Tree Following: September 2015

For more information on Tree Following, take a look at Loose and Leafy.

Haws

Haws

Ivy growing in the hawthorn

Ivy growing in the hawthorn

My tree is on the far left

My tree is on the far left

Blackberries

Blackberries already finished

Willow nearby

Willow nearby

Rosehips in hedgerow below tree

Rosehips in hedgerow below tree

Tree top

Tree top

Haws

Haws

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Sloes growing nearby

It’s been a busy summer and mostly not for good reasons. My mum’s been in hospital for over a month. She has dementia (among other things) and, after a horribly stressful time, she should be moving into a care home very soon. It hasn’t felt like summer at all as, apart from work, I’ve been mostly indoors and our garden and allotment have been badly neglected.

My hawthorn too has been ignored for several weeks. I missed the link window for July, didn’t even manage a post in August, and now I’ve missed the window yet again*. But I popped out to take some photos this morning and was very pleased to see my tree and its hedgerow starting to look autumnal and fruity.

*Hooray! I just checked and the link window is still open 🙂

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Tree Following July 2015

Tree following was dreamed up by Lucy at Loose and Leafy, where you will find lots of links to other bloggers taking part. Last month my post was too late to put my link on Loose and Leafy, but it’s here anyway!

hawsMy hawthorn tree is looking very lush and fruitful at the moment. In fact the whole area around it seems little touched by the recent hot spell and all looks green, leafy and abundant.

Yeading BrookMost of the trees and shrubs have finished blossoming – just a few flowers still on some of the brambles. The roses which were in full bloom last month have all finished now. As well as the haws on my tree, lots of other plants are focused on producing fruit now. There are plenty of sloes on the blackthorn.

sloesAnd so many blackberries.

20150713_161716The wild flowers I noticed over the last few weeks have mostly died back now, but there are a few new ones to see this month, including bindweed and I think this yellow one is ragwort.

20150713_161754aOne thing I particularly enjoy about following my tree is that it’s made me take notice of the seasons in more detail. I’ve become much more aware of what’s going on with the plants all around the field in different months. I love seeing the way the seasons very slowly merge into one another, so this month has been a good one, seeing those hints of the coming autumn, even in high summer.

bindweedIn fact I think I’ve neglected my tree because I’ve become more interested in looking at the field as a whole rather than just one tree. I’m not sure if that’s in the spirit of Tree Following, but I suppose it’s ok to go wherever it takes you!

Posted in blackberries, Blackthorn, Fruit, Hawthorn, Tree Following, Wild Flowers

Tree Following June 2015 / #30DaysWild Day 15

I’m following a tree

I have to confess I forgot all about my tree and missed Lucy’s Tree Following window this month. This morning I decided to walk the dog along that route and take some up to date photos of my hawthorn’s progress.hawthorn leaves

The slightly disappointing thing about my tree, is that, being part of a hedge, the first 8-9 feet of it are barely visible for a lot of the year because of the other plants growing around it., This is lovely in some ways but makes it difficult to follow the tree itself and the way it changes from month to month. So I decided to take a few close up photos of what I could see in the area around the hawthorn.

rose1

rose2

This month the hedgerow stars are roses and brambles. The blackberries are just starting to form – I am hoping for a good harvest later in the year.

honeybee on bramble

I think this is hogweed growing next to the brook – quite an impressive plant.

hogsweed

Plenty of grasses – thankfully I am the only member of my family not suffering from hayfever at the moment.

grasses

And the first speckled wood butterfly I’ve seen this year.

speckled wood butterfly

I also made a short and very poor video mainly to record the birdsong as I’m very conscious that the photos miss out a huge amount of what’s going on in my hedgerow (it’s a pity there’s not a way to record smells too).  Apologies for the shakiness – I had the dog on a lead in my other hand so not easy to keep still, and a couple of military planes kept flying past (RAF Northolt is almost next door) so it took me a few goes to get a recording of birds rather than planes.

I saw a blackbird flying into the tree, but it sounds like there are other birds there. I so wish I could get to grips with identifying birdsong. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t recognise tunes my children have been learning for the last 6 months for piano exams and playing several times a day, so no wonder listening to birdsong CDs seems to be getting me nowhere. Please let me know if you have any tips to make it easier.

Posted in birdsong, blackberries, brambles, butterflies, grasses, Hawthorn, hogweed, roses, speckled wood, Tree Following, Trees | Tagged

#30DaysWild Day 14 – Allotment

I didn’t manage anything especially wild for yesterday’s 30 Days Wild, but this afternoon was spent weeding the allotment, a long overdue and very satisfying task.allotment2

We weeded 4 out of our 13 raised beds and I then pottered around, planted some flowers, lettuces and sweet peas which have been ready to plant out for weeks but I just hadn’t got round to it for one reason or another. allotment3Most of the other plots are looking far more productive than ours, but we did cut a big bag of asparagus, which we will have to stop picking in a week or so. One of the other plotholders very kindly let my son pick a bag of strawberries, which really are so much tastier home grown and freshly picked than any I’ve ever bought from a supermarket.

allotment foxglove nepeta

allotment robin

While we finished up, our son decided to build himself a den from a pile of scrap wood at the end of the site.

allotment den

Posted in Allotments, weeding | Tagged ,

#30DaysWild Day 12 – Ruislip Woods

For Day 12 of 30 Days Wild I went for a walk in Ruislip Woods. I think I’ve blogged about the woods before – one of the best things about north west London.DSC_0118a

There’s always something interesting to see and something I need to go home and identify. This time it was the purple flower in the photo below, which I think is hedge woundwort (correct me if you think I’m wrong).DSC_0134a

This one is yellow archangel.

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Posted in Ruislip Woods, Wild Flowers, Woods | Tagged

#30DaysWild Day 11 – Wild Flowers

Yesterday, for Day 11 of 30 Days Wild I took a walk around the wild flower area at the garden where I work, Chenies Manor.DSC_0091a

This was sown in March, and is around a third of an acre in total. It’s only recently come into flower, and is mostly corn chamomile at the moment, but the seed mix includes common poppy, cornflower, corn marigold and corn cockle, so it will look more colourful in a month or so.DSC_0107a

If you are visiting Chenies, the wildflowers are either side of the driveway on your way out. It should look perfect in time for the Chenies Plant Fair on 19 July.

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Last summer I really enjoyed walking around the edge of the wild flowers listening and watching all the insects at work – bees, butterflies, hoverflies and many more. It’s lovely seeing it gradually come to life again this year.

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Posted in Bees, Chenies, Wild Flowers | Tagged

#30DaysWild Day 10 – Watching Bumblebees

For Day 10 of 30 Days Wild I watched hundreds of bumblebees collecting pollen and nectar from catmint flowers (Nepeta faassenii ‘Six Hills Giant’). I made a little video on my phone which I hope gives an an idea of the number of bees and you also get some of the background sound (if anyone can identify the bird you can hear please let me know). Now that I’ve worked out how to put a video on a blog I will try and take some better quality ones in future!

Posted in Bees, bumblebees, catmint, gardens | Tagged