I know y’all were taken with Frank and Marjorie’s story last week, though I condensed 50 years into a couple of paragraphs so touched on not much more than an inch of it. They come across in Frank’s book as two lovely people, loving each other and their garden and home. I took a phone shot of them from the book, taken in 1994, they’d be in their 50’s here,under the arches of the byre, and sitting next to the falconer statue.
Frank & Marjorie
I took a fair few shots of some of the flowers on display, with some interesting (I think anyway) factoids.
Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) The term digitalis is also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides, particularly one called digoxin, extracted from various plants of this genus. Foxglove has medicinal uses but is also very toxic to humans and other animals, and consumption can even lead to death.
Japanese Anemone (anemone hupehensis) hupehensis, which means “from Hupeh province, China”, refers to a region where the species is known to occur. So that makes sense 🙄.
Astrantia (astrancia major) ~ the great masterwort, native to to central and eastern Europe. The plant also produces an essential oil that can be used in herbal medicines.
Persian Cornflower (psephellus dealbatos) a species of Psephellus native to the Caucasas Mountains and Turkey. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental perennial.
Purple Toadflax ( linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’) It is native to Italy but it can be found growing wild as an introduced species in parts of western North America. In the UK it is regarded as something of a weed, spreading readily on stony waste ground and walls, although it is tolerated for its attractive, long-lasting flowers which are very attractive to bees. This plant is poisonous to livestock, but in a recent study conducted in Italy the plant was found to contain a compound exhibiting antifungal activity, making it a potential natural and ‘green’ anti-aflatoxin B1 agent suitable for use in the food industry.
Martagon Lily, or Turks Cap Lily (lilium martagon) is a Eurasian species of lily. It has a widespread native region extending from Portugal east through Europe and Asia as far east as Mongolia. It is highly toxic to cats and ingestion often leads to fatal kidney failure.
Purple Viper’s-bugloss, or Patterson’s Curse, (echium plantagineum) It is native to western and southern Europe (from southern England south to Iberia and east to the Crimea), northern Africa, and southwestern Asia (east to Georgia). It has also been introduced to Australia, South Africa and United States, where it is an invasive weed. Due to a high concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, it is poisonous to grazing livestock, especially those with very simple digestive systems, like horses. When eaten in large quantities, it causes reduced livestock weight, and death in severe cases, due to liver damage. It can also irritate the udders of dairy cows and the skin of humans. After the 2003 Canberra bushfires, a large bloom of the plant occurred on the burned land, and many horses became ill and died from grazing on it. Because the alkaloids can also be found in the nectar of it’s flowers, the honey made from it should be blended with other honeys to dilute the toxins.
poppys in the wildflower garden
And we saw some butterflies
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) The red admiral is found in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and island regions of Hawaii, and the Caribbean. It resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn. Red admirals are territorial; females will only mate with males that hold territory. Males with superior flight abilities are more likely to successfully court females. They are the Tom Cruise of the butterfly world. It is known as an unusually calm butterfly, often allowing observation at a very close distance before flying away, also landing on and using humans as perches.
A small tortoiseshell, or angelwing. (Nymphalis) and a Red admiral. Today, the anglewing butterflies are found only in the northern hemisphere. Carl Linnaeus described the first members of this group in 1758, and it has since become clear that anglewing butterflies evolved from a common ancestor. During winter months, in latitudes with snow cover, all members of this group hibernate as adult butterflies During hibernation, hidden in various shelters, the butterflies are dormant. The camouflage provided by crypsis ( the ability of an animal or a plant to avoid observation or detection by other animals)is advantageous to hibernating butterflies. Potential predators will have difficulties in seeing the dormant butterflies. With their wings closed, exposing only the ventral cryptically coloured underside, they blend in with their surroundings.
More pictures taken with my film camera at
OK school’s out 🎓 😊 Stay tooned for next week!