A Painted Lady Comes to Call

I’ve had a few problems with WordPress today, including the complete loss of a post. This was annoying as I’d spent a significant amount of time looking for links and photos.

Julia picked plums in the early afternoon and saw a Painted Lady in the garden – another first for the garden. Added to the Small CopperΒ and Hummingbird Hawk Moth we saw earlier in the year it’s all coming together nicely.

When we left home to do some errands this afternoon we spent a few minutes watching the front garden and were rewarded by two small brown butterflies hustling past in the swirling wind, then a larger one, which proved to be a Painted Lady. It took some photographing, as it was quite skittish and there was a stiffish breeze once it left cover.

We’re not doing too badly for butterflies in the garden, partly due to looking a bit more than usual and partly due to a good showing of Red Valerian. We’ve also had Mint Moths on the marigolds, which is a first, as I’ve always seen them on mint or oregano before.

As for the plums, Julia has picked over 200. As usual, it’s a case of picking them when ripe and then using them quickly before they start to go over. We’ve given some to Angela Across the Road, who gave us figs and tomatoes in return. We’ve also given some to the Young Couple Next Door, because they give us cake.

I’m going to make sure we feed the tree properly next year, and ensure the pruning is done properly. I’ve been a bit slapdash with pruning recently and it’s turning into a biennial bearer. This is my fault, not the tree’s. If the feeding works it should fruit moderately next year, which will take some of the vigour out of it for the year after. If not, it looks like I’ll have to remove fruit buds two years from now.

I think this all started about six years ago when we had a bad spring that killed all the blossom. The next year was a bumper year due to all the stored energy and the one after that we didn’t harvest any fruit at all. I should have got on top of it when we had the first bumper year, instead I added neglect to the problem by letting the pruning slip by.

We are having Plum and Apple Crumble for tea.

All in all this has been a good day.

34 thoughts on “A Painted Lady Comes to Call

  1. Pingback: Sunlit Uplands | quercuscommunity

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  3. beatingthebounds

    We don’t have a plum tree – we had a lovely early fruiter, but it hasn’t fruited for years – it’s in a pot, perhaps that’s why? It’s a bit daft really because Number One Son loves plums and so do I. I was admiring your Green Gages too. Must get organised…

      1. beatingthebounds

        Right, thanks. I need to find some room then. I still have a potted Quince with much the same problem.

      2. beatingthebounds

        I don’t think I have the confidence to try and shape it. At the moment it isn’t really a tree – we cut off a number of dead branches and then the kids managed to break off some of those which remained. Extreme pruning!

      1. Laurie Graves

        Oh, that sounds good! I’ll have to keep that in mind for a future meal. In fact, I could have some right now. Love both Sweet potatoes and chickpeas. So nutricuous, too.

      2. quercuscommunity

        Sometimes – it depends what I feel like and what I have to hand. It’s a very accomodating recipe. πŸ™‚
        (I used to make it with potatoes and peas as a cheap meal – it’s more sophisticated and mature now, like me.)

  4. Clare Pooley

    We never seem to prune at the right time either. Something always happens to distract us. I am surprised we have any fruit on our trees at all! You are seeing some lovely butterflies this year!

  5. jodierichelle

    I couldn’t zoom in to the two Painted Lady pics. Something may be amiss, or perhaps it is my problem. The plum tree thing sounds like way too much effort. I would have to be a full time gardener to figure all that out. But so glad your day was a good one. Isn’t that all that matters?

    1. quercuscommunity

      It must be the way I explained it – it is quite simple really (though I was a full time gardener for several years when all other career paths seemed closed) πŸ™‚
      I will reload the pictures and see if it helps.

      1. jodierichelle

        Ah, The zoom in works now – Thanks! Lovely photos. We get Painted Ladies, as well.

        And yes, I am sure your gardening skills are well advanced of mine, and your explanation was quite well done. I have a scientific mind, but somehow, fussing over plants is not a skill I have ever learned. I won’t even try roses, because I once read how to trim them and my head about exploded. Some things just don’t stick with me.

        If you’d like to discuss lyrics from AM radio songs in the 1970’s – you’ll quickly see what sticks with me. I’m lucky it’s such a useful skill. . .

      2. quercuscommunity

        Research done by the RHS seems to indicate that if you just chop your roses down with a hedge trimmer they will do just as well as those pruned in the supposedly “correct” way. πŸ™‚

        I can’t remember somgs or titles and stuff like that, and envy people who do. It’s a useful skill if you like quizzes. πŸ™‚

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