"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

2 September 2006

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather, flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. There are so many such graphics worth including that a separate "colour supplement" is created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop! All the photos this week come from the National Trust for Scotland's Culzean Castle and Country Park in South Ayrshire.

Most of us still call these flowers "Chrysanthemums" although a number of years ago the genera was renamed "Dendranthema". These showy plants need a lot of work as the rootstocks have to be lifted and stored in a frost-free environment in Scotland. And to get large blooms like these, the growing tip has to be stopped to stimulate the growth of side shoots. The gardeners at Culzean Country Park in South Ayrshire are certainly kept busy!

This is the entrance gate to Culzean Castle, with a small, "bombard" in the foreground, with decorative fish supporting the barrel. A bombard is a type of medieval cannon or mortar, used chiefly in sieges for throwing heavy stone balls. The modern term bombardment derives from this.

In addition to lots of Chrysanthemums, the walled garden at Culzean has a great display of Gladioli. This variety is called "Lowland Queen".

There are a number of ponds and woods in Culzean Country Park which provide an ideal habitat for Dragonflies and Damselflies. This is a female Common Darter Dragonfly. Although the close-up makes it look quite large, Darters are the "medium" sized ones in this group. This Dragonfly is sitting on the top of an iron support for the Dahlias.

This red Dragonfly is the male Common Darter. Dragonflies have up to 30,000 facets to their compound eyes, each one a separate light-sensing organ, arranged to give nearly a 360 field of vision. Despite that, it is often possible to get a camera less than an inch away from them to take a close-up picture!

There are many different varieties of Dahlia grown at Culzean, including this deep, rich, red one.

Usually there are lots of butterflies enjoying the flowers which the gardeners at Culzean grow especially to attract them in. But on this visit, there were only a few examples - but this lovely Small Copper Butterfly, feeding on the flower of a Geum, made up for that.

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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