I find the autumn fruiting raspberries are much tastier than the summer ones. They fruit on canes they grow that year, rather than the previous season’s canes, as with the summer raspberries. Simply cut all the canes down to the ground in February and new canes will form and fruit the same year.

Autumn raspberries

Cheltenham borough council have planted 75,000 square metres of wildflowers in the local parks. This particular patch had a mix of seeds which included Flanders poppies to commemorate the centenary of WWI, Ammi majus (Bishops Flower), red flax and cosmos. These urban wildflower meadows are so uplifting to look at and the insects were loving them too. Well done Cheltenham BC – may other councils follow your example!

Wildflowers: Flanders poppies and Ammi majus

I picked my first home-grown strawberries of the year today – a sure sign that summer has arrived (albeit with torrential rain storms! This variety is called Hapil and I have grown them for quite a few years now. They are the sweetest, tastiest strawberries I’ve ever eaten.

Hapil Strawberries

Lily beetles can decimate your lily plants. Learn to identify the signs of lily beetle attack and how to spot the culprit! This lily beetle had been munching its way through the leaves on my lilies today. I spotted the tatty leaves and went hunting for the little red devil! When disturbed, these beetles often fall off the plants and lie upside down on the soil where they cannot be so easily seen. I also found the eggs it had laid on the underside of the leaves.

Lily Beetle

It was another dull and miserable day today, so I didn’t go outside looking for a photograph. As always when you least expect to find a photo opportunity, I came across this beautiful sight in a car park! Luckily I had my compact camera with me – which just goes to shows a photographer should always carry a camera everywhere!

These cherry-sized crab apples really brightened up the gloom and was surprised the birds hadn’t eaten them.

Red crab apples on lichen covered tree