Nature Notes – A surprise visitor

This is the first time I have joined Ramblingwoods for her weekly meme about nature.

I have written about some of the wildlife in the garden from time to time; I gardenin an  environmentally friendly way; I don’t use any chemicals in the garden to allow beneficial insects to do any pest control for me.  I leave plant debris for creatures to hide, hibernate and nest.

I had no idea what I would share with you today until I went outside to put the washing line away and saw a creature I’d never seen in the garden before!  I had seen them in other people’s gardens but never, never here, quickly I dashed inside to get the camera; I know they are famous for not moving very quickly but that isn’t actually always true.  So what was my visiting creature? Continue reading

Plant fair in Lucca, Murabilia

Although I am lucky to have a very good nursery here in Viterbo, you would be surprised just how difficult it is to feed my addiction for buying plants. Buying named cultivars is very difficult indeed.  Last weekend there was an excellent plant fair in Lucca and as it coincides with my birthday we decided to go and make a weekend trip (it is do-able in a day) stopping off at the beach for a swim on the way there.

I was looking for plants for the slope, some fillers for other borders and plants on my wish list I hadn’t been able to source locally.  Here is what I bought.  I was also able to speak to an excellent nursery from near Torino and order some other plants to be delivered at another plant fair in Rome.

They aren’t very good here at attaching names to the plants.  I tried to write down or photograph the names of most things (even taking my own plant labels with me) but as always happens, there is a plant without a name.  If you recognise it please let me know what it is.

What is this ?

Changing the subject, I thought you might like to see the locusts in the garden.  I didn’t know the male is so much smaller than the female.

mating locusts