Monthly Archives: August 2013

Flora Menorca

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I haven’t travelled out of the UK for nearly a decade. In that Time I have had two kids, changed jobs, moved etc,so had completely forgotten how great it is to have a complete change of scene was awesome. 33 degrees celsius all week and beautiful clear sea, paella and great cheese etc, swimming, basking in the sun, new people. I did manage to programme in a spot of blog photography as I noted quite a few bits of interest on my travels to the beach and back. The image above shows a good sized palm Date palm behind our apartment, I love the way the old leaves have been so neatly cut off and that this adds another ornamental aspect to the plant.

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Bougainvillea was planted around the apartments and was in 3 colours; at night lizards come out of hiding from it and crawled around the walls. at the base was a plant I didnt recognise but was a native to the island, Santolina and Hibiscus shrubs where dotted about also.

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This hibiscus had new flowers daily.

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The Tamarisk seen above where common, this one had some fruiting bodies at its base ( Ganoderma possibly)

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On the areas approaching the beach there where a number interesting plants. This one had great flowers and was living in the sand! I collected some seed of this one.

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This pic shows it in a bit more detail. As well as this plant I discovered a nice Euphorbia, a very white sea holly, possibly a Balotta and a legume. See below.

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Euphorbia….

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Sea Holly med style

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Ballota of some form

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Not sure what this is but it was used in gardens a lot; as was Oleander. I spotted a number of different colours and forms.

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Something I have not seen before was the use of Pittosporum tobira as hedging. It has great leave shapes / texture and it also had loads of seed on it some thing that doesn’t happen in the uk.

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It was all very nice and relaxing.

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Adios !

Prairie in the Uk

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As part of the relandscaping of the Harris garden in 2010 we converted many areas over to different types of plantings. This area adjoins the meadows which where sown and in between lots of naturalistic plantings. We used a technique of sowing into cultivated soil covered with 25mm of sand and then covering with jute weave to stabilise it ( go to prof James Hitchmoughs website ) As the naturalistic plantings contained many American natives, a natural ink between these areas and the meadows seemed to be a Prairie! I have been asked many times why but when it started flowering people understood. As we are a university and a botanic garden of sorts Prairie Moon nursery in the USA agreed to sell us some seed and we opted for a mixed height prairie mix. In the first instance after we sowed it a male pheasant and it’s hareem moved in for the kill and we feared all the seed was lost. However the first year (which your are supposed to cut back) we let grow and it was a sea of different kinds of Black eyed Susan’s and Prairie sage. Some short lived grasses did come through but as yet no real grasses: we think the pheasant and his crew got them!

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Since then each year it has got more diverse you can see from the above it’s got good coverage and we have lots of Echinacea pallida. The plant next to it is the fantastically names Rattle snake master or Erynigium yuccifolium.

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This plant the Hoary Vervain is another new arrival this year it’s a short lived perenial and looks great against the prairie sage.

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Prairie in June; you can see the Prairie sage is quite dominant.

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This pic was taken on my phone with a 360 degree app; once you focus you can see the four side of the prairie beds and the paths leading to other plantings.

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This is one of the adjacent to the Prairie, as you can different Echinaceas, grasses and Euphorbia palustris.

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The red border is on the otherwise of the hedge and shows hybrids of native Americans Monarda and Heleniums thus further linking the whole area to the prairie. It’s all great for insects and especially bumble bees which see to be in abundance this year .