galeazza garden

Primroses in the Galeazza Garden

I noramlly hate bright, gaudy colours in the garden, but this almost colourless pink primrose is one of my least favourites of all… oddly enough it looks subtle and elegant in a photo! In real life it is just dim… not white, not bright, not interesting, not warm or cool or fresh… I guess it could best be described as “corpse pink”… yes. That’s it!

Primula vulgaris - Primroses

A few posts ago I wrote about yellow flowers of spring and the theory that yellow is more common in early spring than any other colour, (I know there are a million exceptions, but just bear with me) and if this is true WHY? - maybe yellow attracts more insect attention - pollination? This clump of yellow primroses is kindly cooperating with my theory - yellow is blooming now, while the pink, purple, and reddish/burgundy primroses are much further behind…

It ain’t just a coincidence, my friends, it’s science… just don’t ask me for details.

Five Frosty Photos: Number four; the Castle Woodland

This is a view I seldom see - a thick frost on some tree branches, but none on the ground.  It looks a lot like spray snow, as it must have only stuck where the wind was blowing. 

It’s also an unusual view for this blog because it is the Castle of Galeazza as seen from behind the main facade and entry. The woodland is currently under the “care” of an 80 year-old neighbour who is paid by the castle owners for his neglect, oh, excuse me, I mean maintenance of the property. His not-so-secret agenda (There are enormous stacks of “his” firewood just off the property) is to get all the wood he can off the castle grounds, so he can sell it. The agreement for decades between this clever little logger/caretaker and the castle owners has been: If there is dead wood or fallen trees, he can clear it away… obviously he loves a good storm! He also sometimes chops down a perfectly healthy, mature tree where he thinks nobody will notice… he also adores ivy (Hedera helix) because, at least in this climate, it is a noxious weed. It grows very quickly up and around trees, totally covering their trunks and branches. It doesn’t immediately squeeze the life out of a tree like a Boa constrictor imperator can suffocate large mammals, but it does prevent air and light from getting to their trunks. So sooner, rather than later, the weakened tree succumbs to the weight of the ivy (very heavy because it is evergreen and bears fruit), disease, and insects which thrive in shady, damp places… Hey! more wood to sell! Over the past 9 years I have seen many beautiful old trees disappear from the property. 

Years ago I used to picnic, stroll, and work a bit in the woodland, mostly crearing ivy from trees and mowing the grass, but the more I did back there, the less the caretaker was needed, and the less he could continue his logging in secrecy, so he managed to convince the elderly owners I should stay out of “his” area, and concentrate on the front garden, where I continue to work for free.

Raganella! Hyla arborea (Linnaeus, 1758)  - Zoom to see one amazing eye!

I’ve actually seen this little fellow grow fatter over the past few weeks. He must be getting a lot to eat. Normally he hides in the leaves of Miscanthus giganteus, but today as I was photgraphing him, he hopped down onto this wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).