What's Amazing Now

A #peacockbutterfly visitor in the polytunnel 🦋

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Pasture update from Donna 🌾🌸🌱 What is looking good through June and into July! Enjoy the video and stay tuned for more updates 😃 Happy gardening 🐝 #pollinatorfriendly #EnchantedGardens #enchantedgardenskent #naturalhabbit #happygardening #whitstablekent #organicgrowing #Nomow #naturalgardening #biodiversity #buddleia #malva #meadow #wildflower

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Leather Jackets (Crane Fly Larvae) Friend or Fo? Another discovery whilst cleaning up and repotting my plants. In this Scabiosa plant I found a Leather Jacket grub, which will hatch into a Crane Fly in late July/August, not an immediate concern for me, I simply removed the grub and left it to it's chances on the pasture. I wanted to create a discussion around this insect as it can be the blame for lawns being eaten and a war waged agaisnt them. It's essential to remember that like all insects, they play a vital role in our ecosystem and serve as a significant food source for birds. To attract birds like starlings, crows, rooks, jays, and magpies to your garden, offer appropriate food and water. These birds will gladly help control the grubs by eating them and feeding them to their young. To lure the grubs to the surface, where birds can easily catch them, it is reccomended that you water the affected area of grass and covering it with black sheeting for 1-2 days. Happy Gardening! Donna x x x #EnchantedGardens #organicgrowing #naturalgardening #biodiversity #naturalpestcontrol #Gardeningtips #whitstablekent #gardeningadvice #pottedplants #leatherjacketgrub #cranefly

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Plant of the Month of June Salvia and Rose, because they are both gorgeous! June is the month that both Roses and Salvia, in all their varieties, start to bloom and fill our gardens with their beautiful colours and scent all through the summer and can flower up until the first frost. They are also great companion plants as Salvia offers long-stems and contrast to the Rose's, they are also known to keep mildew and blackspot at bay. Single flowering Rose's are easily accessible and very attractive to our pollinators as the stamen is conveniently on show for the bee's to see and buzz down to collect their pollen. They also are much easier to navigate as there are not so many petals to deal with. These plants are a staple to any garden! Please enjoy the photos and send in ones from your own gardens! Donna x x x #salvia #rose #plantofthemonth #plantofthemonthjune #organicgrowing #pollinator #EnchantedGardens #whitstablekent #enchantedgardenskent #pollinatorfriendly #naturalgardening #gardeninginkent #gardening #companionplanting

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We are still looking for ladies to join our Ladybird Team of gardeners. It's just normal garden maintenance, edging, weeding, mowing, pruning and so on. You need to be able to drive. Training is provided and you will be with another experienced lady.

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Thinking beyond #NoMowMay The #Nomowmay initiative introduced by conservation charity Plantlife in 2019 sent a message to the nation and beyond that leaving your grass to grow through May contributes to a conservation effort you can do from your own home. Keeping your grass unmown allows native wildflowers such as daisies, dandelions, yellow rattle, field forget-me-nots, and buttercups to grow and establish themselves in your lawn, and provides an important habitat for insects to breed and pollinate. Dandelions are one of the best sources of food for our native pollinators as well as their seed heads being great for some of our bird species to feed on. With all of this being said and the many great benefits one month of not mowing has for our wildlife, I would strongly argue extending the #Nomow period and leaving your lawn unmown through June and even July. Our conservation efforts should not be restricted to a one month period, recent articles in the RTE (Raidio Teilifis Eireann, Ireland's National Public Service Media), BBC Country File, and David Attenborough in The Express have all advised gardeners to leave their lawns unmown until even the 15th July. We need to see beyond the slogans and continue the crucial conservation efforts throughout the whole year, just like a dog is not just for Christmas, Conservation is not just for May. For great year-round #Nomow advice visit the Plantlife website. Take a look at these articles: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/1905430/gardeners-mow-lawn-June-David-Attenborough https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2024/0430/1446592-no-mow-may-pollinators-nature-bees-butterflies/ https://www.countryfile.com/news/no-mow-may-why-you-should-lock-up-your-lawnmower-on-1st-may https://www.plantlife.org.uk/campaigns/your-no-mow-may-lawn-guide/

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Just a little update off our Woodland Glade area! It really is looking fantastic at the moment 🪻🌱🌸 I hope you enjoy the video 😊 Donna x x x

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Happy Wednesday everyone! Please think twice before spraying any chemicals to try and control the aphids in your garden, here are my thoughts and tips: Aphids are small common garden insects that are also known as blackfly and greenfly, this also includes the fluffy white wooly aphid which looks like an aphid wearing a cotton wool jacket. They have many predators and are the basis for many food chains in our gardens. Whilst they can cause sooty mould and stickiness of leaves, they rarely kill a plant. Ants farm aphids for their honeydew which is excreted and protect them in return. Their natural enemies are Ladybirds, Lacewing larvae, Predatory midge larvae, Beetles, Hoverflies, Earwigs and Parasitoid wasps (Wasps have an unquenchable taste for aphids so should be seen not as adversaries but as allies in the fight against pests), and of course this time of year whilst all our Bluetits are nesting our birds need to feed their babies, so with all this on your side there is no need to spray any chemicals. So, encourage the presence of these beneficial insects by planting a variety of flowers and herbs that attract them. By maintaining a healthy, biodiverse garden is your best defense against aphid infestations, you not only protect your plants but also support the broader environmental health of your garden. Donna x x x #aphids #naturalpestcontrol #Gardening #whitstablekent #enchantedgardens #biodiversity #pollinators #happygardening #pollinatorfriendly #naturalhabbit #Gardeningtips #gardeningadvice #naturalgardening #conservation #ecosystem

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Happy Monday everybody! I absolutely love this picture and wanted to share it all with you and share some fun facts on our beloved Dandelions which I adore so much. They have edible leaves rich in vitamin C and minerals. Pick the young leaves only all year round. The flowers make dandelion honey too, yum! The roots can make coffee which is caffeine free. What we find really fascinating are the common names as each county used to have its own name for flowers. So dandelions are also known as: Bum-pipe, Burning Fire, Clock Flower, clocks and watches, combs and hairpins, conquer more, devils milk plant, devils milk pail, dog-posy, fairy clocks,farmers clocks, golden suns, horse gowan, Irish daisy, lions teeth, mess-a-bed, pissimire, stink ravine,swines snout, tell-time, time flower, time-teller, wet-weed, wishes ... What do you know it as? All the names hint at its uses too!! Please share and spread the word that dandelions are not ugly looking weeds but a important and rich food for our bee's and for us too! Donna x x x #naturallawn #weeds #gardeninglife #Gardening #gardeninginkent #gardeningadvice #bee #naturalhabbit #pollinators #plantinformation #butterfly #bees #biodiversity #whitstable #naturalgardening #Gardeningtips #enchantedgardens #pollinatorfriendly #happygardening #whitstablekent #pollinator #organic #enchantedgardenskent #gardeningtips #gardensinwhitstable #Conservationuk #dandelions #dandelionhoney #dandelioncoffee #longlivedandelions

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Happy Morning everybody! Just a little video I would like to share with you about this lovely Honesty plant! Enjoy, Donna x x x #Honestyplant #selfseed #honesty #enchantedgardens #enchantedgardenskent #naturalgardening #biodiversity #whitstablekent #gardensinkent #gardensinwhitstable #plantinformation #conservation #pollinator #pollinatorfriendly #bees #butterfly #earlyspringflowers

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Happy Friday everyone! I have come across this very interesting and optimistic article I'd like to share with you all! 'The Future of Farming – Chemists Discover Safe Pesticide for Organic Agriculture' The article explains the research that has been done looking into using Rose essential oils as an alternative to harmful pesticides, in organic tomato production, hurray! The study finds that the essential oils " activates tomato pest-defense genes and attracts herbivore predators. Therefore, REO could be used as an environmentally friendly pesticide in organic farming" (Gen-ichiro Arimura from Tokyo University of Science (TUS), Japan) They conclude “Our study suggests a practical approach to promoting organic tomato production that encourages environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. This research may open doors for new organic farming systems. The dawn of potent environmentally friendly and natural pesticides is upon us,” (Professor. Arimura) Please give it a read, it does suggest some hope for the future of #organicfarming! Donna x x x Reference: https://scitechdaily.com/the-future-of-farming-chemists-discover-safe-pesticide-for-organic-agriculture/ Rose in the picture is a 'Gertrude Jekyll' #pesticide #organic #farming #alternative #saferfarming #rose #roseessentialoils #essentialoils #universityofjapan #biodiversity #conservation #enchantedgardens #betterfarming #pollinatorfriendly #pinkrose #gertrudejekyll #futureoffarming

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Happy Monday everybody! I have come across an article explaining that 'Plant species recommended as pollinator friendly in Europe begin flowering up to a month too late in the spring to effectively contribute to wild bee conservation and how availability of early spring-blooming plants affects colony survival and queen production' They recommend in this study that Red Nettle in the UK, among other species, would be an early enough plant to provide colonies of Bees food in earlier months. I want to take this opportunity to highlight the sometimes overlooked plants like Red Nettle and our beloved Dandelion that provide important early nectar for Bees. Please leave these in your garden for our Bees and know you are providing an invaluable source of food! The articles I am referring to and the findings can be found at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2024-03-26-study-finds-bees-need-food-month-earlier-provided-recommended-pollinator plants#:~:text=New%20research%20from%20the%20Universities,contribute%20to%20wild%20bee%20conservation. https://resjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/icad.12736 Thank you for reading! Donna x x x #earlyspringflowers #naturalhabbit #enchantedgardens #pollinator #aprilflowering #whitstablekent #gardening #conservation #pollinatorfriendly #biodiversity #habitat #blossom #naturalgardening #gardeningtips #pollinators #Conservationuk #Gardeningtips #bee #bees #rednettle #dandelion #shrillcarderbumblebee #beecolonies #rarebee

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Happy Friday everybody! Here is part 3 & 4 of the series 'Pruning Crab Apple Tree'. I am sharing these videos with you as I want you all to see the journey of pruning this old lady, who was quite a mess when we first got to her. I have a video to share with you all next week of how she has come full circle and bloomed after all the hard work we have put in to give her years of life to flourish on the pasture. Thank you all for watching and I hope you can all come to see her and the ancient Hawthorn hybrid very soon! Donna x x x #gardeningtips #gardensinkent #gardening #pollinatorfriendly #enchantedgardens #biodiversity #earlyspringflowers #pollinator #aprilflowering #crabappletree #malussylvetris #naturalhabbit #update #pruning #whitstablekent #happygardening #woodsman #habitat #conservation

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Happy Wednesday everyone and thank you for sending me your questions, In this Q&A I answer your queries on planting in clay, overhanging trees and boundary lines, extensive root systems and how to handle them, new housing developments and the gardens you are dealing with there, recommendations on pollinator friendly shrubs and flowers and a question about Bears Breeches and how it has taken over a garden. I also talk about the common misconceptions of mulch and the correct way to applicate it. I hope this video answers your questions and provides you with the right information to be responsible gardeners and help your gardens to thrive. Thank you for watching! Donna x x x #gardening #gardeningquestions #claysoil #plantinginclay #gardeningtips #rootsystem #overhangingtrees #boundaryline #gardeninginkent #pollinatorfriendly #gardeningadvice #enchantedgardens #bearsbreeches #invasiveplants #naturalgardening #biodiversity

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Happy Tuesday everyone, Here is part 2 in the video series of pruning this beautiful old Crab Apple tree. You can see she had started to create buds ready for her blossoms (which I will post a video off). Thank you for continuing to watch and support me and the new journey I am on at my new site. Enjoy the video, more to come each week! Donna x x x DISCLAIMER ‘Please note the use of a chainsaw in this video is absolutely restricted to professionals holding a chainsaw licence, climbing licence and appropriate qualifications. I am not suggesting public use a chainsaw; please leave it to the professionals' #crabappletree #malussylvetris #habitat #pollinators #naturalhabbit #woodsman #pruning #happygardening #earlyspringflowers #enchantedgardens #conservation #Conservationuk #naturalgardening #update #gardensinkent #donnasdiary #gardening #whitstable #whitstablekent #pollinatorfriendly #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #gardeningideas #Gardening #gardeninglife #enchantedgardenskent #biodiversity ##crabappletree #malussylvetris #habitat #pollinators #naturalhabbit #woodsman #pruning #happygardening #earlyspringflowers #enchantedgardens #conservation #Conservationuk #naturalgardening #update #gardensinkent #donnasdiary #gardening #whitstable #whitstablekent #pollinatorfriendly #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #gardeningideas #Gardening #gardeninglife #enchantedgardenskent #biodiversity ##forestforest

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Donna is at Godinton House !

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Happy Wednesday everyone! Don't forget I am at the Godinton Plant Fair this Sunday 21st April! Book your tickets now and come and see me, and all my wonderful plants! It is my first show of the year and a great way to showcase what I have been able to keep and grow since my big move. Hope to see you all there, Donna x x https://godintonhouse.co.uk/events/plant-fair/ #earlyspringflowers #naturalgardening #Conservationuk #pollinatorfriendly #gardening #happygardening #conservation #whitstablekent #gardensinkent #enchantedgardens #pollinators #whitstable #gardeningideas #enchantedgardenskent #biodiversity #Godintonhouseandgardens #plantshow #whatsoninkent

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MIS-UNDERSTOOD WASPS – MY LITTLE HERO’S Happy morning everybody, My posts here are for Gardeners and nature lovers but I do find I tred a very fine line between this and the state of our wider environment. What is practiced in our countryside and Farming really does trickle into our gardening lives and affect us all. Now I am settled, free of all restrictions and safe, I will speak out about a number of issues facing gardeners and nature lovers, even the difficult subjects, it is who I am and what I am here to do. If it does not resonate with you please stop following me. The common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) has had such bad press historically, it seems to me that this is a great injustice, they are pollinators just like our beloved Bumbles and hoverflies they are just “sugar addicts” on the edge of reason like Bridgett Jones. Their main diet is nectar. It is little known that a wasps nest is a safe nursery ground for the larvae of some of our most wonderful pollinating hoverflies including the Hornet Hoverfly. Hoverfly numbers are dwindling nowadays and this is vital to their survival. Wasps are also “Super Predators” hunting for Larvae, flies, aphids, caterpillars and many more to HELP GARDENERS. A wasp nest is truly amazing built from chewed up wood, a paper wasps nest is architectural elegance and may contain 5,000 - 10,000 individuals. At the end of the season, when these little industrious lovlies have spent their time building, bringing up young’uns and pollinating, new queens and male drones emerge. After mating the queens overwinter in sheltered locations and the drones die just like ants and bees. The colony survives just one year, with a worker Wasp ending its life redundant with no queen and no “sweet nectar currency” reward, where you may ask will it go for its ending…..Why to HUMANS of course we are generally covered in sweet sticky sugar as far as they are concerned and overflowing bins are “Insectopia” – This is the point where we threaten them and kill them, we spray their nests and wish they wern’t here – Aren’t we strange?

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Happy Monday everybody! I have a new series of videos to share with you all, to show you what we have been up too down at the second pasture. These videos will be showing you the journey of this lovely old Crab Apple Tree 'Malus Sylvestris' being pruned to lift some weight, take of the rotten wood and give her a chance to continue her life as long as possible. Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more to come.... Donna x x #crabappletree #malussylvetris #habitat #pollinators #naturalhabbit #woodsman #pruning #happygardening #earlyspringflowers #enchantedgardens #conservation #Conservationuk #naturalgardening #update #gardensinkent #donnasdiary #gardening #whitstable #whitstablekent #pollinatorfriendly #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #gardeningideas #Gardening #gardeninglife #enchantedgardenskent #biodiversity #forest

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Happy Friday Everybody! Here is one of the last videos in the series 'Uncovering Rare Tree'. The Woodsman has been removing all dead wood and wood which would overbalance the structure of the tree. I do belive that is is a hybrid from the past where ancient woodland Hawthron has crossed with true basic Hawthron and produced this precious tree. In time I will of course try and propergate to preserve it. DISCLAIMER ‘Please note the use of a chainsaw in this video is absolutely restricted to professionals holding a chainsaw licence, climbing licence and appropriate qualifications. I am not suggesting public use a chainsaw; please leave it to the professionals' Stay tuned for more videos coming every Friday! Thank you for watching, Donna x x x #uncoveringararetree #ancientwoodland #raretree #ivy #forest #bleanwoods #ancienttree #gardening #naturalgardening #Gardening #enchantedgardens #gardeninglife #enchantedgardenskent #whitstable #happygardening #conservation #whitstablekent #gardensinkent #gardeningideas #gardening #biodiversity #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #update #Hawthron #truehawthorn #woodsman #pruning

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'Storm Kathleen Batters the Pasture' 70MPH winds have been sweeping across the UK and it will not be a surprise for many gardeners that they find some of their plants have broken and snapped, much like my Tree Peony. Just like all the rain and strong winds, we have to realise we cannot compete with nature and this is just another example of this. My beloved Tree Peony will grow again, the soggy lawns will dry out and our gardens will continue to flourish..... Thank you for watching, Donna x x x #Gardening #gardensinkent #gardeninglife #happygardening #conservation #naturalgardening #gardening #enchantedgardens #whitstablekent #gardeningideas #enchantedgardenskent #whitstable #pollinatorfriendly #Gardeningtips #gardeningtips #Conservationuk #earlyspringflowers #update #donnasdiary #treepeony #aprilflowers #stormkathleen #nature #extremeweather

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Happy Monday everybody, My posts here are for Gardeners and nature lovers but I do find I tred a very fine line between this and the state of our wider environment. What is practiced in our country really does trickle into our gardening lives and affect us all. Please read this article by Bird Guides ‘Outcry as hedgerow protection law removed’ It discusses the UK Government's intention to replace laws post-Brexit, laws which DEFRA are yet to confirm if those protections for nature will be maintained. https://www.birdguides.com/news/outcry-as-hedgerow-protection-law-removed/ Some of us are fortunate to have various types of hedges such as Laurel, Mixed Native, Roses, Pyracantha, and Eleagnus. Hedges offer important nesting spots for birds, as you can see in my picture of a Goldfinch nest. It has been a gardening practice for over 60 years not to trim hedges between April and October. However, I have observed that some Tree Surgeons, Landscapers, and Gardening Services are not adhering to this, and new gardeners might not be receiving the best guidance. Hedges can create diverse and essential habitats for wildlife. Sometimes, gardeners are unaware of how much a shrub can grow; leading to one shrub growing into another planted too closely, unintentionally forming a hedge. These hedges can become overgrown and messy. Unfortunately, hedge trimmers or chainsaws are often used at the wrong time of year. So, let's all take a moment to think, educate other gardeners, neighbours, and friends, and collectively ensure that our gardens are managed thoughtfully and compassionately, no matter what is happening in the countryside. Donna x x x #gardeninglife #Gardeningtips #gardening #whitstablekent #happygardening #enchantedgardenskent #biodiversity #conservation #naturalgardening #gardeningtips #gardeningideas #pollinatorfriendly #whitstable #Gardening #gardensinkent #enchantedgardens #hedges #nestingbirdsuk #goldfinchnest #Conservationuk #gardeningeducation #mixedhedges #Defra #enviromentlaws #ukgovernment #hedgerowprotection #nature #NatureLaws

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Happy Wednesday everyone! This is a very positive post, please watch the video I have attached and read the post on the brilliant project that Scottish Water have completed. Their post is well written and showing that we CAN get tree planting right! Who knew that a Water Utility Company could be “The Good Guys” with all the scandal of the ruination of our waterways and seas with sewage …… They have commited to planting 48,000 trees to achieve their Net Zero ambitions, which is just brilliant and aims to capture more than 16,000 tonnes of carbon in a bid to boost biodiversity. The Main reason I am sharing is because the trees that they are planting are BRILLIANT BROADLEAF species, and not just more endless softwood. It is so important to highlight the good that is going on as well as the bad, and this is one of the GOOD ones! Thank you for reading & watching. Donna x x x https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/About-Us/News-and-Views/2024/02/West-Feal-Reservoir-Tree%20Planting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl57SrlgaNI&t=185s #gardening #gardeninglife #Gardening #whitstablekent #whitstable #gardeningideas #happygardening #gardensinkent #biodiversity #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #pollinatorfriendly #naturalgardening #enchantedgardens #conservation #enchantedgardenskent #ancientwoodland #ancienttree #forest #scottishwater #Oaktree #Alder #Hawthorn #Rowan #Birch #Treeplanting #woodland #NetZero #LomondHills

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Happy 1st April everyone! Now that spring has officially sprung, I'm thrilled to invite you to my debut show of the year at Godinton House And Gardens Please 'save the date' for the 21st April 11am-4pm at Godinton Lane, Ashford. Kent, TN23 3BP. We will offer a wonderful range of interesting and unusual plants. Come and help us to conserve the diversity of flowers available to gardeners. We can't wait to see you! Donna x x x #conservation #Gardening #whitstablekent #whitstable #enchantedgardens #gardening #enchantedgardenskent #gardeningideas #gardeninglife #biodiversity #naturalgardening #gardensinkent #happygardening #Gardeningtips #gardeningtips #pollinatorfriendly #butterflyconservation #bee #Godintonhouseandgardens #plantshow #Godinton #Publicgarden #Plantfair #growers #independantnursery #pollinatorfriendly #SpecialistNursery #biodiversity #historicalplace https://godintonhouse.co.uk/events/plant-fair/

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Happy Friday everyone! Here is Part 2 of the series on 'Uncovering a Rare Tree' at my new site Valley View. Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more! Donna x x x #uncoveringararetree #ancientwoodland #raretree #ivy #forest #bleanwoods #ancienttree #gardening #naturalgardening #Gardening #enchantedgardens #gardeninglife #enchantedgardenskent #whitstable #happygardening #conservation #whitstablekent #gardensinkent #gardeningideas #gardening #biodiversity #gardeningtips #Gardeningtips #update

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Happy Thursday everyone! As my post yesterday was to appreciate Magnolia as plant of the month I wanted to share with you some important information about this plant and its varieties. Magnolia is important for Beetle Pollination. Beetles were among the first insects to visit flowers and they remain essential pollinators today. They are especially important pollinators for ancient species such as magnolias and spicebush. Beetles will eat their way through petals and other floral parts Please see the photo I have attached, on the right is a well-established ‘Magnolia-Soulangeana'’ and to its left a much more manageable ‘Magnolia-Stellata’. Please be aware ‘Soulangeana’ would like to grow to around 40 feet so please don't buy one just because you like the flowers. I would advise and strongly recommend the ‘Stellata’ or 'Susan' variety for smaller gardens and for planting in front gardens. Happy Gardening! Donna x x x #earlyspringflowers #gardeningtips #conservation #gardeningideas #happygardening #update #naturalgardening #gardensinkent #biodiversity #magnolia #gardeninglife #Gardeningtips #enchantedgardenskent #Gardening #whitstable #enchantedgardens #whitstablekent #marchflowering #pollinatorfriendly #gardening #plantofthemonth #magnoliatree #magnoliastellata #magnoliasoulangeana

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Happy Wednesday everyone! I wanted to share this lovely picture of Forsythia with you to showcase the vividness and radiance in our gardens right now! Blooming in early spring, Forsythia is a plant worth admiring for its remarkable yellow brilliance, especially during these rainy days in March. Donna x x x #gardeninglife #gardeningideas #gardeningtips #pollinatorfriendly #biodiversity #enchantedgardens #conservation #whitstable #Gardeningtips #naturalgardening #happygardening #enchantedgardenskent #whitstablekent #gardensinkent #Gardening #gardening #forsythia #marchflowering #earlyspringflowers #yellowflowers #springgardening

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