Champagne Ivy Part Two

rambling ratz

Here is part two, hot on the heels of Part One, let’s keep it linear eh? Along with the buzzing things enjoying the ivy there were also some red admiral butterflies.Photo of red admiral butterfly on ivy

Some of these butterflies have migrated from continental Europe and even North Africa. The eggs laid by these late arrivals produce butterflies that can be seen in our gardens through to November. The late flowering ivy is therefore an important food source for them.Photo of red admiral butterfly on ivy

The main larval food plants are nettles, so if you want lots of red admirals flitting around your garden, leave a little wild patch of nettles and something for the ivy to grow up. They have been known to hibernate during winter in the south of England, though the sensible ones will attempt to migrate back to sunnier climes.Photo of red admiral butterfly on ivy

There were five red admiral butterflies on the ivy at any given time, but they…

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Champagne Ivy Part One

Very beautiful pics 🙂

rambling ratz

« Champagne Ivy is my name … » sang Miriam Hopkins, arousing the base passions of Fredric Marsh in his definitive portrayal of Mr Hyde (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1931). Ivy seems to have the same effect on bees.Photo of bee on ivy

Ivy only flowers if it is allowed to grow upwards, on a wall or tree for example. By flowering in autumn it provides a vital source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects as they prepare for winter.Photo of bee landing on ivy

The ivy flowers were buzzing with honey bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies and butterflies in an insect feeding frenzy.

Lying in wait for any hapless flying insects, this spider knew a good place to set up her web.Photo of spider

Also prowling the ivy were these two harlequin ladybirds.

The ivy was definitely the bees knees and the tipple of choice.Photo of bee on ivy

If you have nothing to do for just over a minute you might like…

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Permaculture: Design by Nature and the Magic of Intentionality

The Druid's Garden

I’m sure each one of us have had times where we hadn’t through though something, the thing happened, and it took a direction we hadn’t intended it to take. A little bit of forethought could have made all the difference, perhaps turned a failure into a success. My early attempts at gardening were like this–I didn’t have a plan, I put seeds in the ground without knowing how tall or wide the plants got, and then they came up and things went wild quite quickly!  Sometimes, serendipity took over and I had great successes, if I could manage to weave my way through the thicket of tangles to the harvest. Other times, my plants were crowded out or strangled by each other or my harvest only lasted for a short time. What I learned, through permaculture and organic farming courses was this: a well thought out plan maximizes your yields…

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