Previously I lived in Sweden for nearly 20 years and my quest there was to hybridize auriculas to produce ever better plants suitable for the harsh Swedish climate. Whilst living there I also created and run Sweden’s Auricula Club. I've now returned to England to continue growing auriculas together with my daughter-in-law, Iris. Iris is also an enthusiastic & skilful Iris grower; many of her wonderful Irises can be seen on this blog.
I have quite a few cup plants (Silphium perfoliatum) in the garden, this is a very tall late flowering plant from North America. It has square stems which hold water at the leaf joints; hence it's name. It has enjoyed all the rain we've had lately as have the bamboos and Miscanthus grasses.
Found a Great Green Bush Cricket, better
known here in Sweden as the Grön vårtbitare (green wart biter) as apparently
they have been used here to bite away warts. They are both carnivorous and arboreal,
with their main diet being of flies, caterpillars and larvae; so hopefully they
do some good in the garden. If not at least they have a pleasant chirping sound
which makes the garden sound more tropical. Some of my larger Day Lilies are also blooming now.
Some solitary bees have been laying eggs in the holes of some shelving
units in the conservatory; they then seal the hole. But this does not protect
them from a parasitic wasp from finding them; drilling a hole and laying her
own eggs on the developing grubs. Nature can be fascinating to watch.
The first of my Redhot pokers have just started to bloom; they do rather well in one of my dryer south facing borders. I planted them over 10 years ago and they were mostly a strong red colour, but now thy have self seeded into more orange and yellows./Ray