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Diary 2014 July

 

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1 July

Chocolate teddies and dinosaurs  Pitcher plants
Today we went to the garden centre with Auntie, and while she was looking at the farm produce, I noticed these very interesting boxes of chocolates. Although the would be quite fun, I think I prefer to spend my pocket money on getting more actual chocolate, and less on the fancy shapes and boxes. These pitcher plants catch and drown flies inside the red tubes. They look really good with the other bright green plants and the green bucket they are in.

Sundial  Cupped hands water feature
This sundial would be useful but I think in my garden there are too many shadows at the beginning and ending of the day. I really liked this cupped hands water feature, the problem is that I already have three birdbaths!

Crowd of fish  Big koi
We always visit the fish in the aquatics shop. The big koi in the pool are enormous and they are at least four foot long. There is a side window in their pool for children and teddies to see them underwater.

Spotty fish  Stripey fish
This pair are very smart, black with white dots, and white with black dots. The smartest fish are these two in big stripes, but I forgot to get a photo of their name.

Floating ball heron scarer  Pond magnifier dome
This floating ball with big painted eyes is an outdoor pond heron scarer. There are lots of eyes so that there are always two facing upwards, even when the ball turns and moves. This big magnifying dome is another really good idea, as you can look down and see the fish clearly with no waves.

2 July

Blackbird  Chaffinch in birdbath
Our friend the blackbird is taking advantage of a break in the gardening to clear up the worms. Later on a chaffinch had a good splashing time in the birdbath, and I hope he comes back again. We often hear chaffinches but they are mostly too shy to come down onto the grass.

3 July

Digging up iron frame  Holly bush
We spent the morning digging out this old iron frame that used to hold a cabinet. It was always very weedy underneath. Now everything is clear and I have planted this holly tree in the space, which had to be moved from another place where it was not doing very well. It will look good next to the other variegated holly bush that is already there.

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5 July

Fixing plug  Air pump
The fish were in trouble today with a lack of oxygen in their water, and they were gasping for air, after several hot days and very humid nights. We immediately went out to buy a really big air pump. I was surprised that we had to put the plug on ourselves, as most things come ready with plugs. It is quite heavy, so we are keeping it on the chair until we can make a strong shelf on the fence for it. I like to have the tubes up high, away from any passing foxes or cats that might feel like chewing them.

Aerated pond
The bubbles coming up look like a volcano or geyser about to blow, and after the fishes had got used to it, they really enjoyed darting through and round it. Now they are much happier and not gasping for air.

10 July

Rainy day  Puddle on garden bench cover
A wet day again, although I am glad the garden is getting a good soak. The new benches are all covered up, and the rain is making pools on the covers. It is tricky to tip it off without getting wet feet!

13 July

Pink rose  Young wood pigeon
The Maid of Kent rose is growing very big and fast, and is covering the greenhouse window. It will need a good chop back after the flowers have finished. This young wood pigeon has taken up residence in our garden. He was being chased off by the older ones, and so I had to make up for it by giving him extra bits of bread. He only comes at the end of the afternoon, so I am glad he knows where to find his proper pigeon food, which I think is berries and fruit.

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15 July

Four coots on nest  Two coots on nest
In the park, these young coot are still keeping to their nest, as somewhere to sit in safety. As it was early morning, they were all still asleep. The two coots are on a second nest out in the water.

Magpie
This magpie is in a friend's garden several miles away. He looks entirely different from our magpies which seem shorter and more rounded. This one looks more like a crow. They make the same noise as our magpies, though!

16 July

Ducks on straw bale
There are several bales of straw in the park pond, and the birds are really appreciating having some dry islands to sit on. They are very grateful to the park keepers for thinking of them!

17 July

Future shops image  Shops building site
Here is a picture of how our new shopping centre is going to look. When it is finished, I shall take a picture standing in the same place, and see how they match up. At the moment it is all heaps of rubble, steel rods and diggers, and they have made several little windows in the fencing so people can see the progress.

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18 July

Hall Place cut flower garden  Sunflower
Today we went to Hall Place gardens. The Cut Flower Garden is very beautiful, as all the flowers are packed together in blocks and rows. The sunflowers are quite short, but as they are for cutting, they don't need to be tall.

Riverside hide  Bird hide
It was a very hot day and we went straight to the bird watching hide by the river. Everything was cool and quiet.

Noticeboard  Egg seat
Blue Parrot read the notice boards but there were few birds to be seen. He really likes this giant marble egg seat, sitting in its nest of bent branches and twigs. We know it is a seat, because the egg has a flat top.

Unripe grapes  Redcurrants
Nearby are the Tudor Fruit Gardens, and these are tiny grapes. Brown Teddy likes these redcurrants but he thought it would be very fiddly to pick them all. I told him that they get cut in bunches, which makes it quicker.

Unripe raspberries  Poppy
Blue Parrot found the raspberry canes, but these fruits were still green. A few wild poppies have seeded themselves amongst the other flowering plants and I am glad the gardeners have left them in.

Raised path  Ornamental grasses
Behind the big house is this raised path and here I am just getting to the top of the steps. Further down are some lovely waving grasses, with a patch of sunlight shining in the middle.

Tree shadows
This is the view looking back to the raised path on the left. The big house is behind all the topiary bushes in the distance. The cool shadows were very welcome as it was getting hotter and hotter all the time.

Yew hedging  Herb garden
There is a lot of clipped yew hedging, and Blue Parrot kept finding holes and looking inside. He thought he might see a bird nest, but it was only bare branches. This is the herb garden with low box hedging around. I have some hedging like this in my garden and it keeps everything very neat, and interesting even in winter. Last winter a big eucalyptus tree had fallen down across these plants, but I am glad to say that after several months it has now been taken away and we can go all the way through this part again.

Sunken garden  Sunken garden plaque
After the herb garden is the sunken garden. It spent all winter and spring under water, looking like a lake, but now there is grass and some plants. With the recent thunderstorms, it was still a bit waterlogged on the flowerbed parts. I found this plaque to Arthur Hodgson and it says he created the sunken garden in 1952. I am glad he did!

Cool shade 1  Cool shade 2
Back into the cool shade, and I took a picture of this puddle because you can't photograph the lovely cool damp smell! Brown Teddy found an even shadier part under the fir trees and the ground underfoot is all bouncy from the pine needles.

Weirs
Last of all we spent some time on the bridge watching the two weirs. Although the water looked cool, it was very hot standing there and so we decided to go home.


At about bedtime, there were some thunderstorms passing. I took some movies of the sky and later on went through them frame by frame to get the ones with the lightning bolts. This is the best one.

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19 July

Starlings with bread
More very noisy starlings. This young one eventually couldn't eat any more and the parent wandered off to feed itself.

22 July

Box hedging   Clay pot with honesty seedheads
We have moved the box balls to along a path, where they can grow into a continuous hedge, which means less work trimming. They came up with lots of root and soil on each one, so I am sure they will survive the move. This is my favourite clay pot but it kept going mossy slimy green when it had soil in it. I scrubbed it all off and it is now being kept dry, with the honesty seed heads in it.

24 July

crow  Crows
We went to Danson Park in Bexleyheath. We took some old bread for the crows. They are quick quick to see where the action is and it did not take long to get a crowd. But as usual they won't come very close, unless it is to grab a bit very quickly. I like the way they bounce over the ground when they are being brave for the food! When threw bits to the crow on the rock, but it kept bouncing off and he didn't feel like running after it. His friends ate it all but I think he got a piece eventually.

Danson pond 1  Danson pond 2
This is my favourite part, a shady pond that leads into the big open lake. It is very quiet and there are a few ducks and moorhens about.

Blackberries  Little stream
The sides are well protected with brambles, although Blue Parrot was really thinking about how long it would take for the berries to go red and black. Brown Teddy's favourite part is the little stream that comes from the ponds to the lake. There are lots of stepping stones where the water trickles downhill over the mud and stones.

Danson House  Model of clipper ship
This is Danson House that overlooks the lake. It is very smart and clean looking. On the way home, we saw this model of the clipper ship Cutty Sark in a shop window.

30 July

Goldfish feeding  Goldfish lazing in blanket weed
The fish got extra food so our visitors could see them feeding. You can almost hear the noise and sucking as the fish mill about for the pellets. This is the exact opposite, with fish lazing about in the blanket weed enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Later on we had to take a lot of the blanket weed out as it was getting too thick.

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