Thursday, 27 September 2007

Newts, toads and dragonflies

There's lots of colour still in Chesters Walled Garden - tall stands of Michaelmas daisies, vivid pokeroot berries, great drifts of Verbena bonariensis and sedums, pretty grass seedheads and sumach turning brilliant red - so there is still work to do in the garden. On wet days, however, we work in the tunnels, cutting back perennials, tidying and top dressing and generally preparing the plants that are for sale for their winter rest. Picking up one of the pots I discovered this drowsy little newt underneath and took its photograph! We often find newts in the tunnels at this time of the year and the fact that no chemicals are used and the watering system comes on every now and then must make it an attractive and safe enviornment for them.

In the garden I found a lovely fat toad, snuggled sleepily down amongst geranium foliage where it had created a low hollow for itself. About the round pond, dragonflies are still restlessly darting, probing the bricks around the edge for places to lay eggs. There are now more butterflies than we have seen all year: red admirals, painted ladies, peacocks, small tortoiseshells. Having had such a poor summer for butterflies, it is a relief to see them in numbers. The robin is singing its thin autumn song and a scruffy blackbird follows me around, getting almost up to my feet in its search for worms and grubs that I disturb while cutting back.


Janet said...

Ah. Cute.
Nice for newts, toads etc, and a safe working environment for you. Three cheers for organic gardening.

helena said...

I've just come across this blog and think the standard of photography is great, also the writing is really interesting and I'd love to come up and see the garden some time. Keep up the good work!