Archive for September, 2016


Astilbe and Primula sikkimensis, the Himalayan cowslip, beside the stream at Minterne Garden, Dorset

I recently wrote about Minterne House, half-way between Dorchester and Sherborne in Dorset, but the place’s main attraction is its woodland garden.

The U-shaped trail is just over a mile long and we went very early in the day, so we were alone to enjoy the tranquillity among the trees, which are mostly tall beeches, oaks and conifers around a chain of ponds and streams. (more…)

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A shadow on the curtain…


A warning of what this post is about…

It’s that time of year when the wonderful orb-weaver spiders are growing to their plumpest and it’s just as well I consider them to be a separate class from house spiders, as I walk into their webs in the garden several times a week. House spiders and shed or garage spiders make me phobic, but garden spiders don’t.

This shadow on the curtain net was what greeted me one early morning as the sun was coming up. Luckily the spider was on the outside of the window, so it gave me a chance to take a really quite close look without risk of disturbing it. (more…)

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Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Saving Congo’s forest and its Pygmies


In the DRC, the indigenous Mbuti people rejected a nature reserve that banned them from their ancestral lands. Now, working with conservationists, they are exploring ways to protect the Itombwe forest together, according to the Guardian…

Adonis is named Europe’s oldest tree


The Daily Mail reports that, according to scientists, a pine found growing in Greece was planted more than 1,000 years ago…


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The oak shows no sign of autumn yet


As I suspected, the oak tree (Quercus robur) in the middle of Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park doesn’t know it’s autumn yet. When I visited it on September 9 it looked no different from a month earlier, apart from the fact that someone had removed the fallen branch.

Sadly I have had to give up totally on finding ANY acorns, despite the large size of the tree. They all seem to have been subsumed by wasp galls of various sorts, so I had to make do with inspecting those again. (more…)

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A mighty beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) at Minterne Gardens in Dorset a few weeks ago


Here we are again with the monthly shout-out to all tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

The September tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to all the wonderful contributions we received this month…

In my neck of the woods September tends to be a something and nothing month for trees, most of which seem to be looking tired but without any autumn colour yet. I will be interested to see how yours are getting on. (more…)

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Minterne House in Dorset

How old do you reckon this building is? Looks a bit Elizabethan, doesn’t it? Well read on and you may be as surprised as I was.

Minterne House (and especially the gardens, which I write about here) was my destination when I stopped off to have a look at the Cerne Abbas Giant during my few days in Dorset recently (see my previous post about the giant).

The house itself is not open to the public, except as a wedding venue, so I had to consult various sources to find out more about it. Most interesting seem to be the stories of a couple of rather scandalous women who lived at Minterne in different eras, although of course it has always been the men who have had all the titles and honours. (more…)

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