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Jo's News and Views No 8 August 2023

Hello Everyone

Well, I'm not sure if Summer ever arrived but I do hope you have managed to enjoy your garden when the sun did shine for us.

Starting in the car park I noticed that the Quercus robur, the Pedunculate Oak tree, photo 1, was covered in acorns, photo 2. The squirrels must be full up from eating all the hazelnuts in the Kitchen Garden as they haven't started on these yet.

In front of the house the letters spelling out E A Bowles are still going strong, photo 3. On the front lawn were these Colchicums, known as Autumn crocus, photo 4, and nearby there were several clumps of Cyclamen sparkling in the afternoon sunshine, photo 5.

Moving on to the Kitchen Garden I stopped to enjoy the display of sunflowers in the annual flower bed, photo 7. I particularly liked the bronze ones, photo 8.

In the Glass Houses everything was looking bright and beautiful. In Glass House A, these succulents caught my eye, photo 8. In Glass House B, was this Dracaena fragrans 'Compacta' in flower, photo 9. In Glass House C, this display looked splendid. It is Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii', Plume asparagus, and at the front is Platycerium bifurcatum, a common staghorn fern, photo 10. I thought it was worth including them just for the names! Working its way across the glass roof here is the Aristolochia grandiflora, known as Dutchman's pipe, photos 11 and 12. It is a funny looking plant that I can never quite understand. Also, in this glass house is this delightful plant, the Billbergia x windii, known as Angel Tears, photo 13. The Garden Team were not sure of the exact species so contacted RHS Wisley for confirmation. Finally in Glass House D was this wonderful display of Tradescantia albiflora 'Nanouk', photo 14.

Walking through the Kitchen garden into the New Orchard I noticed that the Mespilus germanica 'Nottingham', or Medlar to you and me, was covered in fruit, photo 15.

Up to the Tulip Terrace next where the display there was so vibrant, perfect for a summer's day. photo 16. Then nearby in the Rose Garden was this huge clump of Rudbeckia highlighting the Old Market Cross, photo 17. At the back of the Rose Garden I was so pleased to see that the Tetrapanex papyrifer, the Chinese Rice Paper plant, had survived the very hard frosts we had and had sent up a new shoot, photo18. I thought we had lost it but just goes to show how robust plants can be.

Finally, my fauna collection for this month. It was great to see one of the Moorhen chicks swimming around on the pond, photo 19. I hope the other two have survived too. On the leaves of the Irises around the edge of the pond is where I saw the Common Darter, photo 20. One of the most common dragonflies in Europe. Then I spotted this rare sight at the end of last month. It was a dragonfly emerging from its underwater casing which when discarded is known as exuviae, photo 21. The dragonflies breed in water where their larvae live and develop for up to 4 years. When they are ready they climb out of the water and cling to a leaf where they metamorphosise into a beautiful adult. I wish I could have stayed there all day to watch it's progress.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Best Wishes



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