Plant of the month – Blue Eryngo

Eryngium planum, known as Blue Eryngo or Flat Sea Holly, is native to central and southeastern Europe and central Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial growing to 90 cm high with branched silvery-blue stems, and numerous small blue conical flowerheads surrounded by spiky bracts in summer. It is bush-like in appearance but fits in well in any herbaceous border.   It has…

Plant of the month – Hawthorn

A familiar site this month is the “Mayflower” or Hawthorn. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit. Common hawthorn can support more than 300 insects and is the foodplant for the caterpillars of many moths and other insects. The flowers, which are prolific this month, are highly scented, white or…

May Spotlight Species

One of the commonest kind of solitary bee on the wing this month is the “Nomad” Bee. Often mistaken for small wasps, these tiny bees are cleptoparasites – or cuckoo bees. Female Nomad bees search for solitary bee nesting burrows and while the host bee is out foraging, they enter the nest and lay an…

April Spotlight Species

Peacock butterflies (Aglais io) are now coming out of hibernation and appearing in our gardens. They will have spent the winter in sheltered refuges such as hollows in trees or garden sheds. The Peacock is unmistakable, with spectacular eyes on the upperside of the hindwings resembling those on a Peacock’s feather and will appear very…

Welcome!

Pollinating insects are in trouble. Intensive farming, climate change, urban growth and the over use of pesticides have all been devastating to these insects. Two thirds of our butterflies and moths are in long term decline. Across Europe 38% of bees and hoverflies are also in decline. And yet, one out of every three mouthfuls of…