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Happy Together

I learnt a new word today after spotting this teasel amongst the dried flower heads.

Vivipary– when seeds germinate whilst still on the parent plant. Viviparous germination isn’t uncommon, particularly when it’s been rainy and warm. I have noticed it before on Nigella and calendula but it’s a bit more obvious on a teasel. We still haven’t seen any birds enjoying the seeds – we were particularly hoping to see the classic goldfinch shot – and they clearly missed a few on this seed head!

It was a HAHA workday yesterday and there was a friendly group of volunteers cutting back the hedgerow, particularly the bits growing through the fence, and clearing rotting wood from around the site including, sadly, the Wildlife Plot bench that the vandals smashed up – it was beyond repair. 

HAHA Work Day

The spikiest prunings (blackthorn and hawthorn) were used to plug gaps in the hedge in the hope of spiking any would-be intruders! The rest of the clippings were added to the marvellous bonfire.

Some of the wood was spared from the fire because it had interesting life forms so we added that to the wildlife plot wood instead. Like this fascinating fungus – Candle Snuff fungus. It’s common in the UK, but I don’t recall seeing it before. It’s also known as Stag’s horn fungus for obvious reasons.

Another fungus, that looks more interesting up close is this resupinate polypore. New word of the week #2, resupinate = upside-down. This fungus manoeuvres it’s gills to point to the ground for quick spore dispersion. Up close it looks a bit crumpet-y to me and rather pleasing.

Crust fungus on decayed wood

Apart from fungi, one particular piece of rotten wood was home to many insects including millipedes, wood lice and centipedes. And something that does tiny rectangular poops…

And a handy hint regarding garden critters: Fast moving insects tend to be good for gardens, as they’re often predators of the slow moving insects which are more likely to be pests due to being herbivores. It isn’t always the case and not all herbivores are slow (being a herbivore myself, I find that insulting 😄). We also found a few snails where they are probably preparing to hibernate. These lucky ones were found by Kate so were put back somewhere cosy rather than being slung over the hedge 🤭

A handful of snails

These and other interesting subjects such as the dredging of the canal which is currently ongoing, birds over the marsh, otters, the vandalism, obviously, and so much more were discussed during snack time after the work was completed.

And the fire kept going until we left after sundown – 4pm…. The weather was dull all day and we were very lucky that the rain arrived later to dampen down the pile of ash.

It was a fun and productive day, we won’t let the haters get us down too much. The song title is brought to us by The Turtles.


Published by Belinda Robinson

Photos of planting, growing, harvesting, (occasional) vegetarian cooking and wildlife - this is why the Marsh Lane Allotment site in Hungerford is such a fabulous place to spend time. A record of successes, failures and it's a handy reminder for me too. From 2017 each post title brings a song to add a little extra music to the world - enjoy!

One thought on “Happy Together

  1. An interesting post and good pictures. I’ve seen vivipary a few times, and on the first occasion didn’t know what it was. I’ve grown teasels on the plot in the hope of seeing goldfinches on them but never have.
    Glad to see that you had a good day and enjoyed yourselves. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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