There's something very satisfying when a plan comes to fruition. In fact I'd go so far as to say that the longer the period of planning the more smug and contented you feel when the target is achieved. For me, personally, it is this target system which I use to keep me focussed during the various angling challenges I set myself. However, this particular plan had nothing to do with my angling exploits, it was all about growing Nicotiana plants, from seed, and ensuring that my patio planters were at peak flowering during the Autumn period when migrant Hawk-moths put in an appearance.
For some, reading this post, it will be a no-brainer but, for me, never having attempted anything of the sort, prior to my retirement, growing flowers is a very new experience. To get them to reach a pinnacle which coincides with a perceived window of "moth" opportunity was a whimsicle notion when I first placed the seed trays inside the conservatory in early April. It would appear that by some kind of fluke I've done just this and there are currently four planters supporting a large number of Nicotiana plants which, in turn have attracted an unknown number of Hawk-moths to our small garden. How do I know this? Well, firstly I have seen several Hummingbird and a couple of un-id'd Hawk-moths feeding on the flowers and in the last six days have captured three Convolvulus Hawk-moths in the 125w Robinson MV trap. Two of them were quite worn but, this morning, I potted an absolute "minter"
The supporting cast has been equally enjoyable if not quite as aesthetically magnificent. Another Golden Twin -spot, several Olive-tree Pearls, Dark Swordgrass and Pearly Underwings with good numbers of Rush Veneers and Diamond-backs adding to the evidence of moth migration. Where are the Silver Y's?
Yesterday morning also saw a decent movement of Willow Warblers along the Vine Close gardens. I counted seventeen in little over an hour and was delighted to watch the first Chiffchaff of the Autumn and be able to compare the feeding behaviour of the two species. Willow Warblers were constantly searching the foliage whilst the Chiffchaff was less mobile. Tail flicking, regularly, before hovering to pick odd morsels from the underside of the leaves. What was most surprising is the fact that I didn't hear a single call during the time spent observing this spectacle.
Finally I'd like to give a heads up for, my mate, Gareth Craddock's blog. Please feel free to click the link to read evocative accounts of his slant on life and our natural world. Without doubt, a master craftsman of the written word, if not a prolific blogger!
Thanks, Dylan! Very kind of you, mate. Lovely to hear about all those willow warblers; I adore them- and chiffchaffs, too. On the moth front, I was having a pint outside Churchill's Tavern the other week when I spotted a hummingbird hawk-moth. I don't see many, so it was a particular treat. I'm seeing a lot of bats, too. I've got a flat in the old Ramsgate Hospital complex; I'm lucky enough to have a lovely, wild patch adjacent to my flat. It links to some gardens in the next road; the bats must roost somewhere nearby- it's all old buildings. I'll be watching the telly around dusk, when they come shooting out from the wild corridor. Lots of foxes around dusk, too- they come in and out of this rough patch, too. Love watching them...ReplyDelete
Gazza, after getting such a nice mention in your latest, epic, post this is the least I could do. Nice to see that BB and John Richardson have also posted comments, two very good bloggers whose work I admire.Delete
I'll email you and we'll have to sort out a date for that pint - all the best - Dyl
Those Nicotianas are fabulous Dyl! I grow some for the propse but theyre not any where near as good as yours. Ive only ever attracted a lone Convolvulous though...well done!ReplyDelete
Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that growing flowers would be something to enjoy. Since finishing work I've really surprised myself (& Bev) by getting right into the gardening thing. The Nicotiana project has been a very pleasing success yet, allowing me to realise how much more there is to this gardening caper. Cheers for taking time to comment - take care - DylDelete
Took your advice and had a look at Gareth's blog and it's bloody amazing and beautifully written.ReplyDelete
He certainly has a beautiful grasp of the written word and how best to use it to put across his slant on life and countryside experiences. Some of his very early posts are so well composed that you almost feel that you're there with him as the stories unfold.Delete
Great work Dyl. It will be interesting to see how future plants result in attracting certain wildlife. I remember Gav, creating a wildlife garden back in Ricky. Seeing a Wide-Bodied Chaser there seemed to prove the value of such.ReplyDelete
It's been a great experience learning as I go along, certainly not a chore as I'd perceived it to be in the past. Quite where it leads me is totally unknown, and unplanned, but I remain confident it will be rewarding. All the best - DylDelete