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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

080515-davidia-03

Davidia involucrata in Bute Park, Cardiff, May 8, 2015

These three trees crept up on me during my wanderings in May. In each case I had been looking for something else, or not looking at all, when I turned my head slightly and there they were in all their green and white glory. None of them are native trees. Two of them were in Bute Park and one on the street…

First up is a species I know, although (more…)

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Pink valerian (Centranthus ruber) growing on a street wall in Cardiff last week

There is red valerian in flower everywhere in Cardiff at the moment, growing from walls and flat roofs where it wasn’t planted. I always notice this stout plant, as it was one of the first I could put a name to. It grew on the lean-to shed outside the back door of the cottage where I lived as a child. I don’t remember (more…)

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210515-empress-17

Fresh leaves on the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) in Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 21, 2015

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It’s already June in the tree-following year and it’s all change for the beautiful empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the foxglove tree) in Bute park Arboretum in the middle of Cardiff.

I have visited a couple of times this month to take part in Lucy Corrander’s monthly tree-following meme on Loose and Leafy.

After enthusing so much about the tree’s beautiful purple flowers last month, I knew it couldn’t last, but I wasn’t sure how much the blooms would overlap with the expected new leaves. So I left it a couple of weeks and went back on May 21. (more…)

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These lovely leaves are so familiar to me…

Twice now I have chosen a tree to follow for a year, but even before that I had decided I really must try to identify more species, especially when the trees are bare in winter. At last I think I am getting somewhere.

This spring when I have visited Bute Park in Cardiff to check on my empress tree (a Paulownia tomentosa) I have also watched dozens of other trees come into leaf. There is one I thought I recognised from a distance, as (more…)

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080515-buteflowers-07

Red flowers in the Bute Park herbaceous border on May 7 – beautiful but I can’t quite identify them – any ideas? …thanks to Elaine Rickett for suggesting it’s Geum

When I go to Cardiff’s Bute Park to visit the tree I am “following”, I usually walk back along the herbaceous borders. I always admire them, as it is such a traditional British idea, having permanent plantings of perennials that are mostly at their best in the warmer months, dying back to bare soil in winter when we all stay indoors. Here are some pictures of the borders coming back to life in spring. Sorry I haven’t taken a general view yet – maybe next time!
(more…)

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Fallen bud of Paulownia tomentosa

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For weeks I have been visiting the Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree) in Bute Park, Cardiff, in the hope of seeing the flowers come into bloom. This is all part of the tree following project of Lucy Corrander over at the Loose and Leafy blog.

When I visited on April 24 I was disappointed again, until my eyes adjusted to the light and I zoomed in on the branches, all very high up on this particular tree…
(more…)

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Yellow moth on Mahonia berries, April 21, 2015

I made a rare observation (for me) of a yellow moth the other day and one thought led to another, as it usually does…

But first the moth. I was arriving home when I saw (more…)

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