Above: either High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe) or Queen or Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia).
Until I planted this garden I had never seen so many different types of bees and wasps; it is the sound of all the insects, busy collecting nectar and pollinating the flowers, that tells me things are in harmony.
This wasp relative (Scolia flavifrons) came to the garden solely for the nectar of Allium sphaerocephalon, then disappeared.
Most of my plants attract many insects, so much so that an entomologist friend has set up a research project to assess just how many insects are visiting the garden; when he has completed his initial research I’ll be able to give you a list.
I enjoy all the butterflies, even those I haven’t managed to photograph, perhaps the Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) gives me most pleasure as it seems so exotic- though it isn’t as rare as its name implies. Perched on the flower-head of Verbena bonariensis, the plant it favours most, it looks so elegant.
Most of my plants attract many insects, so much so that an entomologist friend has set up a research project to access just how many insects are visiting the garden; when he has completed his initial research I’ll be able to give you a list.
I never realised just how difficult it is to photograph insects; just as you think you have a good shot, the subject flies to another flower.
We are lucky to have a female Little Owl (Athene noctua) who has raised her young on our roof every year. Last weekend we saw the first flight of this year’s chick. During the night we hear the distinctive sound of the chick asking for food. We also watched the first tentative flight or two young Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) who have taken up residence in a tree by a neighbouring farmhouse. Last year a Buzzard perched on a fence post for about 20 minutes while I watched too fascinated to get the camera.
Lizards rush crazily about, chasing each other in the heat of the day; their ability to climb astounds me; while I was tying in the Wisteria on the top of the pergola I was momentarily scared by the noise of an animal which turned out to be a couple or lizards ‘playing’. According to myth the garden of the Hesperides was guarded by the dragon, Ladon. I don’t have a dragon but the lizards look like small dragons to me so I feel that they guard my garden.
There are snakes too, at least two large Western Whip Snakes (Coluber viridiflavus) and grass snakes (Natrix natrix).