Wednesday 3 July 2013

Pretty Pink Paeonies

This photo of our front courtyard dates from a fortnight ago but I just hadn't got round to posting it on the blog. The pretty pink flowered paeony was given to me by my sister years ago when we lived in London. This year the buds opened and the very next day there was a deluge, before I had a chance to photograph the flowers. Amazingly, they survived the rain unscathed, so I made sure to photograph them the day after that, during one of our few bright and sunny episodes. The flowers lasted a week, despite being rained on almost every day.
How is he going to harvest that?
This farmer has seriously miscalculated the weather and soil conditions this year and ended up with a very strange mixed summer crop. He's had several goes at ploughing and planting this field in the spring, once with maize and once with sunflowers (the sunflowers are not volunteers from last year). Neither is looking spectacular. This photograph dates from a week ago.

Chimney Swept: Pascal from Bertucelli's the plumbers came yesterday to sweep the chimney. He's a nice man. When I pay the bill I'll get a certificate, to prove to the house insurers that we have had it done. It's a requirement of the insurance.
In Our Kitchen Yesterday: Grilled herby chicken and rhubarb crumble served with homemade strawberry icecream. I stripped 1.7 kg of top quality redcurrants from their stems and froze them. I had picked the redcurrants the day before at my friend Pauline's place. She's been banned from making redcurrant jelly, and has 20 redcurrant bushes loaded with big fat redcurrants, so if you fancy any and are prepared to pick them yourself, get in touch... She came out and helped me pick, but I imagine that was displacement activity to delay the whirlwind of housekeeping prior to some guests arriving.
In the Field Yesterday: Male Ilex Hairstreak butterfly Satyrium ilicis nectaring on a Lizard Orchid Himantoglossum hircinum. Marbled Fritillary butterfly Brenthe daphnis nectaring on Wild Privet Ligustrum vulgare. Hummingbird Hawk Moth Macroglossum stellatarum nectaring on Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia conopsea. Hummingbird Hawk Moths are one of the most important pollinators of Fragrant Orchids. The White-tailed Bumble Bee mimicking hoverfly Volucella bombylans var. plunata nectaring on Round-headed Rampion Phyteuma tenerum. Orange-spotted Emerald dragonfly Oxygastra curtisii resting on a grass stalk. All seen on limestone sites near Chaumussay.


Anonymous said...

Love the paeonies. I never have any joy with them - neither here nor in Manchester. Perhaps I should try some pots instead, because they are really beautiful.

Susan said...

LJ: They are notoriously sulky if planted too deep or disturbed. They need lots of water and lots of feeding if in a pot. Mine has stayed in the pot because I dare not disturb it.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I love the paeonies, too! We have the same pale pink ones (my favourite), and a couple of darker pink ones, which Colin prefers. Long live your beauty!

Pearl said...

here your best bet is to harvest the tops half of the hay by canoe. and more rain forecast.

Susan said...

Pearl: So you are having the wet too? Ours seems to have stopped and we've crashed into a heatwave now.

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