Digitalis Purpurea: The Essence of Summer

Foxglove and bee

The summer solstice seems an appropriate time to feature one of Britain’s most evocative wild flowers: Digitalis purpurea. Close ups of their spots, hairs and pouting flower lips, combined with dire warnings of their toxicity, help explain why so much lore has been wound around them.

Colourful folk names variously link them to fairies, dragons and witches, while scholars dispute the derivation of their commonest name, foxglove.

Continue reading

Insect hotels

Home for insects at the Dorothy Clive Garden

I signed up for 30 Days Wild and I’m sharing my pictures of insect hotels (also called bug condos) as a Random Act of Wildness. These imaginative homes for insects are a practical way to help the environment and bring grownups and kids closer to nature.

Insect hotel (detail)

An insect hotel is packed with materials that create holes of different sizes, offering shelter for a wide range of creatures. Talk about consumer choice! ‘Would you prefer a roomy kingsize or snug single, Mr Solitary Bee? You’ll find a buffet breakfast in the meadow on the ground floor.’ Continue reading