some distance to explain why I appear to be collecting them!

Small Tortoiseshell and Comma enjoy the Erysimum and Verbena Bonariensis

Oh yes, there is it! My one and only Red Admiral this year!!! No shots of it on a plant, but I did discover just how many insects like to sunbathe on our walls! Loads of flies, Hoverflies and Bees all along the wall, plus the Admiral and a Comma.

Oh yes, and I spotted the Magpie attacking the Apples in a tree… Nice, juicy red apples. I’m surprised we don’t get redwings and fieldfare round here with the apples??

Yesterday I popped to Dobbies to pick up some Paperwhite Narcissi ready to force; I hope they bloom at Christmas this year and not in November like last year! I also came home with a few more bulbs, a couple of ‘Queen Charlotte’ Anemone, a ‘little pink beauty’ Aster and ‘Queen of the Night’ Hellebore. Oh and a couple of David Austin roses also followed me home ‘Princess Anne’ and ‘Lichfield Angel’. One is intended for my mum though, so I need to decide which one I want to keep – I’d intended the cream, Lichfield Angel to be mine but I may change my mind!

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


15 thoughts on “Safari Sunday

  1. Lovely photos of the comma, glad to see that you have a red admiral at last! I am gradually building up the number of asters that I have, to benefit the garden as well as the insects. Have just bought some which will go into the border by the field when it is re-organised. So far no frost thank goodness, must bring a few plants inside for the winter, so will have to get organised.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I think we had a Peacock too, either that or another Red Admiral, it didn’t hang around long enough for me to get a positive ID. My neighbour has a large patch of Asters that the flutters normally love so that definitely helps to attract them and means I don’t need to have quite so many here (the Aster the Comma was on, is the same as my neighbour, her son gave me some).
      So far my Aster collection is at 9 different species, but I’ve a few clumps of some of them.

      I’ve been trying to get the bulbs planted, and it’s tough going at the moment – some areas that are heavy clay are just too difficult to dig. It’s like trying to dig into playdoh… I’ve ended up planting some in small pots so once they’re blooming I’ll plant ‘in the green’ in spring when hopefully the ground will be easier to handle.

  2. Hi Liz,

    So pleased to see you are still doing the Sunday safari.

    I have lots of Red Admirals in the garden and Commas. Although I have plenty of asters and verb. bon. I also put out rotting fruit. I find they especially love rotting pears and bananas.

    I have been planting bulbs, Camassia and cyclamen coum. I have decided to really concentrate on these as I would love large displays of them.

    The weather if awful….we have had so much rain in this part of the world. We do get the odd day of sunshine but most days are either grey or rainy. Nevermind, sure it will be a better summer next year 🙂

    Hope you are well and happy……..

    • Hi Cheryl,

      I think the Red Admirals were only in the south this year – I normally get a few here but to have my first of the year in October is not a good sign!
      This is the first year I also bought Camassia and didn’t realise the bulbs would be so huge! I haven’t planted them all yet as I’ve no idea where the rest will go… But I do need to finish the job before it’s too wet/cold. I also planted some Coum (I’d had them in pots since last year) and have sprinkled egg shells around them as you advised, so we’ll see how they get on.

      The past week or two have been OK here, although damp in the mornings so I cannot mow… But I want to get it done one last time. This morning was really foggy and chilly, but did eventually clear to a nice day as promised.

  3. It looks like the butterflies are still finding some warmth in your fall garden.

    I’ve has a number of wagon loads of plants follow me home this autumn. The beautiful weather lasted for so long, that it was a joy to plant. I kept adding more perennials, lots of bulbs, and then got ideas for new combinations of bulbs and perennials. This weekend I said goodbye to more of the lawn.

    • Hi,

      It is quite pleasant in the sun… When it shines! But the nights are chilly and frosts are not far away. No doubt the Butterflies will soon be moving to warmer climates or going into hibernation. I don’t expect to see them much beyond the next few days, perhaps a week or two.

      My garden is reaching full capacity; there’s very little spare room any more or few places that I haven’t yet worked on. This means I need to stop buying plants that I have no space for! I could remove some lawn but I want to move in the next year or so, and am very aware that many potential buyers will not like the borders as they are and I may need to add some of the grass back.

  4. I believe our butterflies are now hunkered down and awaiting winter …I already am finding toads buried in the ground about 5 inches down so it appears nature is telling us that the growing season here is done. Fabulous shots…I love commas!!

    • Hi Donna,

      I think our butterflies are probably also hibernating by now; the nights are too cold for them I imagine. I’ve just a few bulbs left and really need to find a good time to get them in before the ground is too hard or wet.

  5. Pesky things, roses, the way they follow you home. And all those other plants, so rudely leaping into your trolley and demanding to be given a new home! Note to self – really, really must find perennial erysium to plant in front garden. And possibly back. Of course all the plants in your list sounds necessary to me at the moment, so it is just as well I have my “no plant buying until you have the space to plant them” rule. Of course, perennials are much easier to find space for than shrubs…

    • Hi Janet,

      Oh, I know! But the roses were on offer and I couldn’t NOT get them…. Honest gov. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I’d planned to get mum a rose for her birthday anyway… Just means I’ve got it a little earlier than planned (her birthday is in January). I hadn’t planned on any more for me though, but I will replace one of the scentless and poor-performing roses from the front garden with one of these so it’s no problem.
      If there are any Dobbies near or on Anglesey then they usually have Erysimum, and the butterflies do love them so it is worthwhile hunting them down.

      Good luck refraining from buying any perennials until you have the space…I think I know how this will end 😉
      I think it’ll end the same way my ‘no more pots lining the decking and walls’ rule has gone………………………


    • Hi Crystal,

      It’s odd that the Red Admirals only just seem to have arrived; I’ve seen a few people blogging about them recently. Wonder where they all were earlier in the year – hope they’ve also managed to breed!

      Those pesky roses; honestly I just can’t seem to escape them! 🙂
      In all honesty, I do have too many roses though, but a fair few of those were here when I moved in and it’s now time to replace them with healthier specimens.

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