The Arbutus unedo tree flowering in my garden at the moment is a great source of food for both bees and butterflies. Captured this rather grumpy looking Red Admiral butterfly enjoying the nectar today! The tree will carry on flowering for quite a few weeks and at the same time, the fruit from last year’s flowers will ripen. It is quite a stunning sight!
This scene reminded me of one of my favourite poems:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
by Robert Frost
Conkers are the seed of the Horse Chestnut tree and it is a very British tradition for children to play the game of conkers in the school playground. Leaving conkers in the house is supposed to repel spiders, but can’t say this works entirely for me!
If you are looking for conker pictures, the following picture is available for immediate license on Picfair
We took a tour of La Mare Wine Estate where we sampled some of their delicious wines, apple brandy liquor, chocolate and black butter. This is the 118th century farmhouse on the Estate, which has a very French feel to it.
After the deluge the sun came out! Everything was weighed down from the rain, including the Rowan tree with its masses of berries which are ripening fast and it’s still only July!
The Sorbus is also known as mountain ash as well as Rowan and in English folklore is said to have magical properties and gives protection against witches.
The old saying “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out” actually refers to the blossom of the Hawthorn, known as May blossom, rather than the month of May. Suggesting that if it is warm enough for the blossom to flower, it is warm enough to lose some winter clothes. It’s still a bit chilly here at the moment though! The blossom on the Hawthorn or Crataegus monogyna is absolutely stunning this year and the scent filled the air this morning.
I can’t get enough of Acers! In the Spring the fresh young leaves light up the garden with youthful promise; the leaves dance around in the summer breeze like colourful handkerchiefs and in the Autumn their fiery colours give us the most spectacular natural fireworks display. People think they are difficult to look after, but all you need to do is protect them from cold winds in winter and strong sun in summer.
Over the last few days the leaves on this sycamore tree have started to unfurl. I adore the crinkly copper-coloured new leaves – a sure sign that Spring has arrived, albeit accompanied by hail storms.
The Himalayan birch tree looked so beautiful in the sunshine today. It is such a tactile tree and I love the way the bark curls up as it peel away – it looks like shavings from a wood plane.
Enjoyed a walk in the sunshine this morning and marvelled at the beautiful blue sky which we haven’t seen for a while. The bare trees also seemed to be stretching towards the sun.