Yesterday, I went to Garstons near Fareham for lunch, saw this primula and just had to have it. We’ve got to find somewhere to plant it, but I though I’d take a few photos before it was planted.
I’m still enjoying playing with my Yongnuo ring flash and have been practicing my fill-in flash technique with garden flowers. Here are a few of the best shots. I have to confess that my favourite shot is the one of Thrift. I didn’t realise what a pretty little flower this was until I got right up close and personal with it.
We decided to take advantage of the reasonable bank holiday weather today and visited Knoll Gardens (http://www.knollgardens.co.uk/). I absolutely love what Neil Lucas has achieved at Knoll, its a really peaceful haven.
It was a shame to see that some of the large trees had fallen victim to the winter storms, but the huge Eucalyptus looks even more impressive on the ground, lets hope that there are enough roots intact to keep it alive and see how the gardens are adapted around it.
Whilst walking around the gardens, we heard a very vocal greater spotted woodpecker chick, and sat to wait for the adult to come and feed it. Here are my best shots of the youngster being fed.
Outside of the gardens is the most amazing display of Briza maxima, here are some nice shots of it.
Tonight I paid a visit to the Homefield Wood reserve in Buckinghamshire to have a look at the Military Orchids (Orchis militaris), Birdsnest Orchids (Neottia nidus-avis) and Fly Orchids (Ophrys insectifera).
There was a really good show of Military Orchids, but they need about another week before they’re fully out in flower. Regrettably I couldn’t find any Fly Orchids, but I did find several examples of the Birdsnest Orchid.
There was also a very obliging Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) which allowed me to take loads of photographs.
As I was working in Reading today, I thought I’d take the opportunity to get an early start and head over the border to Oxfordshire to visit the the Hartslock reserve near Streatley. This reserve is what reignited my interest in orchids after I stumbled on a Lady Orchid somewhat unexpectedly.
I was slightly disappointed as there are very few Monkey Orchids (Orchis simia) out at Hartslock, but there are loads of the Lady x Monkey Hybrids (Orchis x angusticruris) out.
Despite the fact that it was blowing a gale this morning, I was determined to get across to Badbury Rings to have a look for Early Purple Orchids. There were plenty of Common Twayblades (Neottia ovata) in flower but as they were all quite tall, it proved impossible to photograph them due to the wind. There was also a nice show of Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula), and I’ve uploaded a few images here.
Today, a friend and I visited Durlston Country Park and Dancing Ledge to hunt out the Early Spider Orchid (Ophryssphegodes). We were due to visit last week, but the weather forecast was so dire that we gave it a miss. Most of the orchids were past their best, and there weren’t as many as I remember from previous visits, but we managed to find some nice ones anyway.