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Wow, I'm afraid you lost me a little with this one, but I am now off to 'carefully' google it and come back when I have a better understanding!..... As they say you learn something new every day!! Higgy
Richard, I think you might have enjoyed the demonstration we had at the Botanic garden today of the banksia's way to assure its survival in territory prone to burning. It was like being back in the chemistry lab The curator burned the dried seed cone and we watched the orifices opening for the seed to be able to drop out - a one-winged seed which spirals away from its parents in the wind. It was fascinating to see how only the dried outer fluff would burn but not the hard bits that protected the seeds. We also saw the teenage leaves (half juvenile, half mature) of the mimosa trees and I cannot wait for this rain to stop to go looking for the teenage leaves in my monstrous ivy plant up my pear tree. I think the magazine could do a series of articles on the marvels our garden plants reveal to us if only we knew where to look.
I had lupins grow like that a few years ago after we tried a new fertilizer on the market...they not only grew extremely tall (over 5 foot) they also produced flattened mainstems then at least 3 lupins grew out of the top of the flattened stem where there should have only been one on each stem
hi richard,could you if pos read the blog on flying ants [from kate bradbury]... i have left a blog on there regarding my sister,we are trying to find out what theses insect or what every theses things are!!!!!! today i have just spoken to my sister and she has said that there are loads flying in and out [very fast]. weather wise its very warm not sure if its that that is making a differance. also they have been there about 4 weeks or so. HELP...


Richard, I have a nest of (smallish wasp looking insects) in my cranebill patch, they are strippy yellow and black and I think they are nesting in the ground. I have noticed when I approach the nest a group fly out in formation. I work around them, but I want to cut back the crane bill and tidy the area a bit. But I don't want to disturb them. Kate thought they might be bumblebees. I have had wasp nests, these are smaller, and I have become quite attached to them. I would love to know what they are, I cant do photos yet, I am new to this technology!!! Very new!!
Reply to Lazy Gardener They may very well be wasps. The trouble is that there are very many species, most of which are black and yellow. Have a look at the gallery on the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society web page: Most likely they are in the families Sphecidae or Vespidae. Have a browse there. They live 'solitary' lives in that they each make their own individual nests and work alone, but they sometimes gather in wasp 'villages'. The 'formation' flying out to meet you may just be a gathering of the wasps about at that moment. One last possibility is the paper wasp, Polistes, perhaps just becoming established in the UK. Have a look here:
It's one of my hobbies, too,Richard, looking for fasciated plants. The most spectacular was a primrose with at least twenty petals on the flower! This was in my own garden but I often spot fasciation in the Botanic Garden. I must examine their Veronicastrum.

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