This week in Hampshire we’ve had lots of frosty mornings and some sunny afternoons. I was very excited to spot a Buff-tailed bumblebee enjoying the Mahonia. I had only recently discovered that this species is now staying active all year. British bees are one of my new addictions after reading Dancing With Bees by Brigit Strawbridge Howard. If this interests you, my review of her book can be read here. Brigit is also on Twitter and has a fantastic feed for nature enthusiasts. @B_Strawbridge
So first photo goes to this lovely Buff-tailed bumblebee which I chased all around my Mahonia to get the photo! With more bees likely to acclimatise to global warming and staying active all year a Mahonia is a good choice of winter flowering plant for them.
My second photo is Japonica (I think?) or spotted laurel also called Japanese laurel, Japanese aucuba or gold dust plant. This one’s berries are just starting to turn red.
Third spot this week goes to a favourite of mine this ‘old fashioned’ Marigold. I bought these seeds years ago after a day at Weald And Downland Living Museum. I’m not sure what variety they are but they keep growing each year. Last year I took a couple of cuttings; they are slow to take but I was very pleased to be able to plant them out. There’s even a new bud showing in January!
My fourth photo is of the first new bud on this cyclamen. I learnt something new when I was researching details about this plant. It is also called sow bread because the corms can look like small loaves and were thought to have been favoured by pigs in the wild.
Fifth place goes to what I hope is Viburnum Tinus also known as laurustinus, laurustine or laurestine. It comes from the Mediterranean area of Europe and North Africa and later it has tiny blue/black berries. This one’s only a small shrub, when we moved to this house it was struggling to thrive when surrounded by ground elder.
Lastly, another yellow flowered plant, I didn’t realise how many yellows were in my garden! I think it is a Primrose rather than a Polyanthus, but I have both, so I’m hedging my bets that this one is a Primrose.
Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.
Have a great gardening week,