Below, a recent report from Keith Powrie of weekly butterfly monitoring carried out on the 6th July.
It will be interesting to see how the improved weather of late might affect forthcoming sightings.
A chance to see for yourself:- Guided Butterfly Walk – 19th July 2019 – £5.50
In line with the nation’s Big Butterfly Count, dedicated lepidopterist Keith Powrie leads a walk from 11am to 12.30pm around the gardens to help you identify the many butterflies to be found there. Keith has been recording butterfly sightings at Knoll for many years and brings an infectious enthusiasm to any guided walk. Book online
On the 6th June, a female Scarce Chaser Dragonfly was seen in contest with another female, for a territory on the left of the path leading to Mill Pond.
One month later and the victor is still holding the same territory – unless they’re taking turns! It would be great if she could find a mate and the Gardens could have their own breeding pair. Unfortunately we’ve never seen a male in the Gardens, so we hope she has better luck than us.
June was a complete washout as far as weather is concerned and the conditions required before a walk can be carried out, were seldom met.
Consequently, emergence of summer butterfly species has been delayed and curtailed.
The average count for Week 14 is 21 – only 14 were discovered this year.
4 Green-veined Whites; 4 Meadow Browns; 4 Large Skippers; 1 freshly hatched, second brood Speckled Wood and, a glimmer of hope for the rest of the summer,a Painted Lady – a migrant carried over on the southerly winds of recent.
It is a National Garden Scheme (NGS) Open Garden day at Knoll on 21st June and the Dorset Wildlife Team will also be here with their ‘Get Dorset Buzzing’ Roadshow.
The NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country.
Your visit today will help its work. Normal admission charges will be donated to NGS.
In the Garden today is the Dorset Wildlife Trust ‘Get Dorset Buzzing’ Roadshow.
This year Dorset Wildlife Trust aims to get 1,000 gardens in Dorset doing at least one thing to help pollinators, whether it’s planting up some pollinator-friendly plants, building a bee hotel, or simply leaving a wild area.
We are delighted to support this important campaign and welcome the DWT Roadshow to Knoll. With fun activities, hints and tips it is a great way to find out how to ‘Get Dorset Buzzing’ in your garden. (Free garden admission for members of DWT and anyone joining DWT on the day. Please show your membership card on arrival)
Get Dorset Buzzing is a Dorset Wildlife Trust Initiative. Find out more from the Get Dorset Buzzing website Link below:
To find out more about the National Garden Scheme use the link to their website below:-
Regrettably this event has been cancelled. Please check later in the year
for further information.
Experimental midsummer music in glorious Knoll Gardens
Fans of experimental music have a rare opportunity to hear In C by Terry Riley, one of the greatest living minimalist composers, in the glorious surroundings of Knoll Gardens in Wimborne in June.
Tickets for this midsummer evening concert are £10 and gates open at 7pm. Audience members are encouraged to bring rugs, blankets and a picnic to best enjoy this innovative meditative 1960s experience in the garden.
Ticket numbers are limited and can be booked online through knollgardens.co.uk. The performance is taking place as a fundraiser for the Knoll Gardens Foundation.
Following their 2018 appearance at Knoll, Dorset-based musical ensemble Gerauschhersteller will return with a special midsummer outdoor performance of Riley’s acclaimed composition at 7.30pm on Friday 21 June.
Riley composed In C in 1964 as 53 short repeated melodic and rhythmic cells in C major. How often each melody is repeated, or how coloured or intensified, is completely the choice of each individual player. Every version is different and the beauty of the piece lies in the variety of harmonic and rhythmic detail generated by these simple cells.
Terry Riley was among the most revolutionary composers of the post-war era; famed for his introduction of repetition into Western music motifs, he also masterminded early experiments in tape loops and delay systems which left an indelible mark on the experimental music produced in his wake.
Stuart Riddle, speaking on behalf of the group, said “In C uses very simple components, and some simple rules, to create a piece that is different and new each time someone plays it – it can be meditative, intense, or even funky. We are really honoured that Knoll Gardens have given us the opportunity to perform on the evening of the summer solstice and take this piece back to its roots in 1960s counterculture and Terry Riley’s own all night performances”
Gerauschhersteller’s new CD features highlights of their 2018 performance at Knoll.
Those present during the Wildlife Gardeners Question time segment of our First Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture would have heard Nick Dobbs mention that he had recently seen glow worm lavae in Knoll Gardens.
Nick is overseeing our reptile surveys at Knoll and has kindly provided some words and pictures for our benefit (below)
Lampyris noctiluca is the glow-worm species most often seen in the UK. These nocturnal beetles, known as common glow-worms, are found across Europe and Asia. It can be tricky to tell common glow-worm females and larvae apart, as they both have similar-looking segmented bodies. But the larvae have distinct reddish spots on the outside edges of each segment, which don’t occur on adult females.
Good for gardeners, the larvae prey on snails. Adults don’t eat anything.
Males can fly and are distinguishable from females by the hard wing case covering their bodies and their far smaller size. Adult female glow-worms have a large, light-producing organ at the end of their abdomens. At night they use a bright, steady stream of yellowish-green light to attract flying males. During the day they burrow underground to avoid predators.
A female will climb to a high point, such as a grass stem, and turn her glowing light upwards. This ensures that she is as visible as possible to flying males. Adult female grow up to 20mm in length, and live for a few weeks, until they mate and lay their eggs.
Their lights are bioluminescent – the natural production of light by an organism created by a chemical reaction.
Applications are now being taken for the annual Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture. Any local community organisations with an interest in gardens, conservation and wildlife can apply to host the free lecture which will be presented in 2020 by Neil Lucas, RHS Council member and Senior Judge, and the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist.
The Community Lecture is one of a series of events run by the Knoll Gardens Foundation (KGF), the Wimborne-based horticultural charity. The charity offers practical advice and guidance on how to garden responsibly without sacrificing beauty.
It is easy to apply. Simply choose one of three lecture topics and complete a simple form (from the link blow). The lecture will be presented free of charge, to an organisation selected by KGF trustees.
Neil Lucas is in great demand as an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. The owner of Knoll Gardens, he also holds ten Chelsea Gold Medals, is the author of the best-selling book ‘Designing with Grasses’ and has been a Council Member at the RHS since 2012.
For Application Form and Terms (select image to view/download)
Completed applications must be received by 31 August 2019.