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080515-butternut-01

Half-dead tree surrounded by a fence in Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 8, 2015

I have been intrigued by this half-dead tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, since May. Now at last I know what species it is, but it took a while to learn its secrets. Bear with me, as I think it’s worth the wait! Continue Reading »

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Black gingham shoes with rosebud trim by Betsey Johnson

I suppose gingham is a fabric we all remember from our childhood and teenage years – mine were in the 1960s and 1970s – and with a revival of fashion from that era it now seems as popular as ever. Or was that LAST year? But this post is about words as much as fashion – did you know the word gingham came from Malaya?

My mother made me some Continue Reading »

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Pink peony in the herbaceous borders of Bute Park, Cardiff, in July 2015

Every month or so I am visiting the herbaceous borders in Bute Park, Cardiff, to see what’s in bloom and learn to identify a few more plants. This visit was on July 2, just after I had been to check up on the Paulownia tree I am following. It was early, so I stopped for breakfast at the park’s Summerhouse Cafe before walking through the borders to work.
Continue Reading »

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Fresh leaves on the empress tree, Paulownia tomentosa, in Bute Park, Cardiff, on July 2, 2015

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Last month, as the purple flowers were falling and the leaves were just opening, the empress tree I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, looked a mess – and I feared she would look terrible all summer. But bless her, she now looks splendid all clad in fresh greenery.

You may recall I am following this Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the foxglove tree, princess tree or empress tree, as part of the excellent Loose and Leafy tree-following project.

My latest visit to Continue Reading »

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Wingnut tree in Bute park, Cardiff, March 26, 2015

I had heard about the champion wingnut tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, months before I first located it. I have been visiting the park – and the Paulownia tree I am following – since January, but I didn’t spot the wingnut tree until March. Despite the fact that it is considered to be a bit of a landmark, next to the red footbridge over the River Taff.

Here are Continue Reading »

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Juvenile great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

In May and June there have been plenty of baby birds in the garden and I have been trying to capture them. Mostly I have been disappointed. My pictures are rubbish, really. But I felt I wanted to share them just to prove the variety of species we have breeding in our backyard.

The first spot of the year was Continue Reading »

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Bumble bee (possibly Bombus hypnorum) on wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis), June 2015

Thanks to Lucy Corrander’s street plants project I am making more of an effort to notice and identify the weedy plants I pass on the pavement every day.

Now at last I think I can name a couple more of the dandelion-like yellow-flowered plants that Continue Reading »

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