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Crab apples flowering in Community Garden

Crab apples flowering

In April last year (2015), Sid Smailes planted five ornamental crab apple trees in the Community Garden in Powburn.

Well, after carefully tending them for over a year, they are now all flowering – and they look wonderful, with each tree showing a profusion of white flowers. I’m sure that in a few year’s time, once they’ve become really established, they are going to look even better. They certainly cheer up the community garden, which is a real asset to the residents of Powburn.

Once again, many thanks to Sid for all his efforts in maintaining the garden for the benefit of residents and visitors.

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Respite from the storms


Well, the past couple of days or so has seen a bit of a respite from the latest effects of storm Henry (Named on:30 January 2016; Date of impact on UK: 1-2 February 2016).

There have been some occasional blue skies in the Breamish Valley, the wind has abated a bit (which means I can now go out cycling again) and there are signs of Spring cropping up everywhere.

Breamish Valley respite

Respite in the weather – looking towards Reaveley
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Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy Scalycap

Scientific name: Pholiota squarrosa

When out and about cycling along the Breamish Valley last week I passed a few oak trees along the road/lane from Brandon in the direction of Ingram, but before the Reaveley turnoff.

At the base of one of the oak trees was a couple of clumps of rather stunning mushrooms. The caps were bell-shaped/rounded, scaly and measured up to about 13-15cm in diameter.

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Mimulus still flowering

Still many monkey-face flowers

You may recall that I’d discussed and photographed the Glorious Mimulus (monkey) flowers that were abundant along the River Breamish in June of this year (2015). Well…whilst there aren’t so many now, there are still plenty of mimulus still flowering.

If you look down to the river banks from the Branton footbridge, you can still (as at the second week in September) see the yellow monkey-face flowers.

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Sloe news day!

Sloe news: blackthorn fruit

Since the first flowering of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) in Spring the Autumn can now boast a few handfuls of sloes – the fruit of the blackthorn.

Blackthorn is a deciduous shrub/tree growing to about 5m in height. Its very dark, almost black bark, and the profusion of large, stiff thorns give it its name.

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Late Summer butterflies

Late Summer butterflies in Breamish Valley

I’m glad I kept the buddleia (or ‘buddleja’ if you prefer) in my front garden in Powburn this year. When I bought it, it was sold to me as a ‘patio’ plant that wouldn’t grow above 1.5m. Well…that didn’t prove to be the case. It grew so tall and thick that I couldn’t even dig it out last Winter to replace it. I simply had to chop it to ground level and walk away. And, of course, it came back, didn’t it? Not quite so tall as before at the moment, though. Anyway, this meant that my ‘butterfly bush’ was ready to attract some late Summer butterflies (or are they really early Autumn butterflies? See Signs of Autumn).

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