|Redcurrant leaves distorted by the aphid,|
Cryptomyzus ribis. Hellidon, Northants. 6 June, 2015
In general the gardens were very fine indeed. I was interested to learn that almost every tree in the village was subject to a Tree Preservation Order (T.P.O.). One gardener told me that shortly after purchasing a property there she found that there was a T.P.O. on a tall line of 'Leylandii' in her garden. Her objections were thrown out until the relevant officer resigned. His replacement promptly allowed her to go ahead and fell them.
|Magnolia sieboldii. Hellidon, Northants.|
6 June, 2015
This lovely magnolia was at its best. It is Magnolia sieboldii, a very hardy tree native to China, Korea and Japan. The stamens form a striking reddish ring, contrasting with the ivory-white tepals. (Tepals is a term used for perianth structures which cannot easily be identified as petals or sepals.)
|A few withered bracts remained on this Pocket |
Handkerchief Tree. Hellidon, Northants. 6 June, 2015
By this time we in need of a cuppa. Teas were being served at the village hall. 'Go up Two Tuns Lane,' we were advised. I know a roadside inn on the old A5 at Tamworth called 'The Three Tuns', so I assumed that our route would take us past a pub.
In fact the truth was almost hilariously mundane. The road had a two tons weight limit imposed on it. It was indeed narrow - and steep - but we made it and were rewarded with tea (or in my case, coffee) and cakes.
|Moss roses are forms of Rosa x centifolia. Hellidon,|
Northants. 6 June, 2015
I don't often see moss roses. They are forms of Rosa x centifolia and were apparently unknown prior to 1720. The sepals and adjacent structures are covered with tiny outgrowths looking rather like moss. I couldn't find the owner to ask about this specimen but it is probably 'William Lobb'; certainly this is the most widely-grown variety.
|I liked this periwinkle, Vinca major var oxyloba|
Hellidon, Northants. 6 June, 2016
|Even with the flowers only in bud Centaurea macrocephala|
is an eye-catching plant. Hellidon, Northants. 6 June, 2015
This had me scratching my head for a while. Where had I seen it before? Then the penny dropped. I should have recognised it immediately for I had grown it many years ago when Chris and I live at Longland Road, in Northampton. It is a Centaury, Centaurea macrocephala, a very handsome and robust plant for the larger border. The brown structure is the flower bud and it will shortly open up to reveal big yellow blooms.
We had parked some three hours earlier in a large field, together with 60-70 other cars, at the village edge. We arrived back, a little footsore, to find our vehicle standing forlorn and alone. We'd certainly had our money's worth.