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Bees…

Apparently they are more and more at risk. Bees pollenate the vast majority of flowering plants on the Earth, and their counterparts including hoverflies are also under threat.

What with? Insecticides, that are used to control insect pests. These include Neonicotinoids that have been found to disorientated bees (as well as killing them) so they cannot find food.  Without them we would not have fruit and vegetables. But unfortunately big pharmaceutical companies keep wanting to sell insecticides. There have been court cases that stopped their use. But they fight back.

If only we could use non invasive alternatives. Biological treatments that would eat pests. Like nematode worms, for instance. The problem is humans need quick solutions to save crops from things like locusts. But I think we should use these things sparingly. There are many ecological and moral questions and problems. I hope we can sort it out.

I saw a face

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I saw a face,

I blocked out some of the photo, and added some lines to the result in a sympathetic green colour. The blue mecanopsis flowers form stunning eyes, the concave petals give it depth. The dark purple makes the mouth and upper lips. It’s a almost insect like, perhaps like the head of a dragonfly? I can see antennae on it. It’s something I enjoy doing, playing with images.

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My own flowers

Last year, painting of morning glory flowers and some poppies. I haven’t grown much from seeds this year. We do have some lettuce plants, but they have probably been drowned by the amount of torrential rain we’ve been having over the past few days. Some places have had a months rain in a day! That compared with six weeks of sunshine in April and May. As usual our weather is topsy-turvy. Basically because of where the United Kingdom is positioned. We get weather from every direction, the Atlantic, the Arctic, Siberia, even dust dragged up from the Sahara. We are a weather magnet!

I want to go and get some seeds and see if I can grow some nasturtiums for late summer bedding, and the butterfly caterpillars love them. They are a nice, spicy, bitter and peppery orange flavour when added to salads and cold soups.

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Drive into the countryside.

DSC_2718six weeks ago I ordered our hanging baskets from a little nursery in the countryside. It’s actually based at a small farm near Silverdale in Newcastle-under-Lyme. It’s set back off a country road and is basically a little parking area surrounded by greenhouses and shaded concrete platforms, each of which is covered in garden plants. Most of the normal plants seem to have been sold but we took some clematis, begonia, a rose and other plants as well as the hanging baskets. We have been going there for about six years, and each year we get what we need for the garden. Now it’s a case of rearranging plants and hanging the baskets up. You can see we’ve gone a bit mad. But as we haven’t been spending much lately it did mean we could afford it.

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There was too much to fit in the boot, so some of it had to go on the back seat. Be warned. With all hthe plants and soil in them they are not very easy to lift.

Will post photos when they are up.

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Daisies

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This summer I hope to see daisies and Vinca

green leaves and yellow flowers.

Aquilegia is fading, Poppy flowering in sun.

The garden changes so fast,

you have to run to keep up…..

climbing roses tower over paths,

Sweet showers of rain swell the fruit………………………………………

Soon it will be autumn again.

Fallen leaves and dead flowers.

Enjoy the sun

While you can.

Friends garden colours

Six years ago.

I took these in a friends garden because they were so colourful and interesting. I think some of the plants are Swiss chard, nasturtium, marigold, sweet peas and poppies. Most of the day the sun shone in it except later on when the sun webt behind the hill. Some lovely colour combinations.

Flowers

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A few flowers from the garden today. The flowers are starting to develop, the big summer plants are a bit swamped with ivy and scrubby bushes and so we have cut back branches and peeled ivy off trees a bit today. Only what you can do with a pair of secateurs and a small pruning saw.

We need to lay some pathways, and where a spring has erupted in the garden we are going to put a few pebbles to simulate a stream flowing down under the hedge. We live on a hill which is a very old Volcanic plug. The water percolates out further up the hill and we think because that was built on a few years ago it might have got diverted down towards our house. I don’t know….

Green spirals

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I want green, spirals, like pangolin scales. Cactus or succulent, indoor beauty. I wish I could get some more plants. One of ours on the upstairs window sill has sent out a flower spike. If it doesn’t get broken by the cats I will take a photo of it.

I have lots of baby money plants, and the one outside has survived the winter. But I’d like something more exciting.

I’m tending my orchids. One regularly flowers, the middle one got a flower spike on it for about three weeks, and the last one has tiny green leaves which were hiding under a couple of dead leaves.

Then my four amaryllis plants had only one flower this winter.

I love growing greenery inside and outside the house.

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Drawing flowers for a border.

sketch-1588435527385 I just drew these flowers, then tried to position them as borders for the edge of a page. The thing wasn’t working so I added blank pages to make it more of a border. I’d taken a photo of the drawing so there was shadow on the paper. I made a bit of a mess trying to use an airbrush tool on it, so there are some areas which are a bit to shady round the flowers. Then I decided to see how I could use it for a poem, so I wrote it line by line. Positioning each line in turn.

It’s not brilliant, but it’s not something I’ve done before.

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Blossom time

The sky, bright blue.

Clouds of cherry blossom

float above the ground,

tied down to branches,

so they don’t soar up,

creating pink and white billows,

high up in the cerulean sky.

Blossoming petals,

snowing down in the breeze,

landing on soil and paths,

scattered by the breeze.

Cotton candy flowers,

nourishing the bees.