Full Grown Weeds

A nice thing about plants is that, if you don’t mind a few weeds (and I don’t) you can just leave them there and let them grow. Identifying grown plants with flowers is much easier and now after a wait I can add three extra species to the list. Not being that expert at plants, I finally registered and used Plantsnap App to help with identification - I have to say it saves a lot of time looking through my field guide!

Canadian Fleabane is one that I found last year, however then it was just a small impoverished thing growing in cracks in the paving - seeing the full grown plant I didn’t realise it was the same species. Field Pennycress is a new find, coming through the paving just feet from my front door,. The paved front yard is covered in plants and definitely a Pathclear-free zone. According to Wikipedia the Pennycress is a potential biofuel crop, so I suppose like the Fleabane if it gets to grow without the constraint of being stuck between paving slabs and trampled on by everyone, then it must grow to a more impressive height than my specimen!

The Common Ragwort and Spear Thistle have been growing up for weeks, me resisting the urge to pull them out, and are now 3-4 feet tall. It’s taken a good while for them to flower, but now they have and they can stay a little longer. Both plants are common around the village, and I’m hoping can attract some different insects into the garden. Some of the soldier beetles I saw walking up Alderton Hill last weekend isn’t too much to ask, is it?

Greystones Farm

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has built a new visitors centre at their Greystones Farm nature reserve near Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, and needed some volunteers with good knowledge on nature to guide groups around the site.  Having been through some training and learned my way around the reserve I started guiding in June.  The reserve is a great place to visit, even without a guide.  It's a site of special scientific importance (SSSI) for the wildflower meadows, which have never been treated with artificial fertilizers & pesticides, and also for a visible history of human habitation from the Neolithic & Iron Age periods on-wards.  In the summer it's covered in flowers and buzzing with insects of all kinds; a great place for a walk and a paddle in the clean Cotswold rivers.  There's a wild-play area for kids, and at the weekends you can even get a cream tea at the cafe.