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Happy gardening!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

July in our Brittany Garden...

You are never short of surprises in a garden - each day often producing new ones - plants that have just come into bloom, new bird visitors, a hidden bird's nest discovered and it goes on!  It's been a busy month work-wise with some complete extremes of weather to deal with but was so grateful for the week of rain we had about 10 days ago now and plants & trees have really been given a new lease of life with things looking surprisingly green for this time of year but then with temperatures due to go to 25 degrees next week it is probaby just as well!

As well as some beautiful blooms in the garden - one of my favorites being the Black Peonie Poppy - seeds were sent to me very kindly from Cheryl - they are quite stunning (big thankyou to Cheryl and hope you're having a good summer too)  but I'll be honest haven't found them easy to grow here for some reason... practice makes perfect!! 

Swapping seeds is a great idea and if anyone would like to swap seeds from their garden I've quite a lot of Aqualegia seeds and Oriental Poppies too as well as other cottage garden plants...  let me know if you're interested!
A friend over here who runs a similar type of business had mentioned to me that he'd spotted a Cirl Bunting recently - having never seen one I looked it up in my book and literally 2 days later we ended up with this little chap in the garden - I'm pretty sure it's a young male Cirl Bunting - anyone know?

Also very excited to see this young Green Woodpecker in our garden too - we get plenty of the Great Spotted but have recently had the pleasure of the daily company of this one... and such beautiful colouring too.

 This was one of the Delphiniums that I grew from seed a few years ago and faithfully comes up every year - for some reason the slugs seem to leave them well alone! Curious!
 These are the fluffy parts of the seeds from Cotinus Grace - commonly known as the Smoke Bush... the dark leaves make a fantastic contrast with the vibrant blue of the Delphiniums and the lively red of the Oriental Poppies earlier in the year.
 Anyone know what this little insect is which I spotted on some Mayweed - not one I've seen before... do let me know.

The seed head from one of the large Oriental Poppies - even without the petals they do add something to a border!
 Astrantia - one of my favorites.
 I wouldn't be without all the Geraniums which never stop producing flowers for most of the year round.
This golden leaved Cornus (Dogwood) is a must - it's planted with Cotinus Royal Purple - very dark leaved and they go very well together.




















Out on a walk through the lanes around here this beautiful Meadow Brown butterfly on the bramble flowers caught my eye - think this year will be a great year for Brambles as well as all the other fruit... I do wonder if this is a sign of yet another v. cold winter as the berries and nuts are in equal abundance here.
There's loads of Purple Loosestrife in the ditches along with Meadow Sweet too - so pretty. 
 Going down into our woodland area is a lovely cool place at this time of year but home a good variety of  wildlife - I make a point of not using any chemicals in the garden and I've no doubt that this helps keep things in equilibrium on our plot.
This is the area of woodland where we've started to coppice the Hazels - what a lot of lovely wood we've got just from one clump... great too for bringing more light in and for giving a good natural habitat for such animals as Dormice and the Wren's love it too!


Last but not least the gateway back to the house... and time to go and take the dog for a walk now so hope you've enjoyed your little taste of what July has offered here in Northern Brittany... take care and enjoy the summer - x

6 comments:

debsgarden said...

I have never seen a green woodpecker! It is fun to the different birds in your garden. I love the views of your woodland. It looks quite mysterious and romantic!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The woodpecker is adorable!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Debs - thank you for your v. kind comments - I wish I had a bit more time for blogging these days but work keeps me pretty occupied as does this place... perhaps once the autumn winter arrive time will be more abundant! Hope all's good with you - I bet your place looks lovely at the moment. Enjoy your weekend - Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Lisa & Robb - always lovely to get new visitors on here - thank you so much for visiting and glad too that you enjoyed the pics of the lovely Green Woodpecker - beautiful birds and not one that we've had here a lot although I hear them in the woodland - well camouflaged by the thick canopy of leaves! Have a good weekend - Miranda

Midmarsh John said...

A lovely variety of flowers there. Delphiniums seem to be out of fashion these days which is a pity.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Miranda, yep that's a Cirl Bunting, its a male, but pretty sure not a juvenile, they tend to have spotty tummies. It looks a bit ragged so my guess is a male at the end of the breeding season, needs a good moult and a preen and it'll look spick and span again. However as this is a male there will be a female presumably somewhere, so worth keeping an eye out for young birds. They nest in hedges etc alongside grassy unkempt pasture. If you want to know more, worth having a peek at

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/projects/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-212392