Monday, 20 July 2009

Intoxicated bees

We are getting lots of concerned visitors worried about the bees that are feeding off the nectar from the Eryngium giganteum, commonly called Miss Willmott's Ghost!

The bees are very busy feeding on the nectar - making them appear drunk [as drunk as a bee!] and lazy, eventually falling asleep to sleep off their over indulgence. I quizzed Eric our resident bee expert and he reassured me that the bees suffer no long term consequences and actually benefit from the sugar content of the nectar.

The bees that seem to be the busiest around the Eryngiums are the bumble bees with a few honey bees also benefiting.

Just for your information Miss Willmott's Ghost is so called because the Edwardian garden designer and friend of The Major's, Miss Ellen Willmott, use to collect the seed and when visiting friends or clients would scatter the seed. With the Eryngium being a bi-annual, it would germinate and flower the next year, so therefore becoming known as 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'



Thursday, 9 July 2009

Plant Survey

Yesterday Franklin Tancock the National Trust Plant Collections Curator inducted Sally Oats our contractor to the property. Sally can be seen with a GPS device in hand plotting the position of all woody and herbaceous planting. This survey will enable future digital interpretation of our plant collection. Sally will be working at Hidcote two or three days a week for several weeks. This is very exciting for us, and we are looking forward to managing the plant collection in a more professional.

Statement from Franklin.
For many years it has been the objective of The National Trust to have a comprehensive record of the significant plants within its gardens and parks. This is no longer a dream but now a reality with the introduction of this plant database. It will improve the way we manage our collections and give a greater understanding of their needs. With your help we will begin to build the largest history of plants anywhere in the world for the enjoyment of future generations. The hope is that you will feel part of this milestone and enjoy the benefits of being able to share your information with your colleagues and fellow horticulturist everywhere. Franklin Tancock