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A Hoverfly supplementing its diet with fennel nectar, and aiding pollination too.

A Hoverfly will lay its eggs where aphids have become established. The eggs hatch into larvae, which in turn eat the aphids.

To look upon as a garden friend.


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I have one Hollyhock plant in the garden, and it looks stunning! It has lots of flowering side shoots and one main stem which soars into the sky, and the leaves seem pretty free of rust this year too. Picking off infected leaves during its early growth may have helped?

Did you know Hollyhock flowers are edible? They can be picked fresh and used in salads or brewed for tea. Buds can be sauted in butter, and leaves (I would imagine rust-free) can be used in middle-eastern recipes.

Please be aware if you suffer from allergies.


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- fennel and bird


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Lysimachia punctata, a perennial with whorls of buttercup-yellow flowers which reaches medium height in a border. Mine is situated in a sunny position and seems happy enough, although I would say, with lack of moisture, it does possibly go to seed more quickly than it would in a semi-shade position.

On a recent visit to Barrington Court in Somerset, owned by the National Trust, I noticed it was being used alongside a stream, which seemed to suit this plant very well.

Over the years I have tried to restrict the use of yellow around the garden but having inherited the aforementioned yellow Lysimachia, yellow shrubs such as Hypericum and the bog loving yellow Iris pseudecorus, the only way to completely elimate it would be through much hard work. Anyway, why should I go to all the trouble? Each in their own right makes a great addition to any garden, most noteably a cottage style one, and yellow plants do look great when planted alongside the cool colours, and even with a hot orange!

I know the great late Christopher Lloyd found great pleasure in mixing every colour under the sun together, and having visited his beautiful gardens at Great Dixter rate his ideas with much esteem, but I myself find yellow so difficult to get right alongside the other colours in my garden.

As you can see by the photo above, it is not impossible, the hot yellow of Lysimachia against the cool cream of Iris, makes for a perfect combination.