Monday, 17 August 2009

Found it!

It turns out that I spoke too soon regarding the large moth and that it had in fact remained inside the house (though I can't imagine where). It showed up in the bathroom this morning and was very relieved to be let out after being photographed.

To the naked eye and with the flash off it looked a very dull brown - similar to a ringlet butterfly, but the flash revealed quite a distinctive pattern. It's the largest moth I've seen here in Devon and with wings spread was the size of a peacock butterfly. All suggestions as to the species are most welcome.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Inside and out

This week we've had a huge variety of insects in the garden including several Jersey tiger moths:

We've also had some insects in the house including a huge moth last night. Unfortunately our tabby cat William chased it and it flew under the cooker in panic. It did come out later on, but I was unable to photograph it before putting it outside.

This grasshopper hopped into the kitchen on Tuesday (it hopped back on to the house wall when I came in for the camera)

and this ichneumon fly spent much of the week on the dining room ceiling before coming down to the window and being helped outside

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Planting combinations

I've spent many hours looking through gardening books and on the internet trying to find the best plants to group together, but as yet I've rarely managed to get it right in practice. Either a key plant dies or never flowers (as was the case with all my delphiniums and echinaceas that I had such high hopes for) or decides to flower a whole two months earlier than it says in the books (we did have a particularly warm spring) or flowers late because it is only the first year of growth.

Consequently most of my perennials have moved at least twice in an attempt to group things sensibly.

This month there is one little area of the garden that I am particularly pleased with and have no plans to change. It consists of a patch of only three plants: Persicaria amplexicaulis 'firetail', the beautiful Calamagrostis acutiflora 'overdam' grass and Monarda (commonly known as the herb Bergamot) 'Cambridge scarlet'.