Death in the Rose Garden

No, not the title of a new novel, but an everyday occurrence in My Hesperides Garden.

When I make my daily (sometimes several times a day at the moment) walk around the garden I always want to smell all the perfumed flowers, not so great at the moment as I have developed an allergy to something and itchy, streaming eyes and bouts of sneezing follow my time outside. In almost every rose I’ve found a black spider, now what’s that doing in there, I thought – answer waiting for lunch, or dinner or breakfast depending on the time of day is the answer!

A hover fly (I think) in Rose Sceptr'd Isle collecting nectar - Help Amelia

A hover fly (I think) in Rose Sceptr’d Isle collecting nectar – Help Amelia

Sadly no the hoverfly is being eaten by a spider, Misumena vatia

Sadly no the hoverfly is being eaten by a spider, Misumena vatia

On a lighter note; one a trip into town I was surprised to see some cows outside; sadly most Italian cows spend their time inside and it is a rare thing indeed to find them outside enjoying the air.

At first glance when I was driving past I thought they were long-horned cattle that are native to the area and are found outside, these are cattle for meat rather than milk, I think these are for meat too, but I’m not sure what variety they are, but I think they are rather beautiful.

Who do you think you're looking at?

Who do you think you’re looking at?

Enjoying the outdoor life

Enjoying the outdoor life

Further on, in the place I photographed the poppies a couple of weeks ago, the natural progression of Nature’s planting is moving on.

Still some poppies

Still some poppies

But now most of the red is from clover

But now most of the red is from clover

Do you remember when every garden at Chelsea had this clover?

Do you remember when every garden at Chelsea had this clover?

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28 thoughts on “Death in the Rose Garden

  1. Christina, the wild meadows are beautiful. At Chelsea this year there was very little that included wildflowers, such a shame. I have just looked in Harrap’s wild flowers and think that may be Haresfoot clover, I can’t find another that grows with tall cylinder heads. Cows remind me of my childhood, lovely to see them enjoying the fresh air.

    • But last year there were too many wild flowers, although I’m happy to have some inside the garden I don’t actually think they constitute a garden on their own.

      • When I think back my favourite show gardens are usually wild places, or fruit and vegetable gardens. This is good food for thought, and makes a great topic for discussion.

  2. I haven’t seen that elongated clover flower near us, but must keep my eyes open. Nice to see some cows out in a real meadow. That’s something I like about the Alp region in Germany, where they are part of the scenery!

  3. We have a crab spider here that does the same thing, lurking in a flower, then pouncing, they can also change colour to match the flower! Lovely to see your meadows with so many flowers, I’m sure the cows are enjoying their time outside.

  4. There’s drama in your garden then! Isn’t it interesting that the spiders have worked out the best place to sit and wait for a meal to arrive? The clover looks like it would make a fine ornamental garden plant, unless it’s like other clovers and grows uncontrollably of course…

  5. Brilliant picture of the spider going in for the kill, Christina – and that rose is a definite must if I decide I have space for another one! Hope your allergy is short-lived – that’s the last thing you want when you love your garden so much.

  6. I would be very upset if spiders were killing my hover flies – if I had any. I think they are really good for eating greenly. So far I have only seen one ladybird too, despite cultivating a patch of nettles specially for them. The greenfly and whitefly on the other hand are having a field day! It is out with the soapy water again shortly.
    I love the large wild clover – I don’t think I have ever seen any.

  7. How intriguing about the spider. ‘Nature red in tooth and claw’ ? I wonder if we have them here.
    I do envy you the wonderful wild flowers you have over there, Christina.

    • Paline thinks there is a similar spider in Devon, so Imagine in Suffolk too. The wild flowers are a joy; not all regions are the same but just here the farmers don’t seem to spray with very much at all. Just water on the maize which is not very environmentally friendly.

  8. At this time of year, our roses are being attacked by small copper and green beetles, which, I believe is a chafer beetle. They eat holes in the petals. Their grubs may also be indirectly responsible for the grass being gouged up. Their is much hope in your countryside at the moment, seeing the progression of meadow wild flowers. Such a shame the cows spend most of their time indoors. As for Chelsea, all I noticed was a few red field poppies in gardens commemorating the First World War.

  9. Nice views of your area Christina. I saw a breathtaking field of red clover last year when I went to get strawberries. That grower didn’t hang out a shingle for berries this year so I also missed seeing the clover. The cows are nice too–that is something we see often around here.

  10. Wonderful photos of the demise of the hoverfly Christina. The poppy field looks beautiful, your comment about the clover made me laugh. It is a very Chelsea colour even this year! I think all cows should get to spend as much time as possible outside. Are they kept in due to lack of forage thanks to the baking heat? If there are native cattle one would think they could survive outside just fine.

    • Is there such a thing any more as a ‘native cow’? I think they are all highly bred to do what man wants and they doesn’t include eating very little in summer becaue you are correct their is no grass, even the sheep that are outside are fed whilst being milked and given bales to eat sometimes.

  11. Brilliant photograph of the wing veins which shows the characteristic wing venation of the Syrphidae, but I would not hazard a guess at which one, I have a tough enough time with my bees! Cows have very sympathetic faces, I think it is the big eyes and long eye lashes. Yours look very idyllically pastoral in the long grass with the olive trees in the back ground. In the UK they are often knee deep in mud, although they still manage to look contented. Amelia

    • Thanks for responding to my question, I knew you would know. I think the cows aren’t outside here in summer because there is so little grass for them.

  12. The white cow is likely to be a Chianina. In Australia, this Italian breed is highly valued as a source of beautiful beef.

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