Thursday, 19 July 2018

Cycad envy

So I have just got back from a work trip to Uganda and I am now thinking my cycad flush is not that impressive.

Everywhere you looked there were lovely cycads.

Sadly there were not a lot of interesting agaves or aloes around,  this was about the most interesting agave I saw during the week.

Notice it has been de-clawed for the guests safety.

Entebbe is a nice and relaxed place, right on Lake Victoria. So you are surrounded by water on most sides.

It was a little strange, London is going through a heat wave and we haven't seen any rain at all for months. Then Entebbe is suppose to be in the dry season and yet it rained almost every day. Apparently they have noticed over the last few years that the weather is less predictable and the whole dry / rainy season descriptions no longer fit.

There was not much else to report plant wise,   I didnt have time to visit the botanic gardens (one day I will), but for the first time I did make it out onto the lake for a quick sunset bird watching trip.


Local fishermen, setting their nets for the night.
Some of the other local fishers.

 It is hard to be anything but relaxed when this is your view.

Friday, 6 July 2018

The soft and fluffy cycads

There are two cycads in the rockeries and while they both flush every year, the smaller one flushes at the end of the summer and so the fronds get damaged over winter. The results in them having to be removed come spring. Finally they are both flushing now so there is more chance of the fronds surviving.

They grow at an amazing rate, and have now reached my favourite period for the flush.

The larger one looks amazing in the early evening sun, and the new fronds gleam. A really good flush this year.

They are great at this stage, unclurling and still soft. I want to stroke it every time I walk past.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

The curious taste of bees

It has been mentioned before, that bees in the garden seem to have very definite tastes.  It doesn't matter how bright the flowers, how large, if they smother the plant, or if there is just one.  It seems bees like what bees like.

In some cases this is understandable; complex flowers, no nectar or flowering when it is too cold.  In the case of aloe striatula the lack of bees never made sense.  If you have ever looked at A. striatula flowers they drip with nectar, the flowers are covered, the top leaves are covered.  If there was ever a plant that provides a perfect bee filling station it should be this one.

There is the issue that the flowers are not form the UK, they are not designed for bees, but the amount of liquid dripping onto the leaves makes easy pickings.  It has been observed that bees tend to stay away from plants they have not come across before and it's only when a bee finds them, perhaps by accident, then reports back that others identify the flowers as a food source. This seems to have been the case in the garden a couple of days ago.  From no bees, to bees all over the flowers.

20 minutes trying to get a photo, and that I end up with is a blur

No wings

and more blurs. 

So while no amazing photos, it is great to actually hear the plants buzzing as more bees arrive each day. Maybe they taste is not so curious afterall.