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060815-buteflowers-09

My favourite flower from the latest trip to the Bute Park borders – I’ll tell you what it is later…

Just as I have been following a tree every month in Bute Park, Cardiff, I have also been “following” the herbaceous borders there since they came to life in spring. My latest visit was on August 6. This is a view of the borders taken while standing near my Paulownia tree, but zoomed in quite a bit…

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Bute Park herbaceous borders in August

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Fallen branch of empress tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, August 6, 2015

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August is usually a rough time for the trees here. The summer weather dries them out and diseases take their toll. But this year we have had a very wet July and I was pleased to see that the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, still looked lush and green when I visited on August 6.

I’m following it every month as part of Lucy Corrander’s tree-following project.

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Low winter sunlight at Dyffryn Gardens in January 2015

Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan has just been voted the top Special Place in Wales in a National Trust survey. I went there on January 2 this year, but never did get around to blogging about it. I visited again on July 7, so now I am combining the two visits into a series of blog posts on different themes. This first one contrasts the garden treasures of midwinter and midsummer. (more…)

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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 (more…)

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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 (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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A busy bee in the herbaceous borders of Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 21

I am now being swamped by the flowers bursting out of the herbaceous borders of Bute Park in Cardiff, so I’d better give another update before they get totally out of control. When I reported on April and early May it was all tulips and a few other splashes of colour, but now (more…)

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