Garden update

The garden is looking nice at the moment. A few issues with smaller plants behind bigger plants, but can look at that for next year.

_DSC1484.JPG

The rose campion has flowered. It will have little bursts of small pink flowers through Summer.

The foxgloves have finally come out. A bit behind others in the surrounded gardens. But better late than never. The hollyhock next to is also set to flower.

The roses are doing well.

 


The sweet peas in the hanging baskets are flowering nicely.

 


I have put more food out to attract in the finches.

 


There has been a good variety of birds in the last few days, so my efforts aren’t being wasted.

 

 

The wildlflowers in the border are bringing in the bees. The poppies in particular are seeing lots of visits.

dsc1470.jpg

The garden centre had a lot of dehydrated lavender selling for the 99p. With a few days watering it’s already looking better. I think I’ll aim to nurse it back this year then add to the front garden next year. I have one patch already and it’s smelling great walking in.

_DSC1468

While a few things are dominating this year and my height order in the borders is a bit of a mess the wildlife coming in is much more varied than last year. So I feel my hard work over the last year, much of it started during last years 30 days, is starting to pay off. The garden is gradually becoming a better habitat for more species.

30 days of wild: Day 4 butterfly banquet, music in the gardens

Today I used the 30 days app to assign a random act of wild. The first that came up was simple enough to feed the butterflies. So as we had some over ripe fruit in the bowl out it went for the butterflies. I haven’t seen any takers today, but from previous experience the butterflies tend to like the fruit when it’s gone a bit pungent. As there are plenty of flowers in bloom currently the butterflies may not be interested. However in Autumn leaving out fruit in this way can really benefit the butterflies.

IMG_0882

Then this afternoon we headed out to the memorial gardens. Hornsea has a new band stand and there are musical events planned across the Summer. Today was the Driffield Silver Band.

_DSC1119

There was a good turn out. Many people came to enjoy the music and sun. Alice wanted to get a bit closer to the action.

_DSC1123

_DSC1122

Her cousins joined her, although not sure what they made of the brass music from their faces. But I rather it was rather jolly.

_DSC1124

So Evie and Alice went to explore more of the gardens.

The gardens are looking lush with some daisies attracting lots of bees._DSC1135

Then back for another barbecue in the sun, more eating out. Tomorrow I return back to work, so it will be time to start 30 days wild with my class.

One last picture from my own garden today. The garden is full of dragonflies at the moment and this one obligingly posed on one of the roses in glorious full bloom.

_DSC1118

A hidden gem

Today has been wet and miserable, so we decided to head out to the garden centre to do a quick run out for compost. However we never made it. We’d forgotten garden centres are where people go for bank holidays, so we turned round in the car park and came back the way we’d come. We didn’t head home though we made the decision to go to Wassand Hall.

Wassand Hall is a regency house just outside Hornsea. The mere where we visit regularly is part of its estates, but neither of us have ever been to the hall and gardens. But I’m glad we decided to today. The hall hosts an amazing arboretum with some enormous specimens of trees that have the feel of a Canadian wilderness.

_DSC0706

There was a vintage car display on, although neither of us has any interest in cars we were amused by what classes as vintage.

We didn’t pay the extra for entry as it didn’t look great for pram manoeuvring. But it has the look of a setting for a MR James or Caranaki ghost finder story.

The walled garden were restored in 1997 and contain a series of courtyards. They follow standard country house layouts, but done with style. The first courtyard is square shaped with the standard fountain and laburnum arches in the corners, nothing to rival Bodnant Gardens but pretty nonetheless.

_DSC0697

_DSC0725

The outer wall was covered in honeysuckle. If it had been a sunnier day I imagine this would have been awash with insect life, but the drizzle was keeping it subdued.

_DSC0713

The other courtyards comprise a pond, a herb and vegetable patch and the cafe. The greenhouse apparently contains a succulent collection, but didn’t notice this.

 

_DSC0726

After finishing in the walled gardens we went back round to the vintage cars to enjoy a Mr Moos ice cream. I had a rhubarb and ginger, while Amy and Alice enjoyed a raspberry ice cream. Being Mr Moos it was top notch.

Across the field were some of the cows I assume make up chestnut dairies herd, who supply our local milk.

_DSC0752

Refreshed with ice cream we left the halls garden to walk along a bridal way away from the hall.

We saw lots of bee activity on the wild flowers.

_DSC0757

_DSC0772

The pram was going to struggle going any further so we got Alice out to practise her newly discovered skill of walking.

 

 

_DSC0768

On the way back to the car I spotted a still orange form in the cow field we’d passed on the way to the buttercup field. It was so still we weren’t sure if it wasn’t a sculpture, but as we got closer we saw flickers of movement. I was very excited to see the fox. While I knew they were in the area since moving to Hornsea I haven’t seen any of these lovely creatures. It seems appropriate that on the day people marched in London to keep the ban I’d spot a fox.

_DSC0779

_DSC0789

We saw it disappear back into the bushes as we went on, but then up ahead further excitement as I spotted a rabbit. A bit too far for a decent photo.

_DSC0793

But as went along the path I caught sight again amongst the trees.

_DSC0800

_DSC0799

An excellent end to a tremendous walk on a day we weren’t sure we’d go out. Wassand Hall was a wonderful hidden gem and I’m sure we’ll revisit.

Quest for a hat

Today me and the family headed out for a walk to the Freeport Shopping Centre to look for a new sun hat for me. The day has been lovely with the sun out bringing all the visitors to Hornsea beach. The route to Freeport took us along the seafront first fighting our way through the crowds of bank holiday visitors.

After that we turned away from the seafront to go along the old railway line. It was Pleasantly  cool in the shade.

_DSC0667

Birds, butterflies and bees flew back and forth across the path. The cow parsley is all flowering making the path a haven for pollinators. There are still some trees in blossom making the route a wonderful mix of green and white.

_DSC0668

We made it to Freeport through the cemetery, which wasn’t too busy as with the baking sun most people had headed to crisp themselves on the beach. I found not one, but two hats as they were on two for one. I wanted neck cover to stop my neck getting burnt gardening and when I’m doing outdoor duty at work. Now I’m back in Foundation Stage I’m out for full mornings.

On the way back Alice was restless in the prom kicking her legs.

_DSC0670

The last few days she has started to walk without support of holding onto one of us. So we got her out to have a walk in the cemetery. Initially she wanted to hold onto both of us, then just Amy.

_DSC0675

Confidence gained, she was off on her own. She’s very proud of herself. We’ve had little tantrums of frustration the last month as she’s wanted to be off, but couldn’t manage. So it’s nice to see her managing. Now we can start building up the miles ready to go exploring.

So while many in our area have been off at the radio one big weekend Alice is walking amongst the daisies in her own Woodstock with her psychedelic vest.

_DSC0677

_DSC0679

We seem to find robins each visit to the cemetery and today was no exception. He was hopping close along the branches, perhaps interested to see Alice’s new walking development.

_DSC0681

The flowers laid out were drawing in a number of butterflies, but only captured the red admiral.

Then back along the railway line I captured a snap of a crow in flight. I like seeing the close up of the wonderful wing structure of this ever stylish black shadow gliding into the trees. They are spectacular birds in flight.

_DSC0685

 

_DSC0686

So a successful shopping trip out. A nice stretch of Alice’s legs and some wildlife spotted along the way. I love how much we can do within walking distance of our house.

IMG_0868

Two wildlife surveys

Last year I took part in the Great British Bee Count for friends of the earth. This survey allowed you to either log how many bees you saw in a set time or to log sightings of species. I loved the app. It was simple to use. Take a photo of the bee on your phone, then it gave an identification sheet. I became a bit obsessed chasing bees. The hunt returns 19th May.

bee

The Woodland Trust have another survey, The Big Bluebell Watch. Over half the worlds bluebell population are in the UK, so the Woodland Trust want to know where you have sighted bluebells and if their native and non-native. Bluebells are traditionally a sign of ancient woodland and offer an early source of pollen to many insects. So the Woodland Trust wants to make sure they don’t disappear.

I’ve sighted lots along the old Hornsea Railway way and made my submission.

IMG_20170417_142556(1)

A morning stroll

This morning me and Alice took a stroll out to let Amy get some more rest. We headed out across town to Hornsea Mere. Alice has been fascinated the last week any time we go under the shade of trees her head darts about looking at the branches excitedly. As we came along the path to the mere she had the double excitement of branches and bird song.

 

The mere was looking stunning this morning with the sun reflecting off the water. Beautiful blue sky and a slight breeze.

_DSC0013_DSC0014_DSC0023_DSC0024

A great variety of ducks, geese and seabirds were resting in the sun. I’m going to need to work on my identification skills seeing a greater variety. I can pick out the mute swan, the canada goose, but too many of the others are just duck currently. There are also lots of faster moving smaller birds which I think are sand martins, but my lens isn’t able to take a decent photo at the distance.

_DSC0004_DSC0005_DSC0006

The waters edge has some lovely wild flowers keeping the bees happy.

_DSC0009_DSC0010_DSC0012

We then walked home back along a section of the Trans Penine trail along the old railway track and seafront. Not too bad for a gentle morning stroll.

 

Day 19-Bee happy

Today has been a fairly boring day marking school books and planning lessons for next week. We are having a focus on National Insect Week. We’re going to become entomologists over the next week. The field guides are ready, the pooters are out and the magnifying glasses are ready.

We are starting tomorrow by discussing what an entomologist is and what we think we might see. Then Tuesday when the forecast is better we’ll be getting out to hunt. Then Wednesday and Thursday having a focus on habitats and making habitats for insects. Then Friday we’ll finish with looking back on our favourite and least favourite finds. Overall though leaving it loose so I can follow the children’s interests.

Literacy national insect week day 1 powerpoint

 

I’m using several of the lovely videos from the Royal Entomology Society to discuss our plans for next week.

With all my marking and planning haven’t had much of a chance for wildness. On the way back and forth to the car to take school books in and out I’ve logged  a few more bee sightings on the bee app. Yesterday I only spotted white tail bees, but today added honey bees to the species in the garden. I’m loving all the new varieties of wildlife and plants I’m discovering about through taking part in 30 days of wild. I’m also  getting more used to taking photos on my phone. Managed a nice level of detail on the white tailed bees wings.

Two honey bees

More white tailed bees

IMG_20160619_100856IMG_20160619_100913IMG_20160619_100921IMG_20160619_130945

And a random tiny snail.

IMG_20160619_132323.jpg