Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Not just blue...

…. we have red and yellow meconopsis too! Yolanda from the Netherlands discovered on her recent garden tour of Scotland that there are blue meconopsis in many gardens here. Perhaps that is a surprise to others too.

What isn’t as common is the red and yellow ones but I found some on a recent visit to Branklyn Garden when I went to take photos of the blue meconopsis as I knew they had good sized planting along a path there which looks fantastic.


I did remember I’d seen a red once a few years ago but it wasn’t quite like the ones I saw on this visit. The way the light streamed through the red ones really was quite magical as you can see.


What was interesting, when I think about the location of these plantings now, was that the red and yellow were in a slightly more open situation within the garden getting more light than the main plantings of the blue. Maybe that’s the conditions that suit them.


The blue meconopsis is still my favourite and I loved the way the deeper blue of aquilegia looked growing alongside it. I wonder if that was planned planting or the seed blew there from another border. I love when that happens.


This garden is packed with plants and I love it at this time of year. I don’t often visit it in the summer months but perhaps this year I will as recently I heard it is quite a green garden then.


I love the red and yellow candelabra primulas planted in this meconopsis lined path. This is the area I came to photograph and it was difficult choosing the few blue photos to show. As you can see some petals are on the chipped bark path. I have found that the wind gets mine too although I hate to see petals on the ground in my garden as I only have a small number of flowers. However this pathway looks great with them gently blowing along it.


Continuing with the red and yellow theme I thought I’d tie in some wildlife and birds. It is been a while since I have posted on either I know. We have had a fair bit of rain and wind which always seems to coincide with time I could get outside with my camera in my own garden.

It is the school holidays here so I have been out and about. I put my camera, video camera and tripod in the boot of the car when we go out just in case I should want to use them. On some visits I know I will get the opportunity to use them like yesterday morning. We paid a return visit to Loch of the Lowes where we sat behind the viewing window with a coffee and hot chocolate as we watched the wildlife visiting the feeding stations. My video camera was ready to record!




I always look for different activity at the feeders or on the ground but if a red squirrel comes along I always try to capture images of it. We only saw one on this visit. Unfortunately with lighting and people moving around behind me (especially with light coloured clothing) there is movement in my capture which also makes the squirrel look a little lighter in colour too. But as it was a closer image than the one from my last visit I thought I would show it. I love the way it strips the skin off the peanut.

Many of the smaller birds at the feeders are familiar to me here as I see them in my own garden but the Yellowhammer is not. I have seen it feeding on the ground here but it does appear quite timid and doesn’t stay around too long. Yesterday I was on the lookout for it.

It briefly appeared in the same area as I had seen it before. I moved to another seat. I waited patiently, watching the tree branches, for it to arrive. It came and fed with the siskins and other birds on a hanging feeder. I found it amusing to watch how all the birds fed together. What I did notice though was that the yellowhammer did appear to be alert at all times where the younger siskins just got stuck in and hardly lifted their heads.





Watching the different behaviour of my visiting garden birds is something I have really enjoyed but I just don’t see to have had the time recently. It is fascinating. I captured a few more pieces of video at Loch of the Lowes that I will post soon. I must get some close-up bird feeder footage from my own garden soon. There are a number of plants in flower now too - I hope they are still in flower for Bloom Day on the 15th of the month. I cannot believe we are near that time already!

The meconopsis photos above were all taken at Branklyn Garden on June 17th 2008. The red squirrel photo and the videos were taken at Loch of the Lowes on July 7th 2008.

18 comments:

artistsgarden said...

Lovely meconopsis.
Nice red squirrel too - it has been more years than I care to remember since I have seen one.
Regards
Karen

Debbie said...

Wonderful, Shirl. I always love your videos.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Lovely post Shirl, I always enjoy the vids!

Last night I held a fledgeling Siskin in my hands. It had flown into my greenhouse and I noticed it fluttering about when I went to close the door at 10. I was able to catch it and release it into the wild (I have a lot of experience with catching birds without damaging them as my dad has been breeding them for close to 50 years and trained me at an early age how to handle birds). Poor little thing, it must have been so scared.

On my trip in Scotland I noticed the yellow Meconopsis too and I think (not entirely sure) that there were some red ones about too but it's the blue ones that steal the show, don't they? And it's them you notice first.

On my second holiday recently I saw a red squirrel too but it disappeared into a tree before I could take a pic so your vid was a real treat.

easygardener said...

I love the blue macanopsis. Such a clear blue.
I see that squirrel is the sort that won't eat its crusts. Doesn't it know it needs roughage!

shirl said...

Hi again Karen, Debbie, Yolanda and easygardener :-)

Karen – I agree, the funny thing is I went straight to the path with the blue and it was the gardener who walked by as I was photographing them that pointed out the red further along another path! I am so glad he did. Yes, the red squirrel is from my childhood and in these last few months I have been trying to capture it on film. It is so quick though! Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Debbie – Thank-you, I love making them. I think I need some new background music though. I will have to look into that. They are great fun editing the music with the film. Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Yolanda – Thank-you, I am feeling the need to experiment a bit more with the videos now. One day when I have spare time! Poor siskin, I had a chaffinch do that once and they do get quite distressed. Now that my greenhouse has been turned round the door isn’t in the flight path. That must have been a great experience to be able to handle birds when you were young and to be able to catch them now – I don’t know how you would attempt that. Well done for saving the siskin. Oh yes… it is the blue meconopsis that steals the show but that red looked quite striking that day too. I have also seen cream ones and there were more lilac blues in this garden too. Ah… the red squirrel is just so hard to catch for a pic that is why I have been coming to this reserve. They are just too quick out in the woods. It is because they are so hard to see close up (or at all) that I have been trying to catch them on film here through the viewing window. I hope you are not working too hard on your long border! Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Easygardener – It is a great blue and there are so many variations to it too. Lol, yes the squirrel did appear to eat like a child eating the chocolate off a chocolate covered biscuit too! Perhaps they should have Healthy Eating notices on the trees ;-D Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Love poppies in any colors. I really enjoyed the videos of the bird feeder. I am beginning to recognise some of the European birds without prompting since you and Mike are posting and telling us what they are. I love learning about birds from around the world. This is probably the only way I will get to see them.

Nancy J. Bond said...

I've never seen a yellow poppy! They're all lovely singularly, but more so in combination. Beautiful. As are your delightful videos. :)

trisha said...

Hi Shirl, your photos of flowers are a treat and the red squirrel is lovely to see. After having problems with a grey squirrel a while ago it's nice to see a 'proper' squirrel.

You are a good at taking photos. How do you do get such clear pictures? You must have a good camera. Flowers can bring such colour to a garden can't they?

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa, Nancy and Trisha :-)

Lisa – Yes, I am beginning to enjoy more poppies myself. I am particularly pleased that you enjoy my bird videos! Being able to show them just feeding and mingling in video helps greatly to show the character of these birds to people like yourself who are interested in birds but won’t see these ones. That can be people from the UK too. When you add Mike’s wonderful photos to the mix the picture is complete! I am so glad you enjoy them. One dry day I hope to properly test out the zoom on my new video camera and you may be in for a real treat them :-D Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Nancy – I had never noticed one at this garden before either. I have seen cream ones though. I agree they are especially great in bigger plantings. Thank-you I am glad that you enjoyed both them and the videos. I hope to get footage from my own garden soon. I haven’t seen the hedgehog since my neighbour completed has ‘unfriendly to wildlife’ landscaping. I am guessing they are exploring other gardens now. I should put my night camera out in the evening to see if they pass by but it isn’t really dark at the moment until very late. Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Trisha – Thank-you I am glad you enjoyed them. Yes, we do have a completely different view on the red squirrel here in the UK – poor grey’s. We do love our red squirrels! Thank-you, I do take many photos before choosing the ones to show – not all are clear :-) Yes, the colours from flowers are a welcome sight but as I posted recently I do love the many shades of colour and texture from our foliage plants too. It is great that we can mix both in our gardens isn’t it? Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

Jane Marie said...

I truly love your blue poppies! Your videos are a real treat. Keep 'em coming.

Bobbi said...

Wow - I've just stumbled across your site! Nice photos; great info. I'll be recommending you to friends!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what lovely videos - i love red squirrels and I saw a yellowhammer just today, I would have thought it was quite unusual for them to visit bird tables?

patientgardener said...

What gorgeous poppies - I liked the red meconopsis. I have bought a selection pack of seeds for various poppies including meconopsis so I am going to keep my fingers crossed that I can germinate them

Catherine said...

I've always love the blue color of Meconopsis, unfortunately I have never had luck growing them. It's nice to see them growing in abundance and in so many colors.

Mother Nature said...

We have to adore the meconopsis from afar. They can't survive here. It never dawned on me there may be another color other than blue.
Donna

shirl said...

Hi again Jane Marie, Juliet, Patientgardener and Cat & Hello Bobbi and Donna:-)

Jane Marie - Thank-you, I will do my best! Have a good week :-D

Bobbi – Gosh – Thank-you! I am delighted to hear you enjoyed your visit. Have a good week :-D

Juliet – Thank-you, what a coincidence seeing the yellowhammer. I have seen it feed on the ground too at this reserve but with so many birds at the hanging feeder (from a tree branch) I suppose it is too much of a temptation ;-) Have a good week :-D

Patientgardener – They are but yes, there is something about that red one that made my smile when I saw it in the garden. I wish you luck with your poppy seeds I had fun with that a few years ago when I tried it. I loved the dark almost black ones. Have a good week :-D

Cat – No surprises that you love the blue! What a shame you haven’t had luck in growing them. I only have a few plants which I have had for a number of years. I did notice I had fewer flowers this year maybe I need to stock up for next year ;-) Have a good week :-D

Donna – I am glad I can share them with you. This plant comes from the Himalayas and I never considered that it wouldn’t grow in America. Oh… there are many shades of blue and you can get cream ones too. Have a good week :-D

Barbara said...

I wonder why I didn't take notice of the red and yellow meconopsis at Branklyn Gardens last year.They are beautiful too....though I still prefer this very special blue sort.
I enjoyed very much your videos!

shirl said...

Hi there Barbara :-)

Oh… I hoped you wouldn’t miss this post. I thought of you as I was taking my photos especially when it was one of the gardeners that pointed out the red one to me.

I agree the blue is very special but I have to say that every time I scroll pass the red one it does stop me in my tracks!

I hope you have enjoyed your break. Have a great week :-D