Saturday, April 29, 2006

Devil's claw?

The large seedling is now starting to develop its first true leaves and they look very much like some form of Japanese maple. The seed possibly came from the tree in our garden that grows nearby, but maybe not and, if it did, I am not sure how it would have been buried. Anyway, it looks very healthy and may develop into something quite interesting.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Premature bud

Although it is only about one centimetre tall, the seedling that I think may be groundsel, has produced a flower bud. This is very fast work for something that only germinated on 1 February this year, 87 days ago. It remains to be seen whether the plant will grow taller or will call it a day once seed is set.

The black-tipped outer bracts are characteristic of groundsel, so it looks as though my early determination was right.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hazel shell halves

There were two halves of a hazel nut lying on WBX today split, I suppose, by a grey squirrel. I was reminded of Julian of Norwich's famous words:

"And so in this syght y sawe sothely that he ys alle thynge that ys goode as to myne undyrstandynge and in this he schewyd me alyttille thynge the qwantyte of A haselle Nutte lyggande in the palme of my hande & to my undyrstandynge that it was as rownde as any balle. I lokede ├żeropoun and thought whate maye this be and I was aunswerde generaly thus it is alle that ys made."

As the picture shows, my hazel shell is round and could pass, if not for Earth, then for some distant planet round a distant sun. It has an astronomical cast about it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Largest seedling

The large seedling that I thought might be an ash tree appears to be something else, though it is still too early to tell what. The leaves are a rather olive green and the bud in the centre is red, not typical of an ash. I think it might be an exotic.

Seedlings appear almost every day now and by the end of the year I should have a fairly fully vegetated window box with a surprising variety of species - gardening by serendipity.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What are they?

As the seedlings develop I begin to get some inkling of what they might be. The first to germinate last autumn (lowerpicture) has produced a trifoliate second true leaf and it reminds me of one of the trefoils or clovers. The second up has further slightly serrated leaves and may be groundsel.

More seedlings now appear almost every day and the large specimen spotted recently has now pulled its long cotyledons out of the earth and might be an ash tree - rather too large for a window box!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More seedlings and a fly

A seedling larger than any I have yet seen is coming up to the south of the sallow log. There is another different seedling about the same distance to the north. So far there are at least five surviving plant species in WBX, though I have not yet been able to name any.

Yesterday morning a sallow woodfly, an Egle species, probably E. minuta was settled on North Rim. I can identify these without catching them because I am very familiar with them, though it is impossible to distinguish E. minuta from E. lyneborgi without dissection.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

...and more seedlings

Several minute seedlings have appeared behind and to the south of the sallow log, bringing the total number for WBX up to seven. I wonder if these newcomers might be heathers the seeds of which could have survived in the John Innes soil, or (more likely) pearlwort, Sagina procumbens.

It is cold again and nothing grows very quickly, so it will be some time before I find out.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A third seedling

A tiny new seedling has appeared behind the sallow log, that is on the eastern side of WBX. I have also discovered what looks like some developing moss on a clod of earth (all the other bits of moss identified over the winter seem to have gone).