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Wisley photos, nest box, physalis, spuds and fox

Date posted: Wednesday 18th October 2017

Wisley photos, nest box, physalis, spuds and fox

To RHS Wisley last week to see the photographic exhibition – some great pictures of wildlife in all it’s diversity, beautiful or not! And a large dragonfly hovering rapidly around a small gardens pond, but impossible to snap as it didn’t settle!

Meanwhile back on the plot, it’s collecting leaves time, bagging them up for leaf mould and general clearing up. The contents of the bird box on the back of our shed revealed a nest, complete with small white larvae, approx. 4mm in length, encased in a thin papery casing – not sure what they are, but not fly maggots. The fledglings must have got out before the gnawing started on the front of the box!

The shoo fly plants are continuing to thrive, still producing pretty pale blue-purple flowers enjoyed by the bees.

Nicandria physalodes, also known as apple of Peru, apple of Sodom (!), Peruvian bluebell and a member of the potato family (solanaceae), is in the same family as Chinese lanterns, Physalis alkekengi, that my mum used to grow for winter decoration with their filigree casements enclosing a bright orange berry. And I’ve managed to harvest quite a lot of sweet and tasty fruit from a couple of physalis plants, also known as groundcherries, grown in pots on the plot and on the roof at home – next year I’ll put in a row of them, delicious!

I’ve now dug the last of the spuds up – some of the ‘Sarpo Mira’ were huge, almost as big as my head! The purple ‘Violette’ looked attractive but are a tad dry; my favourites are still ‘Charlotte’ for taste!

The dog fox that roams the plots may well also be the one that frequents our street – named ‘Whitetail’ by a neighbour, he looks healthy, has a distinctive limp and a magnificent bushy tail. Foxes continue to divide opinion, perceived by some as ‘vermin’ and by others (me included!) as intriguing opportunists that enrich our urban habitats with their wildness, tenacity and sheer chutzpah!