Diamondbacks in their thousands

Since I first blogged about an invasion of diamondback moths (kålmøll) two days ago, reports have been coming in across Scandinavia of the enormity of this invasion, even reaching the farthest north parts of the Norwegian mainland in Finnmark, the arctic city of Tromsø and Northern Sweden. In some places, it’s been too cold to start planting out vegetables!
There were more than a thousand moths in my garden yesterday and they were observed swarming over my perennial kales (Brassica oleracea), sea kale (Crambe maritima) and common wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris), none of which are likely to be severely affected.

Bulfinch visit at Apple blossom time

Bullfinches (dompap in Norwegian) have an unique biannual appearance in the garden. They feed from autumn to early spring on natural food and on the bird feeder. Of the natural foods, I’ve seen them feeding on nettle (nesle) seeds, maple seeds (sycamore and Norway maple / platanlønn og spisslønn) as well as buds of plums. They then disappear in March, but return again every year about the time when the apple trees are coming into flower. I presume they are interested in the ripening buds, but have never seen them eating them.  A pair appeared again in the garden two days ago and here are a couple of short films. In the second, you can even here a snatch of bullfinch song. I’ve never heard that in May before, but they do sing weakly in late winter sometimes.
There could hardly be more blossom on the apples this year! Looks like yet another good year.

Female Pied Flycatcher

Sat in the garden this evening and I noticed both male and female pied flycatchers (svarthvit fluesnapper) having a bath in a bucket planted up with the water plant chinese arrowhead (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=19451). The female sat conveniently above the bucket for me to film! You get a quick glimpse of the male sitting by the water at the start of the first film!

KVANN’s Annual Meeting Weekend: Day 3 visit to Væres Venner

Here are a few pictures from our Sunday afternoon visit to the Community Garden at Væres Venner where KVANN are establishing both a so-called Vegetable Sanctuary for old and new vegetables, nut trees, fruit and various other useful plants. We are also developing a so-called World Garden (Verdenshagen). It was a work day in the garden for the members and our group where given the background to the garden by Sølvi Kvam and  Marina Görtz who is developing a biodiversity garden for the bees and much more and featuring a garden of old Norwegian garden perennials.
KVANN’s Fruktlaug (Fruit group) brought  a selection of old apple trees to be planted in the garden and Eirik Lillebøe Wiken is seen in some of the pictures informing about the different trees and grafting techniques!
Thanks to Sølvi for some of the pictures.

Eurasian siskins on pine

There’s one Norwegian pine tree in the garden (Pinus sylvestris) which has grown slowly over the years since we moved here and is now approaching the height of the birch trees. It now regularly produces cones, but this is the first time that I’ve seen siskins feeding on the nuts. Coniferous tree seeds are the main food of the siskin in spring.

Edibles & ornamental plants

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