And what a miserable Saturday it is, too. The rain is pounding down, I’ve had the lights on all day, and let’s not even mention the rugby. Still, well done South Africa.
It’s half-term, so only a few photos from my gardeners this time. I’ve made up the rest of the Six by going out, in the pounding rain…
Here we go.
1 Spoils from a stately home
South Yorkshire has one of the largest stately homes in Europe, Wentworth Woodhouse. It has an illustrious past, but fell into terrible times in the latter half of the 20th century. Now it’s on the up again. But, during the bad times, Wentworth Garden Centre finished up with part of Wentworth Woodhouse’s garden, and when you go to the garden centre, you can also have a walk round this remnant garden. One of our gardeners took this lovely autumnal picture there.
2 Fungus walk Part A
This strange and rare little beast is the Earpick fungus, Auriscalpium vulgare, snapped by one of our gardeners on a guided fungus walk. Rotting pine cones are about the only place it’s found, and it’s the only known auriscalpium species in Britain and Ireland. Auris is the Latin noun for ear, and scalpium is the Latin verb for to scratch. I got that from first-nature.com and the site observes drily ‘ The specific epithet vulgare means common (and can only be interpreted as the most common of the handful of species in this genus worldwide).
Quite a find.
3 Fungus walk Part B
This isn’t quite so identifiable. It’s an agaric, said the guide, clearly unwilling to be drawn. Could be the Blusher (edible), the False Panther Cap (edible but not worth the trouble) or the Panther Cap (hospitalization required). Better stick to the mushrooms in the supermarket.
4 Guelder rose – viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’
In real life, it’s a rather deeper shade of red than this, and I wish it would be planted more often, for the spring snowballs, and the autumn fire. In my garden, it’s doing a sterling job of hiding the bins – the Council has now given us 4, so they do take up some space.
5 The teasel thicket
Yesterday there were goldfinches here, but today it’s just too wet. They’ll be back, as will young teasels next year.
6 The blackbird’s Acanthus
This acanthus is growing on south-facing pebbles over concrete. Where it’s putting its roots, I won’t even speculate, because under the concrete the site for the house has a concrete raft over a bed of smashed up engineering bricks. The plant was grown about a decade ago from a packet of ‘Acanthus mixed species and cultivars’. I think it’s probably A. mollis, but one of the cultivars with very long flowering stems. This year it carried 34 stems, most of them over 6 feet high, with pink and white flowers. And it never, ever has powdery mildew.
What it does have is a blackbird’s nest. This was found when cutting back the flowering stems and old leaves a few days ago. I thought the blackbirds had spent a lot of time under the foliage!
And that’s it for this week.
To see how to post your own Six on Saturday, go to