Wild, and larger than life – My Mother or Verbascum?

My mother (right) Filming: It was alongside a dis-used Railway embankment in Pencader, Carmarthenshire, where my mother first saw spires of wild Verbascum causing butterfly theatrics around their yellow vertical prongs. So good were they at promoting their presence that nearly all their leaves had gone having had the local slugs and snails over to eat too many times.

I tried to grow them from seed at nearby Aber Gwen Mill but they never germinated.

Now we are a few miles further north at the HoBB, and alongside the Mid Wales Railway Line, we’ve found some more growing and have managed to get their seeds to germinate. Not only do we keep the slugs away from their wonderfully soft leaves but their tall complex seed heads are harvested, dried and bees-wax polished for use in the most spectacular of dried flower displays.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

Picture above : My mother (right) Filming: “The Fasting Girl” (‘Pencader’ Platform)

Hazel’s wired for nuts

IMAGENAMEHEREIn a trial to keep Autumn’s HoBB Cobs ‘squirrel free’, I have wired down two hazel trees to form an arched way under the six female holly trees. [Grid.Ref. J27 : 297 above]

Year on year, all the cob nuts are removed before they ripen by a squirrel we’ve nicknamed Jasmin, who climbs post wires and navigates hawthorn and holly to reach her tasty pickings.

The arched walkway will give some shade but should allow us to put up some squirrel-proof netting and thus retain some of the hazel cobs. If there is another way you have used, that has worked, please let us know. As there are so many Hazel trees around, we hope to convince Jasmin and her friends to go after the easiest cobs to hoard. If this doesn’t work, we’ll use ‘Plan B’, and start training Jasmin to tell us where she’s burying her winter store.

Waves ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant