Garden Macro Photography: February 2018

Just when I thought it would be boring!

I've been out in the garden with my tripod and macro lens again. I wasn't expecting much this time, as it's still bitterly cold. Even though the spring flowers have started (and a little bit early too!) the garden still is nowhere near it's full glory. However, amongst the things I was expecting to see, something caught my eye... (but I'm not telling you what until the end!) As always, you can tap or click the photos to enlarge them.

First, lets start with the crocuses! I love bulbs! Not only are they easy to plant, but they grow so beautifully and can just be dumped in the ground and left. As an added bonus, you forget what you've planted where, so in the spring you spend weeks trying to figure out what all the random green shoots will turn into! (Or is that just me?!)

Next we have our primroses. Well, I use the plural as we have lots of them planted, but only one has a full flower already. I never realised how bizarre the inside of the flower looks!

The winter pansies are doing well. In fact, they are doing so well that in one hanging basket, which Anneka planted in around August 2014, we still get fresh pansies very regularly! This is despite the fact the we never touch the basket, other than to water it when we can remember. Pansies are so easy to grow!

Next, we have some very green shoots. I'm fairly certain that the first photo of the three is the bluebells. Sadly, these are Spanish bluebells, not our lovely English ones. I'm not getting rid of them though, because they are still bluebells! The second two photos are daffodils. I planted these bulbs a couple of years ago, and they're the only ones I remember!

The buds below are on the Japanese maple bush. I think this is a better photo of them than I've previously got, which I suppose means I'm getting better at this?

The next two photos are of some cyclamen we have growing in the garden. I don't like these! The flowers aren't all that pretty, and the leaves give me the creeps for some reason! It just sort of crawls along the ground, appearing at random, and then flowers only briefly. I've tried digging it all out, but it just keeps coming back!

 This next one is an unusal, tiny shrub. It's a variety of dog hobble (Leucothoe axillairs) called 'Curly Red'. In the summer the leaves are green, and it's really rather boring, but in the winter they turn red and provide a bit of colour to an otherwise gloomy season. It's supposed to grow to 1.5m in height and 2m in width, but our specimen is poorly (and has been for some time) so it's only about 30cm squared! Although it's boring for a large part of the year, I'm reluctant to dig it up because it gets people talking!

Next we have some shoots. I have absolutely no idea what this is! I suppose I'll find out soon enough though! I hope it's something very flowery and showy!

We have spearmint in a blue pot in our back garden. Although it mostly lies dormant during the winter, there has recently been some signs of life again. This leaf is the start of some new growth - and growth which come the warm weather will have to be kept in check, as mint is incredibly invasive and will creep out of the pot looking for space to grow!

We still have lots of eggs clinging to the walls of the house!

Now, here it is! The thing which caught my eye as I was almost finished for the day! The thing which made me say "Ewww! What on earth is that hideous thing?!" Drumroll please...

It's gross isn't it?! It really, really creeps me out! I liken it to some sort of weird space creature, which has landed for the sole purpose of crawling into your ear as you garden, then sucking all of the electrolytes from your brain! Of course, as much as it makes my skin crawl, it's not a space alien. It is, in fact, the chyrsalis of a large white butterfly! It's amazing that something so beautiful could emerge from something so repulsive! We've never had a butterfly overwinter in our garden before, so that fact that this one chose the wall of our house to do so makes me feel incredibly privileged!

We'll both be keeping a very close eye on this over the next few weeks, to see if we can witness the butterfly emerging. I really wish we have a couple of hundered punds spare now, so that I could put a webcam on it some everyone could watch it's progress!

I've really enjoyed doing this again, and now I'm getting impatient and watning spring to come quickly so I can get lots of beautiful flowers close up!

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