Saturday, 7 June 2008

Chelsea Seduction

Two years ago Pam and I went to the Chelsea flower show. Apart from being the most exhausting day I've had for a few years, it was also much more interesting than I had though it would be. One of the exhibits that we found most attractive was this display of Eremurus and Alliums. They were irresistible and have shelled out a not inconsiderable amount of dosh we waited for their arrival. When the bulbs and roots or whatever arrived Pam planted them out in the chosen areas and we waited for the display. Quite a few Alliums emerged but the Eremurus were less in evidence. This year they haven't shown at all. It seems that they are also irresistible to slugs and snails, and since we don't use pellets in the garden, for the safety of visiting birds and other wildlife, it would seem we made a bad choice. I still think the display was one of the highlights, but it proves that what the professionals grow isn't always easy to replicate in the garden.

Last night provided a few more moths with a Figure of Eighty, Dark Arches, Ghost, Turnip and Sycamore new for the year. Tonight is National Moth Night. The target Species are:
Anania funebris is a new UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) Priority Species and the first micro-moth to be targeted on National Moth Night & Day. It is a highly attractive day-flying species, found in open woodland and grassland (often on cliffs) in Britain and Ireland, where the larvae feed on Goldenrod Solidago virgaurea.
Bordered Gothic Heliophobus reticulata was known until recently from several counties in southern England (particularly in East Anglia and the South-east) but has declined dramatically and may now be extinct in Britain, but since it was last seen in Kent in 2001 and likes chalky areas we can still hope for a return.
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth Hemaris tityus is a day-flying UK BAP Priority Species which mimics a bumblebee. It frequents unimproved grasslands, heathlands and bogs, particularly in the west of Britain and Ireland ( I'd love to see on of these one day!).
The real fun is just to see the total data base built up for the whole country, and making a small, and hopefully, worthwhile contribution.

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