Well, it’s actually just over a week since solstice, but it’s been windy here, so I’ve been staying in the warm and dry πŸ˜‰

Today has been lovely and calm, with bright sun and blue skies, the kind of day that reminds me just how solar powered humans are, and me in particular. I came home from Quakers and returned a blown away tub to its home, and spotted these:

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They’re quite big, maybe 5cm/2″ to 12 cm/4″ and thin, with no gills, but very crozzley (crumpled and bumpy) through to completely smooth. I put the photos up on facebook and someone suggested Peziza Vesiculosa, as they like compost and leaf litter. She thinks they’re poisonous, but I was interested with my eyes only, no plans to eat mystery funghi at all πŸ˜‰ Some of them look like Wood Ears too, but they aren’t growing on wood πŸ˜‰ they were near the cardboard mulch that has been drawn in by friendly worms though. Hmm…

I associate funghi with autumn and early summer – fly agarics, chanterelles, puffballs and blewits, so it was a real eye opener for meΒ  πŸ˜‰Β  And having nipped upstairs for my new-to-me camera (so fast my shake hardly matters!) and taken these shots I had an explore to see what else might be happening. The hard frosts are making some of the herbaceous plants look a little sad, but I picked my last lettuce today (Webb’s Wonderful! it is!) and checked the garlic and leeks, which are coming through nicely. The blackcurrant sage bush is still fine, with little green leaves and happy looking. I was warned to give it plenty of drainage and even after heavy rain the last few days it was only moist, not sodden.

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Then I wondered down the drive, which of course I hardly ever see, and was really pleased at how the little wood piles are beginning to look natural. I’m assuming they have

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beetles etc but I don’t think we have hedgehogs

There are vines growing up the biggest trees, which I hope is ok, as they are listed! Beeches are pretty sturdy though.

Then I saw something else I’ve never seen before, a foxglove growing rosettes on itself. What do I mean? Well, foxgloves are biennials, a seed produces a basal rosette (which you can lift and transplant to a more convenient spot quite easily in the winter/early spring.)

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These rosettes seem to be growing out of the stem that flowered in the summer. It’s only one plant, next to a very, very muddy drive, and it occurred to me that it might be that mud had flicked up into leaf curls and the seeds had rooted from there…Is that possible? It looks like a foxglove, the top end of the 1.5m/4′ stem has dead flower head/empty seed heads on it…but it’s behaving more like a buddleia πŸ˜‰ Aha! Could it be a different variety of comfrey than the officinalis I am used to?Β  That might be it, there are at least 3 sorts of comfrey in the garden…

I will keep watching, keep my eyes open πŸ™‚

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