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Jo's News and Views No 5 May 2023

Hello Everyone

Well, May certainly delivered some lovely Spring weather for us. Spoiling us with warm days and full sun which we all enjoyed, especially the weeds! The flowers in the garden have looked beautiful and here is a selection for you to enjoy. In the Arboretum the lilac trees have all been flowering. There is a lovely collection of colours and, of course, the perfume lingers in the air for you to enjoy as you walk by, photo 1. On the Front Lawn the peonies are flowering, photo 2 and 3. Also, on the front of the house and the side of the house is the Rosa banksiae, known as Lady Banks' rose or Banks' rose, photo 4. The rose is named for Dorothea Lady Banks, the wife of the botanist Sir Joseph Banks. This delightful rose is made up of hundreds if not thousands of tiny perfectly formed rose flowers, photo 5. Along the path at the end of Bowling Green Lawn is this spectacular Cotoneaster multiflorus, photo 6. This is another shrub that is covered with hundreds of tiny white flowers, photo 7. Further along the path on the edge of the Asylum area is the beautiful Paeonia suffruticosa 'Shugyoku Den', a Japanese Tree Peony, photo 8. It has flowered throughout May and the flowers are huge. I have used my hand to give you an idea of just how big they are, photos 9 and 10. Walking through the Kitchen Garden area there were lots of flowers waiting to be enjoyed by the visitors. The Irises are a little late this year but so beautiful that they are worth waiting for, photo 11. There are some planted in the bed along the New River Lawn as well now, photos 12 and 13. Even the Rhubarb was getting in on the flowering act, photo 14. In the Alpine Meadow and the Rock Garden the Camassia has now taken over for its flowering show, photo 15. The colours range from white to deep purple and cover everything in between, photo 16. Another delight in the Rock Garden was the Lathraea clandestina, known as Purple toothwort, photo 17. This is a parasitic plant and lives on the roots of an old Acer. Also all around the garden are the tall purple pompom flowers of the alliums, photo 18. Always a welcome addition to the border. On the side of the Pond is the beautiful Cornus kousa 'Miss Satomi, a Japanese dogwood. photo 19. The deep pink flowers stand upright from the branches and what we perceive to be petals are actually bracts with the inconspicuous flowers in the centre, photo 20. A tree that is definitely on my list of favourites. So onto the fauna in the garden this month. The poppies that are everywhere around the garden are providing a good source of nectar for the insects, photo 21. This juvenile Mistle Thrush was sunning itself as it was taking, perhaps, one of its first adventures out of the nest, photos 22 and 23. On the Yew hedge running along side the New River Lawn was this stunning Beautiful demoiselle Damselfly, photo 24. Yes, it's name is actually 'Beautiful'. In the Rock garden area I saw a Speckled wood butterfly, photo 25. A female Brimstone butterfly, photo 26. This is the bright yellow butterfly you see flitting about but the female has green underwings which only show when the wings are closed. This Peacock butterfly was looking a bit tatty around the edges but the markings are amazing, photo 27. Finally, a first for me a Mint moth, photo 28. This was in the herb border on the chives so that gives you an idea of how small it is, about 2 cms from tip to tip of its wings, photo 29. I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me. Best Wishes Jo


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