Nice weather for moths

STWS planting new plants

So recently the weather has been a bit hot hasn’t it, which of course brings a few challenges and sometimes frustrations as a gardener, especially when you’re trying to grow things from seed for example, but I guess these soaring tempertatures did bring about some good points.

If Stoneywell teaches you anything though it’s that, if only to stay positive, you have to work with the conditions and if there’s one thing 30 degrees will do, it’s dry your tea towels.  Cue the erection of original washing line posts and line, in something like their original spot after the introduction of the washing machine at Stoneywell just outside the kitchen door.  Quite the moment.

It seems our increasing understanding and in turn, we hope, visitors appreciation of the garden has come to the forefront in our work of late.  One example being that in the month past we’ve had a moth survey done on property.  If you’ve been anything like me during the hot nights and you’ve left a light on and a window open you may have been counting moths rather than sheep in your bedroom lately but this survey was slightly more scientific, while involving very similar principles but importantly an encyclopaedic knowledge of moths. A light trap is left on overnight which draws the moths in, at this point they are funnelled into a large collecting container filled with egg boxes. Here they settle into the comfort of the spherical cardboard for the remainder of the night and come morning they are identified and released unharmed into the dense shrubs. 686 moths in total were captured before being released and 95 different species!  Two of those 686 moths got Graham, our encyclopedia, rather excited though, as it would appear…

…….. a great result, only a single Barred Umber, but at least it's still there, so that's good news.  For some reason it only appears in very low numbers very rarely no more than 3 or 4 at a time.  Also we had a single Brindled White Spot, which has only been recorded in the county from Burbage Wood, and that was in the 80's I think, need to check on the dates.  So Brindled White Spot was really the moth of the night, as we were not expecting it.  Barred Umber is the special, as it's only found in a couple of sites on the Charnwood Forest, but Stoneywell is the main reliable site for it.  The other sites where it's been found could be from wanderers from Stoneywell.”

All of this of course adds to the picture of what a special place Stoneywell is.  Now while we hope you agree with us in thinking that that is pretty clear just by looking at the place we’ve also made some exciting headway regards our interpretation work in the garden.  Over the last few months we’ve been working with Laura Baxter, a highly recommended artist who has gone away and come back with some fantastic pieces.  We’re confident these will enhance people’s exploration, enjoyment and understanding of the garden including some choice labelling and ideas to highlight certain plants of the moment, with a few more things to come.  Once we settle on a date to showcase things properly we will let you all know, so do come and visit and tell us what you think.

See you soon?