A Butterfly Diary – Please Join In!

Change is what makes us better people – ask any butterfly and he’ll know what I mean…


Yes, a little out of focus I know, but after chasing him round the garden I was just glad to have got a shot of him! A Comma (Polygonia c-album or C-Falter in German) is a rare enough sight, let alone in mid-March! This was March 13th to be precise. Commas overwinter and this generation will fly until June or so. They are apparently quite common in Germany, but I hardly ever see them. They have beautifully shaped wings (and are sometimes called Angelwings), and when they are closed you can see the characteristic comma shape in white on the dark background. You can see it well in the photo below which I took a couple of summers ago…


Among other plants, the Comma caterpillars like to feed on hazel and pussy willow, both of which are in our garden.


I also saw a Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni, Zitronenfalter) that day. It’s the yellow blur below on the left…


This butterfly has the longest life expectancy of all butterflies found in Germany – up to 12 months.

I will do my best to get a better photo this year!

Since then I have glimpsed a Peacock (Inachis io, Tagpfauenauge) and a Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae, Kohlweißling). The Peacock is one of our most common butterflies here – not to be confused with the American Peacocks. The photo below is from last autumn…


“Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,

Thou singless wanderer ‘mid the singful birds”

(from Ode to a Butterfly, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

I will be keeping a Butterfly Diary this year, and posting towards the end of each month – with or without photos and with some butterfly links. If anyone would like to join in please do! It would be so interesting to hear which butterflies visit your gardens around the world!


European Butterflies

UK Butterfly Conservation Site

Tuesday View (25th March)

As March comes to an end we have already seen some of the capriciousness normally assigned to April. With temperatures reaching almost 20°C late last week , we have since had frost, rain, sleet and hail, and a bitter cold wind!

But the rain has worked wonders and the view is slowly getting greener….


I couldn’t resist another photo of my blue Pulmonaria angustifolia ‘Azurea’, with its smooth, unmarked leaves… I love Pulmonarias and will try to do a post on them soon.


I must admit to chopping this flowering quince (Chaenomeles) down to the ground every year in the hope it will disappear… I hate those thorns! It keeps appearing though, and the flower IS rather lovely…


The Spring Corner is developing nicely, and the Corydalis solida has opened completely. I think this one is called ‘GP Baker’.


Just as I am about to press “publish” the sun has come through… hope it shines for you too this week.


And Then There Was Light


I recently read on a German website how, with the increasing intensity of the light in spring, those “living close to nature” experience “a mild state of euphoria” and a feeling of well-being as a result of the extra shot of serotonin and dopamine the light produces.


What an understatement!


The photo above shows my spring corner under the Yew tree. First the snowdrops, then crocus, scillas, daffodils, corydalis, and still to come are the tulips and epimedium. It’s my favourite part of the garden in spring.

What grows in your favourite spring corner?

Flower Pot Cakes

Happy Spring Equinox!

(5.57pm Central European Time)

I started to celebrate spring early this year, and did a little “potting up” a couple of weeks ago…



Yes, they are edible! 😉

This was such fun to create. I just made some chocolate cupcakes, stuck them in pots, added a little buttercream and covered them with more crumbled cupcake. You need a thick straw in the middle, or little glass tubes like in the photo below (I buy my vanilla beans in them), some fresh flowers, and a guest or two to help you eat them… and admire them in between bites! 😉


I found some vegetarian jelly worms some time ago, saved for the occasion, and the pots were bought last year with this project in mind… I decided to just bake the cupcakes as normal in paper cases and pop them in the pots afterwards.


If, like me, you have given up cake for Lent, this may be a nice idea for Easter…?


I’d like to mention Donna’s meme Seasonal Celebrations here. At Gardens Eye View Donna’s site is full of fabulous photos and snippets of information and folklore about wild flowers and native plants. If you haven’t already visited, do take a look at her site and some of the contributors to her meme this spring.


How are you going to celebrate spring?