Wednesday, 29 August 2012


On the site once occupied by Shipley Hall, there are several large planters, tended by the Derbyshire Council and filled with various flowering shrubs.  among those in flower right now, a couple caught our eye the other day.  Firstly was one of the Carrot family and a great favourite with the insects.  Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a useful plant in the kitchen and no less useful in the herbaceous border.
The flower heads are typical of the Carrot family with large, flat-topped umbels of tiny flowers.  what sets the Fennel apart from the majority of it's cousins is the yellow colour - most of the family have white ones.
The fragrant Fennel plants were only surpassed by the fragrance emanating from a white Honeysuckle plant growing nearby.  The heady scent was also being enjoyed by Hoverflies and Bees.
A large-flowered Geranium was showing it's colour close by.  The pale blue-purple colour of this cutivated form of Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) made a nice splash of colour in the planters.  But the bees weren't interested.
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