After a couple of days washing and drying tablecloths, counting the money and tickets and reconciling one with the other (always a challenge we find), getting around to planting out the leeks and too-long-in-the-pots Cosmos which I had planned to do before our NGS Open Day on Sunday and thanking all our helpers…time to reflect on what it was about our garden that our visitors liked.

Some pics of things of particular interest or curiosity..

 

Ladybird poppy in cutting bed

Ladybird poppy in cutting bed

…with self-sown (a bit of a theme in our garden) candytuft and marjoram (the best pollinator-friendly plant you can have in your garden, in my opinion).

Cornflower and 'shaggy' daisy again in the cutting bed

Cornflower and ‘shaggy’ daisy again in the cutting bed

 

They liked the ground elder too – yes really.

ground elder flowering

ground elder flowering

And our wood stacks with a smattering of self-sown toadflax (the purple one) and hogweed (the white umbellifer) to make it all look tasteful.  (Pay attention, there’s a quiz coming…)

wood stack. toadflax and hogweed

wood stack. toadflax and hogweed

 

They were curious about the lovely blue flowers amongst the garlic…or were the garlic in flower?

allium azureum planted between the rows of garlic

allium azureum planted between the rows of garlic

They liked the spiky, mauvey thing flopping all over the place and wanted to know what it was.

Veronicastrum flopping everywhere

Veronicastrum flopping everywhere

But that’s how I like it.

Veronicastrum and visiting bee

Veronicastrum and visiting bee

Bees and other pollinators also like it.

Visitors liked all the gorgeously smelly rambling roses we have everywhere and wanted to know what their names were.  Unfortunately I don’t know all of them.  Positive identification much appreciated -subject of a future blog with better photos.

Un-named prolific and wonderfully smelly climbing rose

Un-named prolific and wonderfully smelly climbing rose

They liked the primulas and bought lots of them to take home.

primulas amongst the plants for sale

primulas amongst the plants for sale

 

They liked the view of the garden from the bench at the top of the hill.

Trekking up the hill for an overview

Trekking up the hill for an overview

And they liked the flowers in the tearoom.  They also liked the cakes (thank you Wateraid volunteers for providing) but they were so popular I didn’t get a pic.

tea room flowers

tea room flowers

Here pictured on our kitchen table after the event.  Ground elder makes a surprisingly good cut flower.

And they were puzzled by the the two sets of distinctly different leaves on this tree…

Oak and horse chestnut tree

Oak and horse chestnut tree

…a pocket of acorns and conkers planted by daughter number two about 20 years ago.

 

They also puzzled over (this is the quiz) the bee-friendly flowers set out to test their knowledge of such things.  Only one visitor got them all right.

5 bee-friendly plants in flower in our garden

5 bee-friendly plants in flower in our garden

 

Answers:

1. toadflax (were you paying attention?)

2. parsnip

3. ground elder (yes really, and the bees and hoverflies love it)

4.  honeysuckle (we have several varieties – this is the wild one you find in hedgerows)

5.  hogweed (again, a brilliant pollinator-friendly plant – just don’t let it set seed in your borders)

Other visitors

For the record, a few other visitors to our garden in the last few days…

Brown long-eared bat

Brown long-eared bat

Sadly found dead in the garden tool shed amongst the link-stakes.  But hopefully suggests that there are others around.  We know that we have a summer male roost of Pipestrelles in the roof.

Scarlet tiger moth

Scarlet tiger moth

Apparently there are a lot of them around at the moment – we were still thrilled to find them here.

frog

frog

Hopping about amongst the raspberry canes so hopefully eating all the slugs.

gold-banded dragonfly amongst the Ezethas Krombek Blau peas

gold-banded dragonfly amongst the Ezethas Krombek Blau peas

The peas were also admired.

Then just as I was finishing this blog I found …….

Elephant Hawk Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth

…on the honeysuckle over the gate.

All our visitors seemed happy.  We must be doing something right….

Ok, the lovely weather helps!