It’s often been said, ( although, probably only by me!) that a lot of the conservation work at Blashford is ‘ a bit like gardening, but on an industrial scale‘ . Today I was doing what, to me, is one of the more pleasant gardening tasks of dead heading the buddleia. We don’t have much buddleia left on the reserve, it’s a terribly invasive non-native plant and as such doesn’t really belong here so it’s largely being eradicated from the more wild parts of the reserve, with only one plant left near the Centre. It is, however, a great nectar source for insects and removing the seed heads encourages more flower to form. So what could be finer on a pleasantly warm day than a little light pruning whilst seeped in a heady fragrance and being constantly visited by comma, small tortoiseshell, green-veined white, silver-washed fritillary and peacock butterflies and also this smart red admiral.
The rich lilac/purple flowers of the buddleia are mirrored by many other flowers at the moment – indeed the reserve is going through a ‘purple patch; as evidenced by the flower-heads of creeping thistle, teasel and marjoram
All of which were within about four metres of the buddleia.
In fact I didn’t really need to go more than a few paces to see …
and perhaps most unexpected this small furry mammal taking advantage of the largess provided by some spikes of seeds ( sorrel I think) close by the pick-nick benches
After my embarrassing faux-pas over the bee/hoverfly last week ( thanks to those who put me right) I’m reluctant to put a name to this — I just know there are really knowledgeable folks out there who can tell us.
And a final flourish was this rather posey small tortoiseshell who insisted on sharing a pick-nick bench with me.
As I say all this from, almost, a single position – can’t be bad…