Counting leaves in a neighbourly way

Yesterday, we were drinking tea in our conservatory. I watched the leaves fall from an oak tree in our neighbour’s garden.

Counting the falling leaves, approximately of course, I noted with some most unneighbourly glee that in a gust of wind about 100 fell into their garden and about a dozen into ours.

How it all changes. Doing the same today, a gust delivers about 100 leaves into our garden and just 10 into our neighbour’s garden.

Maultway sarsen stone examined by County archaeological team

The future location of the sarsen stone in the roadside verge on the Maultway has been a concern for many people, as the viewing figures on this blog have attested.

I’m delighted that Archaeologist commented on this blog, with,

A response from Surrey County Council has informed me that there is an archaeological team at the site, who will examine the stone prior to and during being moved and, as already noted, given that it is of interest and importance to the local community it will be retained nearby.

It seems that expert advice is that the stone will be retained nearby. Hopefully again in a new position by the roadside verge. All this got me wondering about how the stone got to be here, and similar ones in our borough. I’ve located some sources of information that might be of interest to readers, some quite detailed too.

It’s widely accepted that the moraines of ice sheets and glaciers in the last ice-age – between 11,000 to 115,000 years ago – are a probable source. A moraine is the debris, consisting of large boulders to small particles, pushed to the front and sides of glaciers.

The extent of the ice sheet over the UK in the last ice age appears to be open to academic debate. So, it may be that as the ice sheet melted, melt water carried the stones to us.

Here’s more information about the subject

Hoping the Maultway sarsen stone is moved and not damaged

The road junction reconstruction underway at Red Road and the Maultway has uncovered a large sarsen stone that lays in the land on the Maultway near the junction.

I’ve no idea of the depth of the sarsen stone. It’s certainly large, not as big as the one at the top of Curley Hill in Lightwater, though much larger than the one by the four bronze age bowl barrows in Brentmoor Heath, West End.

I’d like to see the sarsen stone moved to the edge of the reconstructed road, and not broken up.

I’ve written about sarsen stones in detail HERE, and HERE. They were mostly deposited in their current location during the ice-age. Losing them would not be good, to put it mildly.

Here’s a photo of the Maultway sarsen stone mostly covered by vegetation, and one of it now recently uncovered.

A day of photos: Getting close to a gull

Gulls were standing on the River Thames wall in front of County Hall, just a little up from The London Eye, on when I walked by on my London visit this week.

I think it is a Glaucous Gull. I’m happy to be corrected by those with greater knowledge.

Maybe it is because the volume of people, mostly tourists, around this part of London that you can get surprisingly close to gulls.

Surprised to find ourselves on trend

Still haven’t quite finished bulb planting, with four big ‘Saint Kaverne’ daffodil bulbs to squeeze in somewhere, and a few Iris bulbs. [See photos below – click to expand]

In buying packets of iris bulbs at the RHS Wisley shop it appears we are on trend. Not something that we are used to. The buckets of daffodil bulbs we bought were British grown. The crocus [Narcissus Giant Yellow] and iris bulbs were Dutch grown. I did try and find British grown ones, but was taken with the description of Iris ‘Red Ember’, and ‘Eye of the Tiger’. I’ve planted lots of the Red Ember, though still have some Eye of the Tiger to plant.

It’s these two Iris varieties in which we appear to be on trend, as described in an article by Sarah Raven in the Daily Telegraph, which she says of these Dutch Iris varieties,

My favourite was the smoky purple and copper ‘Red Ember’, which looks like a tropical bird with delicate dark markings on every petal. As far as cutting-edge flowers are concerned, bronze is on the up, whether it’s Bupleurum longifolium, the tulip ‘Bruine Wimpel’, or this exciting new iris.

‘Eye of the Tiger’ is magnificent too, a softer, smoky, greyish brown in the outer petals, more mushroom than copper, less spicy, less cinnamon, but still beautiful.

Adding to our cacti collection

Last weekend we visited the open day of Ottershaw Cacti near Woking.

They are not open to the public, and so an open day is one of the few opportunities to see their cacti collection., apart from when they exhibit at gardening shows. Growing and exhibiting cacti is Daniel Jackson’s hobby. That’s quite some hobby when you have 9 commercial-sized greenhouses full of cacti and succulents. And yes, there is a difference between cacti and succulents. Generally, and I am no expert, cacti have spikes, while succulents are more fleshy.

Naturally, I took some photos, which you might like to see. I’ll not show photos of what we bought for fear of losing them through my negligent care. I bought four and dearest wife two. Maybe next spring I’ll show you.

My bulb planting is almost complete

The warm weather has been my kind servant, in that it’s allowed me to plant almost all of the bulbs bought from the RHS at Wisley.

The RHS Wisley shop did not have any daffodils of the ‘Tahiti’ variety, as recommend by Will HERE. We chose ‘Red Devon’, a daffodil with a red/orange cup, and ‘Saint Kaverne’ that is bright yellow with a large cup.

Naturally, when going to Wisley with bulb purchase in mind, and faced with a wide selection of bulbs, though mostly crocus and not daffs, we strayed into buying half a dozen packets of crocus. More about these when I’ve completed our planting. Meanwhile here are photos of what our two daffodils varieties will hopefully look like next year.