school garden

school garden

Monday, 2 November 2015

"It is better to be slapped with the truth...

than be kissed with a lie"

A Russian proverb

With the Jurassic viewing deck completed the group have returned to gardening.  It was decided to revamp a couple of the beds as they had not been looked at for many years.  The original 'bee bed' has been completely stripped and the plants divided and potted up to overwinter in a holding bed.  The old bed will be dug over several times.  The original plants will be placed elsewhere and it is envisaged that the bed will have a short lavender hedge around the edge and the inside filled with other similar insect loving plants.

The old 'bee bed' being cleared

Globe Artichokes divided and potted up

Around the garden a lot of flowers and colour is still in evidence.  Sunday was a balmy 19C in the garden.  Lots of insects were still on the wing including a Ruddy Darter dragonfly, several Buff-tailed Bumble-bees, a Tree Bumblebee and many hoverflies.  Red Admiral, Painted lady and Speckled Wood butterflies were also noted.

The moth trap was run a few nights last week.  Although getting near the end of the season it is always worth running on a calm night.  Our efforts paid off and we trapped a good moth- the Oak Rustic. A newcomer in Dorset since 2006 having moved from the Channel Islands.  it is thought to be now breeding in the Weymouth area and the foodplant of the larvae is Evergreen Oak-  we have plenty in the grounds! 

The moth trap

Oak Rustic

Angle Shades

Scarce Bordered Straw- an migrant species

In the bird garden a small net was put up and again efforts were rewarded.  A surperb male Firecrest was trapped and ringed- a real jewel of a bird.  Weighing in at just 5 grams these birds migrate large distances.

Male Firecrest

Detail of the head

The flower beds still show off colour

Cosmos flowers

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Lithops in the greenhouse

Periwinkle- a lovely pastel blue flower

The cacti have been replanted and look better for it!

New staging in the greenhouse has given us more room to bring on plants for next Spring

With mild weather forecast for a little longer the flowers and insects should still be present in the garden.  Finally a date for your diaries.  The School Carol service held yearly in the garden will be on Sunday December 6th.  Time and further details nearer the event.  It is hoped that our good friends from Highclere House will join us again for what is a lovely evening.