Tikorangi Notes: Friday 11 May, 2012

Monarch butterfly on Dichroa versicolour

Monarch butterfly on Dichroa versicolour

1) Garden diary – in praise of cheering pink sasanquas and being grateful for living in a mild climate.
2) Step by step instructions on how to prune raspberries – Outdoor Classroom revisited.
3) Passing the sniff test – fragrant and scented plants.
4) Metasequoia glyptostroboides Such a difficult name for a magnificent tree. It is no wonder it is oft referred to as the dawn redwood (a living fossil).
5) Grow it Yourself – cape gooseberries or, more correctly, Physalis peruviana.
6) Nothing to do with gardening, but there are new reviews on my book site (http://www.runningfurs.com) including three cookbooks – Jax Cooks, Dulcie May Kitchen and Nadia’s Kitchen – and assorted children’s picture books including a couple of exceptionally good ones.

I have an admission to make – the monarch butterfly was in fact dead. They’re easier to photograph that way and we have an alarmingly low number of live monarchs this year (blame the wet and cold summer – more on that topic later). There were not enough fluttering around for me to snap with the camera. In fact we still have an abundance of swan plants which are now interplanted with stinging nettle. Why stinging nettle? Because we are besotted with butterflies and we won’t get the beautiful red and yellow admirals in the garden unless we have their host food which, unfortunately, is stinging nettle.

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