22 July 2012

Apple Powdery Mildew

Symptoms: Young leaves breaking from buds which were infected during the previous year will show symptoms. Leaves are covered with a white growth.

Cause: This is caused by the fungus Podosphaera leucotricha. It overwinters in apple buds or on young stem growth - which can be seen as silvery white patches on the bark.

Control: Keep the plants well watered to prevent development. Mulch to preseve soil moisture. Prune out severely affected stems. Ensure the tree is pruned to ensure good air circulation.

21 July 2012

Rose Black Spot

Symptoms: Black spots on leaves. They can be seperate or enlarge and join together. As seen in the photo, the leaves can turn yellow. They can also fall prematurely.

Cause: This is caused by the fugus Diplocarpon rosae. This seems to overwinter in the lesions on stems, bud scales and on fallen leaves.

Control: Dispose of infected leaves promptly. During spring prune out stems with lesions. Fungicide treatment is available, but if the infection isn't too bad then the plant isn't affected too much.

20 July 2012

Viper's-bugloss - Echium vulgare

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/vipers-bugloss

18 July 2012

Stinking Iris - Iris foetidissima

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.plantlife.org.uk/wild_plants/plant_species/stinking_iris

17 July 2012

Meadow Cranesbill - Geranium pratense

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/3210.shtml

16 July 2012

fun out of everything

Why do I take the fun out of everything for myself?
It's something that I've done for years. Is it because we're always told to set goals, to achieve?

As a child I was fairly aimless and didn't really have any focus. Then as soon as I left school I seemed to get focus, but with that focus was the idea that I had to become good at something or become very knowledgeable about whatever I was focussed on. Apparently it takes 3000 hours studying something to become an 'expert'.

So, stupidly, when I become interested in something, I look around for 'best practice' approaches. I look for the governing or professional body for that topic. I look around for courses or other educational material. I look for blogs and other free resources online.

Now, how does this relate to this blog? I've always had an interest in nature, but never more so than this year.

Since January I've been dealing with the most destructive episode of depression that I've had in my life so far. I've been signed off since January. I lost my job, my social life, my hobbies, and interest in most things.

Then some how and utterly innocently I started taking photographs of plants. It was amazing. I'd take macro shots and be amazing that there was this beauty that I hadn't seen, even though I'd been looking. Then I started to try to ID plants. I already had this blog; it was more related to camping, but close enough to my new pursuit that I could adapt it to fit. Sometimes the only way I could force myself out of bed was to think of the new flowers I may have the opportunity to take photos of, in the garden or just down the street.

But then, idiotically, I started searching online for things to help me learn more. This in itself isn't a bad thing, but with the way my mind is, it's just not a good idea. I started with lectures available on YouTube from UCBerkeley about Plant Botany. They really are brilliant videos and I've learnt a lot from them. Then I started reading books on the topic. This took a long time as my level of concentration is terrible. Sometimes I'd read a whole page before I needed to rest. These books were interesting, but hard going. Then I decided to do a course with the OU about why people need plants.

It's just all too much. I've ruined my relationship with plants. I truly hope I can get it back. I'm eager to find a way to simplify my mind so that I can take my time with things and not go overboard to needing to feed the appetite for knowledge when I become interested in something. It certainly hasb't helped me get out of this slump. I want to simplify my relationship with plants, back to where it was - just taking photos and identifying plants.

I hope I can get back to that. Because while I appreciate the knowledge I've gained in such a short period of time, it's taken its toll on me. If anyone knows of techniques to help me simplify my mind or relax - to relax would be nice. PLEASE get in touch.

Thanks for reading.

Tim x

Meadow Vetchling - Lathyrus pratensis

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/leguminosae/lathyrus-pratensis.htm
Notes: Notes the tendrils on the stems.

15 July 2012

Nettle-leaved Bellflower - Campanula trachelium

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=4408

14 July 2012

13 July 2012

Yellow Rattle - Rhinanthus minor

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Church, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/yellow-rattle
Notes: Parasitic on grass routes.

12 July 2012

Fox-and-cubs - Pilosella aurantiaca

Date Photographed: left 28/06/2012 / right 29/06/2012
Location: St. Giles churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton / Tower Road, Melksham
Resources: http://www.ukwildflowers.com/Web_pages/pilosella_aurantiaca_fox_and_cubs.htm

10 July 2012

Poppy - Papaver oriental "Turkenlouis"

Date Photographed: 10/06/2012
Location: The Courts, Holt
Resources: http://www.gardensandplants.com/uk/plant.aspx?plant_id=2288

09 July 2012

Book Review: New Life Stories

To those of you that read my review of the book that preceeds this one; Life Stories, it will come as no surprise that I had to read this book. It may sound rather lame or cheesy to say it, but reading this book it like spending an afternoon listening to David Attenborough sitting across the living room.

Starting in Venezuela in canopy towers in the middle of the rainforest and ending with murder in Africa, it's very obvious to state that there's a huge variety of anecdotes in this book. The wonderful thing is that some of them are so familiar from the TV series or his autobiography, so it's no a book that requires full concentration, but a book in which you can allow yourself to enjoy without excessive labour. Some stories were totally new to me, such as the eccentric Waterton who effectively created the first nature reserve. And, to be honest, someone I should have know about as he resided in Walton Hall, Wakefield - which seems to have been converted into a hotel now. Sad in a way. But it's these stories that kept the book fresh and engaging. Of course along with the photographs that correspond with each story.

We hear about people that have studied animals in the right way, in the Chapter entitled 'Chimps' and the wrong way (in my opinion), in the entitled chapter 'Elsa'. But most of all we hear the stories from the point of view from a man that most of us delight in calling a National Treasure.

Go to your nearest bookseller or library and get reading!


Own or Loan:         Loan
Read Again:           Yes
Recommend:         Yes
Overall out of Five:3

08 July 2012

Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea

Date Photographed: 10/06/2012
Location: The Courts garden, Holt
Resources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/274.shtml
Notes: As a teenager, this was the first plant that I learnt was poisonous and that it had a life history spanning two years.

07 July 2012

Bird's foot trefoil - Lotus corniculatus

Date Photographed: 17/06/2012
Location: Upton Scudamore
Resources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/11105.shtml

Date Photographed: 25/05/2013
Location: Farleigh Hungerford, Somerset

06 July 2012

Common Broomrape - Orobanche minor

Date Photographed: 17/06/2012
Location: Upton Scudamore
Resources: http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/B/Broomrape%28Common%29/Broomrape%28Common%29.htm
Notes: This plant is parasitic on clover.

05 July 2012

In the garden - June

Well, that was June then. Not a lot happened in the garden, well let me rephrase that. I didn't do much in the garden. Lots did happen in the garden. Flowers came and went. Rain came and, well continued. Everything is looking lush, including the weeds I was meant to weed, but didn't.

A couple of nice surprises included two nice bushy geraniums that Lucy's Mum gave us. There was also a discovery that our lavender plants have self seeded into our gravel. This meant that I was able to transplant 12 plants into pots for them to grow on, after which they'll be replanted elsewhere in the garden. We also have some ground cover plants, such as Ice flower and Ajuga, which have started to throw out some roots from the stems, which have also provided a few new plants.

So, time for the photos!

New plants! The wonder of plant biology.

We have some really nice specimens of Sisyrinchium bellum 'Rocky Point' and Cottage Pink - Raspberry Sundae.

The plants to look forward to in the next month are the Lavatera and our Honeysuckle 'Copper Beauty'.

04 July 2012

Biting Stonecrop - Sedum acre

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/biting-stonecrop

03 July 2012

White Campion - Silene latifolia

Date Photographed: 17/06/2012
Location: Upton Scudamore
Resources: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/white-campion

02 July 2012

01 July 2012

Hoverfly - Eupeodes sp.

Date Photographed: 01/06/2012
Location: Tower Road, Melksham
Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eupeodes

Smooth Hawksbeard - Crepis capillaris

Date Photographed: 02/06/2012
Location: Lacock, Wiltshire
Resources: http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/compositae/crepis-capillaris.htm
Notes: This plant has very variable growth depending on the favourability of the site. For example, if growing through a small crack in the concrete it will be a very small plant.

Dropwort - Filipendula vulgaris

Date Photographed: 28/06/2012
Location: St. Giles Churchyard, Stanton St. Quinton
Resources: http://www.ukwildflowers.com/Web_pages/filipendula_vulgaris_dropwort.htm