Monday, March 28

No butterflies today but I did find a moth scuttling across the drive and into my Thyme bush.

Moth - March 2005

Cleaned the paving slabs of the front terrace this afternoon with a power washer; what a difference! Gave all the pot plants some water as they are very dry.
My wheelie bin got emptied for the second time today so I must get out in the garden and start filling it up again.

Saturday, March 26

Saw 3 Brimstone butterflies along the footpath coming back from the Farmer's market in town this morning. Brimstones are always in a hurry in March; I've only ever photographed them in August before. Imagine my surprise when one stopped on a Bramble beside the path.

Brimstone butterfly - March 2005

I did my usual trick of taking one photograph at a distance and then trying to move closer to get a better picture; this butterfly flew away as soon as I took one step towards it.

Friday, March 25

Watched Brimstone butterflies passing through the back garden as we ate lunch. Then a Comma butterfly appeared on my Hebe so I ran to get my camera; didn't move fast enough but found a Small Tortoiseshell on a Forget-me-not instead.

Small Tortoiseshell on a Forget-me-not - March 2005

Went walking into town this afternoon and on my return found 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the back garden.
Then, as I was writing this blog, a Small Tortoiseshell came to feed on the Aubrieta plant just outside the door.

Small Tortoiseshell on a Aubrieta - March 2005

Friday, March 18

A Brimstone was the first butterfly that I saw this year; it flitted over the flowerbeds of the back garden at lunchtime. My husband had just reported seeing two Brimstones and a Peacock butterfly.
This afternoon I went out for a walk to see the butterflies for myself. I saw Brimstone butterflies but at this time of year they are moving too quickly to photograph. I photographed Comma and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Celandine - March 2005

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Crocus - March 2005

I saw the Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on both celandines and crocus at two different places in Cirencester.

Comma butterfly - March 2005

I saw Comma butterflies in many places too and watched them chase the Brimstones.
I hope the fine weather continues over the weekend and that we get to see more butterflies.

Monday, March 14

Trimmed some of the Hyssop and Lavender this afternoon. Hyssop requires the same strategy as Buddleia (see last post). My new wheelie-bin was emptied for the first time this morning, so I just had to start filling it up again!

Friday, March 11

I started trimming the Buddleias yesterday. Finally it was warm enough to get out into the garden for a short while. It's been bitterly cold for the last couple of weeks with light dustings of snow. Buddleias (of the Davidii group) should be cut back to the second growth of leaves up the stem. Although I keep that in mind, I always find it hard on the first trimming to be drastic enough, so I'll probably give it a couple of weeks and give them another tidy.
Cotswold District Council have decided to regularly collect our garden rubbish for recycling and have delivered a wheelie-bin at the beginning of this month specifically for that job. It was with great delight that I started filling it up yesterday.
Some of my Hebe plants have been flowering all winter. If there are any butterflies about in the near future I hope they will spot the Hebe in the back garden which has plenty of flowers. My daffodils are starting to flower too and last year I saw butterflies entering the daffodil-trumpet, so do watch your daffodils... I have crocus, primroses, violets and the first few flowers on Aubrieta out as well.

Looking in a mirror each day is as exciting as watching new plants emerge in the garden. My new hair is fun. It's as thick as a closely-woven carpet. My old hair was brown but the new is pewter-grey (with the white highlights at the temples remaining). It's swirling around on top of my head as the hair growing back fights with the hair growing forward for a place. Fascinating! I saw an acquaintance in the supermarket last week who said "you've had your hair done, it looks very nice" so clearly I look like a normal human being again.

A few days later, in the same supermarket, I saw a Leukaemia patient who had the same chemotherapy treatment as me at the same time (although his odds were never as good as mine); he's had a relapse and there's no more treatment for him. I feel really sad.