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Yes, exciting indeed Mike. I believe it may be a first...
Hello Helen. Wowee! A Green Hairstreak. Callophrys...
From this courteous robin on one of our bed labels and all of us from the Plants for Bugs project here at the RHS, we'd like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Winter is definitely upon us. With plummeting temperatures, dustings of snow and the most magical haw frosts, it's nearly time for us to down tools and call it a day for this year's sampling on Plants for Bugs
Last week Andy our entomologist was invited to present the latest analysis from Plants for Bugs to the RHS Science Committee. This took place in the wonderful wood-panelled Council Chamber in our London offices at Vincent Square. Andy has just begun some preliminary analysis of the data from years 1 and 2
As colours intensify then fade from our Plants for Bugs plots I wanted to leave you with these images;
(from top: Viburnum sp, Geranium sanguineum, Eupatorium cannabinum and Eryngium agavifolium
Sampling on Plants for Bugs for 2012 is quickly drawing to a close. This week is our second to last event for taking overhead photographs of the plots. The job has been getting harder and harder with the vegetation now at its maximum. But with three people on the job we completed all 36 beds by early afternoon
Sarah shows John how to separate out insects from detritus under the microscope
If I didn't know better, I'd have said some prankster had been down on our new wildflower area and thrown handfuls of cooked spaghetti over some plants (see pic above). But no, this was nature at its wierdest. What we had was a couple of patches of dodder - yellow dodder to be precise (Cuscuta campestris), a parasitic annual from North America and associated especially with carrots - that had wound itself all over wild carrot and the surrounding host plants! Here's a close up of the flowers..